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How to Freecycle in 9 Easy Steps

Freecycling is a fun and easy way to get rid of your usable unwanted items without them going to waste.  Every year in the UK we throw away  millions of tons of perfectly good stuff into landfill sites, simply they are no longer needed nor wanted. And that’s where Freecycling comes in. Someone, somewhere may well have a use for your unwanted items. In fact in many cases Freecycled items are actively desired by other people.

The Freecycling process is free, simple, charitable, effective, good for the environment, and often provides those who cannot afford to buy new with items they would not otherwise be able to enjoy. It’s so perfect as a concept that it’s a wonder no-one ever thought of it before! Its popularity is rising, with over 8 million members and 5000 groups worldwide.

What can I freecycle?freecycle

If you are uncertain whether your items are suitable for Freecycling then consider your offerings in terms of their mantra: “Free, Legal and Appropriate for all Ages” and you won’t go far wrong. Almost anything can be freecycled, from tiny plastic beads that crafters may crave, to dirt from your garden that may be just perfect for someone landscaping their own green paradise.

Once you’ve decided to have a go, here’s how to get started:

1.Find a group

Go online and visit your local Freecycling website. Entering “Your Location” and “Freecycle” into the search engine will normally bring up the ones closest to you. Most items on offer will be for collection in person to save on postage, so choosing a group that is near to you is the most practical option.


This is generally a very simple process where you provide basic contact details and an email address.

3.Browse the site before you start

Most sites will have some Admin posts that layout the guidelines for use of the site, and step-by-step instructions for how to go about the Freecycling process. Take time to digest the Freecycle rules and etiquette too; you don’t want to upset anyone before you start!

4.How you receive posts

Most sites in the UK are quite active and work via email groups. You can normally choose to receive your messages individually, in bundles, or just a notification that allows you to view messages online instead.


These are items that people are offering for free. If the item is of interest to you, then reply directly to the owner via their personal email, rather than through the group list.  The person making the offer then selects the person they want to give the item to.


This type of post specifies an item that someone is looking for. You may discover that you have just the thing gathering dust in your attic, and choose to give it away.  Alternatively you may be searching for an item yourself, and place your own Wanted ad.


Posts headed in this manner indicate that an item previously on Offer has been gifted to someone, and so is no longer available.


This is how the site moderators will contact you.  Their posts will generally relate to issues around the running of the site, and so are always important to read.


The person posting the Offer is usually the one who decides how pick-up or drop-off will take place. Personal safety is paramount, so if you don’t want hoards of strangers knowing where you live then a neutral meeting point can be useful.

The most important thing to remember with Freecycling is that something you consider to be junk may be someone else’s treasure. So next time you find yourself about to take a trip to the tip, have a quick rummage in the boot and see if there is anything that you could Freecycle instead!






About Cally Worden

About Cally Worden

Seasoned freelance writer Cally Worden lives with her family and dog in a quiet corner of rural France. A love of the outdoors, and a fascination with her children's ability to view life with fresh eyes provide the inspiration for much of her work. Cally writes regularly for various websites and UK print publications on subjects as diverse as parenting, travel, lifestyle, and business, and anything that makes her smile.

Website: Cally Worden

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