Okay, so I didn't find this today, but I am sharing it with you today.
Freecycle is a great idea, an I joined it a few weeks ago. I found it through a friend initially a couple of years ago, but never joined because... uh well, I don't know why.
Anyway, here is a brief history of Freecycle as found on their website at Freecycle.org:
"On May 1st, 2003, Deron Beal sent out the first e-mail announcing The Freecycle Network™ to about 30 or 40 friends and a handful of nonprofits in Tucson, Arizona. At the time Deron founded The Freecycle Network, he worked with a small nonprofit organization, RISE, which provides recycling services to downtown businesses and transitional employment to Tucsonans in need.
As the team recycled, rather than watching perfectly good items being thrown away, they found themselves calling or driving around to see if various local nonprofits could use them. Thinking there had to be an easier way, Beal set up that first Freecycle e-mail group in a way that permitted everyone in Tucson to give and to get. Freecycle was off and running.
The Freecycle concept has since spread to over 75 countries, where there are thousands of local groups representing millions of of members -- people helping people and "changing the world one gift at a time." As a result, we are currently keeping over 300 tons a day out of landfills! This amounts to four times the height of Mt. Everest in the past year alone, when stacked in garbage trucks!
By giving freely with no strings attached, members of The Freecycle Network help instill a sense of generosity of spirit as they strengthen local community ties and promote environmental sustainability and reuse. People from all walks of life have joined together to turn trash into treasure."
I happened to find two groups in my area, one in Albuquerque and one in the East Mountain area. I joined both, but find myself contributing mostly to the Albuquerque Freecycle group because that is where I spend most of my time.
So far I have found a home for a bunch of books, some clothes, toys and blankets, counter tops and a sink, vertical blinds, and a few other items. I have picked up some winter coats, a wood burning stove, and a Christmas tree stand. I have seen everything from piano's and televisions to cans of stray buttons offered. I simply can't get over it.
It's handy, it's easy, and it does good for everyone: the environment, my family, and anyone who participates. Can't beat it.