Freecycling and Reuse

While Cat and I were driving up to Maine tonight, I heard a story on NPR about this ‘new concept’ that was sweeping the mid-west.
The idea was ‘Freecycling’. The idea was that if you had something you didn’t want anymore, you could post it to this list, and if someone wanted it, they’d come and get it. The only rule was that NO money changed hands. It was a free giveaway.
“Waiddasec”, sez I. “New concept? What the heck?!?”
The MIT Reuse list has been around for ages; a free forum, limited to MIT affiliated folk, for giving away ‘stuff’. Reuse was and still is a great resource for getting rid of -anything-. If you were in Cambridge, and you had something, if you posted it to reuse, it was -gone-. (we once even got rid of an old car this way).
The MIT Reuse list is targeted specifically at MIT-related folks and environs, so another list, called the Greaterboston-Reuse list was created to handle…er.. the greater boston area. The traffic is low, the content is high, and if you want to unload stuff, this is the place to be.
Since we’re in the process of cleaning out our house and unloading tons of stuff, this list has been invaluable. The rule of thumb is “Here it is, come and get it. It’ll be sitting outside”, and, as in Freecycling, ‘for sale’ or ‘for trade’ postings are verboten (though some slip through).
I was a little miffed at the whole “This is new!” bent on the NPR story. Here’s back atcha, net-folks. Boston’s been doin it for a while 🙂

Dave Shevett


A wandering geek. Toys, shiny things, pursuits and distractions.

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2 thoughts on “Freecycling and Reuse

  1. In Olympia, WA, we have something called the Free Box…same concept…free usable stuff shows up there and folks take what they want and add other stuff.
    The Olympia Freecycling has turned into something of a spamathon. Totally useless.

  2. I guess it’s a sort of Salvation Army type thing… but I like the “I have this, who wants it?” approach of the mailing list. I don’t have to go keep checking the piles of goodies. 🙂

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