Whole green toys, diapers, clothing, bedding, bath, school supplies, and more.
In 2003, Deron Beal started the Freecycle Network, working with a dream and a loose network of willing friends in the Tucson, Arizona area. Beal saw a lot of perfectly good stuff being thrown away, so he and his associates started offering the unwanted goods to local nonprofit groups for free. After expending a lot of shoe leather, they took the concept online with an email network to match free goods with willing recipients.
Soon Freecycle was national, then international. It has grown to more than 85 countries, involving (at last count) 4,619 groups and almost six million members. The group says it keeps 500 tons of material a day out of landfills, annually equivalent to a stack of garbage trucks five times the height of Mount Everest.
Taking part is simple enough. Enter your state in the finder on the Web site home page, and local groups pop up. You do have to join the local group, but it’s free. And of course you can post your own free stuff, providing a short description and an approximate location.
Many chain stores that ship packages, including UPS, Mail Boxes Etc., Postal Annex, Fed Ex, and Kinko’s, will reuse your unwanted packing peanuts. Call ahead and check.