Introduction: Great Green Concept: Find FREE Stuff for Any Project (using Freecycle)

Picture of Great Green Concept: Find FREE Stuff for Any Project (using Freecycle)

Got an idea for a project? Don't have the cash to get all the supplies. Here is a great resource I have found to be useful for getting just about any project material you need for free. This resorce is called Freecycle.


What is Freecycle?

The Freecycle Network" is made up of 4,610 groups with 5,839,000 members across the globe. It's a grassroots and entirely nonprofit movement of people who are giving (& getting) stuff for free in their own towns. It's all about reuse and keeping good stuff out of landfills. Each local group is moderated by a local volunteer (them's good people). Membership is free.

Step 1: Put Away Your Wallet

Picture of Put Away Your Wallet
You won't need this any more.

Here is a list of what you will need:
  • An idea
  • A Computer
  • Just a little patience

Step 2: Got Your Idea? Here Is Where the Computer Comes In

Picture of Got Your Idea? Here Is Where the Computer Comes In
1. First, make your way to Yahoo! [www.yahoo.com].

2. Once you have reached the Yahoo! website, click on the "Free mail: Sign up" link (see picture below for location).

3. Go through the steps here and create yourself a free yahoo mail account.(''do this even if you already have one as your primary email)

  • Why, you ask...
  • Well, the reason I suggest this step is due to the nature of Freecycle. Freecycle is a network of online-groups, these groups are set up in Yahoo!Groups, and in order to be a member of a group, you need a Yahoo! account.


*The reason I suggest others to create a new Yahoo! account, even if they already have one, is for the purpose of not filling up your primary email with a lot of incoming mail.

Step 3: Now That You Have Your Yahoo! Account, Time to Set Yourself Up With the Resource of Freecycle!

Picture of Now That You Have Your Yahoo! Account, Time to Set Yourself Up With the Resource of Freecycle!
1. Head on over the the Freecycle website http://www.freecycle.org/.

2. This website brings up a search box (see picture below).

3. In this search box, you are going to enter the city in which you live, and then click GO.

  • What this does, is it searches based upon your city and finds local freecycle groups in or near your home town.

Step 4: Join a Freecycle Group or Groups

Picture of Join a Freecycle Group or Groups

After clicking GO, you get a page like the one below which lists Freecycle groups near you.

- Click on a link for one in which you would like to join.


*I will demonstrate this by joining the Bingham County Group.

Step 5:

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Clicking on the group's link pulls up a page like this one shown below.

This page gives a little description about the group and gives a link to the Group's Freecycle Page.


Click on the link
*In the photo, I have highlighted the link for the Bingham County Freecycle page in yellow in order to show you what to look for.

Step 6:

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You have now arrived at the Group's Freecycle page.

The first thing you will want to do in order to search what this Group has to offer, or more importantly to make any requests, is join this group.

  • Click the "Join this Group!" button
  • Then Sign into Yahoo! groups with your new Yahoo! email address.
  • You are now taken to a page which walks you through the steps on how you will receive information from this group.

- Read this page and check mark anything that applies.

Step 7: You Are Now a Member of a Group!

You are now a member of a Freecycle group. This will prove to be a great resource to you. You can now visit this groups site and see what people are giving away. It's kind of like a free Classifieds, but better.


If no one is offering what you are looking for, don't worry, create an request.
NOTE:request not demand if you phrase it like a demand, people are less likely to want to help you.

I have recieved many things for projects by doing this, My best grab was 7 bicycles, from one house.

Once you find something you like, send out a reply to the offer you want to recieve.

If you make a request, all other members of the group will recieve notification of what you are looking for, and soon replies will be rolling into your new Yahoo! mail account.

Once you recieve a reply which you would like to recieve, make arrangements with the sender over email on when and where to pick up the item, sometimes they will even bring it to you.

I hope this resource proves helpful to you. Have fun finding the stuff you need, and enjoy the community of Freecycle.

*Oh..., also, you can join as many freecycle groups that you want, so if you cant fill any request in one, join another, or create your own if one doesn't exist in your area.

Comments

ArkadyG (author)2016-01-19

Very interesting service! Thanks!

Unfortunately, it doesn't find Russian cities :(

mikolynn (author)2013-02-13

Hey! I'm member of freecycle here, in Barcelona, Spain, and it works great! At the begginings, years ago, there is nothing at all, but now, it's amazing! Near to ten offerings at day! Wow!

myinstructables83 (author)2013-01-21

hi; thats cool !
be free to joing us in our free website : www.torontobestgreenoffers.com
to get more free samples and free stuff as an offer ..
thank you for visiting

SIRJAMES09 (author)2011-06-26

Freecycle is the creme de la creme of the recycling world!!
I have furnished 3 apartments thru free cycle & working on furnishing my present apartment!! 8=D

I have gotten clothes, shoes, paintings, furniture, you name it! I love freecycle!!

midsummermuse (author)2011-06-12

I love freecycle! I have been a fan and used the local yahoo groups freecycle in three different states. It's a great way to get rid of stuff you don't need anymore, and by regularly skimming the offers (I just get the daily digest of all the message, but then I miss out when people immediately read and reply on the site) you can find some great stuff. Some days there are way too many "wanted" versus "offers", but in the group I am in now the moderators are very active, and there is a certain amount of fairness expects in offering as well as taking.

Most recently I posted a wanted for an old graphing calculator for a math course, and unfortunately I didn't get a response before we had to go out and buy one because the class was starting, but a day later I got a response and now I have a 2nd back-up graphing calculator if anything happens to the first one at least. So my advice is think ahead, and post early. Be polite and try not to be too picky, if you want a shelf, ask for ANY type of shelf--not a while corner style one of solid wood. You savvy?

After I moved into my apartment, a couple months later I passed on a huge amount of moving boxes to some other happy mover and I felt great about it! I've given away star wars memorabilia after a relative died since we didn't want it, toys, clothes, etc. It's nice to think of other people and offer it up on freecycle before it gets donated or trashed (the horror!). I have received a varitety of items from an old glass ceiling lighting fixture to replace the one that got broken as we moved, fabric, beads, craft items...

I didn't intend this comment to read like a book, but I am very enthusiatic about reuse and recycling, and I highly recommend freecycle! Make sure you are safe, and I like to go with my husband when I pick up items for safety reasons, that being said--I have never had a problem with people whether I was giving an item away or picking it up from someone else. Be smart, be safe, but most of all--try to reduce your impact on the world with less new stuff. <3

BtheBike (author)2011-06-12

My local yahoo freecycle has a terrible interface in my opinion .
Its really clunky and worse than a post-it board because you can
only post a Picture. Theres no way to enter item info. No way to contact
item givers or want-ers . It might even be better to use a forum or blog
for Freecycle . Folks who want an item leave a message ,and the the
item is posted again ..for weeks . Forgive my long complaint but its only
cause there Nowhere to contact a Moderator either on there !
Free shouldn't mean buggy

Shippygirl (author)2011-06-12

I've had many good experiences with Freecycle. Mostly I received things like clothes, household items, and toys. One time I received a car full of garage sale leftovers that a housemate set aside for moving out on her own. I did notice items offered that could be used for projects.

Another site I like: For gardeners, Gardenweb's forums has an exchanges and trades section. There are U.S., Europe, and Australia forums too.
http://www.gardenweb.com/

funnyfoo0 (author)2009-04-11

I am now a member of freecycle and It is very useful I nearly got a working digital camera and quite often you can get somthing really good I highly recommend doing this ; ]

Squirrelfriend (author)2008-09-28

Well, here is my first Instructable. I have created many projects, but always wait too long in order to create an Instructable. I hope this Instructable is useful to those in need of supplies for their projects.

buy me a toy

Hoopajoo (author)2008-09-29

Freecycle (my local one at least) has gotten pretty bad lately. For every one offer, there are 30 requests (which are being worded more and more like demands). I remember getting a weed-eater for free from someone because they got a new one. I still use it every other week. Lately, the only offers are for baby clothes and empty jars. I think the harshly worded requests/demands have turned alot of people off. Shame, really.

you made him look bad

Squirrelfriend (author)Hoopajoo2008-10-01

Thanks Hoopajoo for the comment. I hear ya, some people like to make all kinds of requests, and never offer. Before I place a request, I always put out an offer so at least I'm a full participant in the idea. Plus, if some people would just read through all the offers, they might just find what they are looking for. I hate it when you see multiple offers for things such as a kitchen stove and yet someone puts in a request for one, can't they take the time to read through the offers? Thanks again, also would you please help me out and rate my Instructable, it would be much appreciated.

Hoopajoo (author)Squirrelfriend2008-10-01

Done, 5 *'s for you! What gets me is ones like this one I copypasta-ed: Wanted: Nintendo Wii with controllers and games. New in box only! Must have Guitar Hero and DDR! Justin 703-297-####. Things like that is turning people off of Freecycle / Freeshare here.

Squirrelfriend (author)2008-10-16

If you don't want help don't ask for it. No need to be judgemental about other people. Plus read the comment policy before posting that kind of content.

bestbballrebounder1 (author)2008-10-15

can i order it in arizona

Go to this link and type Arizona in the search bar. Find the group that works best for you.
http://www.freecycle.org/

Hope this helps...

Squirrelfriend (author)2008-10-14

If anyone has a good experience with Freecycle, feel free to share your great finds here by leaving a comment.

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