Free and Easy Recycling, Reuse it

Freecycling: How We Can All Save Items From Landfill

Although many people have never heard of the organization, Freecycle is one of the best ideas to come along in quite a while, especially for people who are doing their best to live frugally and save the Earth’s resources. Located at http://www.freecycle.org, this group encourages its members to share items they plan to discard with someone else rather than sending it to the dump. Any objects that still have some life left in them and are safe for use may be offered to the group through an email list. Each Freecycle group has one or more moderators who help with organization, administration, and enforcement of the rules.

Freecycle participants have been known to offer the following useful objects which can be easily restored to a useful state:

• Chairs, Couches and Loveseats

• Dining Room Tables, Coffee Tables and End Tables

• Bookcases and Desks

• Baby Furniture such as Changing Tables and Bureaus

• Beds and Mattresses

• Entertainment Centers

Because most people are considering throwing furniture away because it has been damaged in some way or is no longer stylish, these are minor issues for creative, crafty folks. Chairs, couches, and loveseats, for example, may be stained or torn, but some slipcovers can take care of these problems quickly and easily. As long as the furniture obtained through Freecycle is structurally intact, it can be as inviting when restored as new furnishings would be. Just think of how clean and modern these old cast-offs will look when covered in bright, cheerful stretch slipcovers!

Tables offered by Freecycle members may have some chips, water stains, scratched surfaces, or loose joints, but most can be handily repaired. Afterwards, a beautiful tablecloth can hide any lingering evidence of damage. If the problems are not severe, wooden furniture may be sanded down and repainted. Stenciling can also hide a multitude of problems and is a fun way to change the look of any table.

Bookcases and desks may be restored or distressed by adding more damage. If an antique look matches the décor of your room, just use an ice pick and hammer to add more damage. Follow this with a new coat of stain, and neighbors will swear that you paid a big price for an antique while you actually saved several trees from being destroyed and some space in the local landfill.

Freecycle is very careful about allowing its members to give away baby items, and different areas have a variety of rules. It is important to the members of this conscientious group that all items recycled have never been recalled or damaged in such a way as to sacrifice safety. It is possible, however, to pick up some great finds for a baby’s room. By adding a few decals or stickers, these can be cute and trendy.

Freecycle is certainly the organization for people wishing to do all they can to support recycling efforts. By working together, this group is making a real impact all over the world.

This was a guest post from Caroline Smith.

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