I’ve been a member of my area Freecycle groups since moving here a few years ago…and for the most part it’s been great. I’ve helped others with things they needed and others have helped me, too. Isn’t that the spirit of Freecycle? One man’s junk is another man’s treasure, right?
I’ve noticed a disturbing (well, to ME, anyway) trend over the last couple of years, though. Freecyclers are generous folk for the most part, but of course, there’s always that one friend in the bunch who ruins it for everyone.
An ad offering an old set of encyclopedia was posted in one of the groups I belong to this morning, and since I’ve been looking for some old books…dictionaries, thesauri, encyclopedia, etc. to make some home decor and other items out of, I jumped on the chance to get them for free. I replied to the ad and to my delight the giver answered that I could pick them up that afternoon. Here comes the kicker! Her husband wanted to know whether I was going to use them for looking up stuff (an 80’s-era set of encyclopedia? Really? You have HEARD of Google, right?) or for craft projects! I actually contemplated, for about 1.6 seconds, lying and saying I was going to use them to decorate my new law office, but alas (!) I was honest and said that yes, I would be using them for craft projects.
This leads me to my rant. What DIFFERENCE does it make to the person who just wants to get rid of unwanted/needed “stuff” what that stuff is will be used for? Short of illegal activities, of course, but then again…..once it leaves your porch, it’s not like you have control over what someone else does with it! Why do people think they have the right to dictate to the person picking up their (need I say this AGAIN!) UNwanted/needed stuff what that person can or can’t do with it. Once they’ve given it away, it belongs to the person they gave it to, to do with as that person pleases!
This trend is leading me to think it might be time to leave Freecycle and it’s nutcase OCD power-hungry group members for a kinder, gentler manner of helping out your neighbor…and the landfill. I have a Facebook group for Garage and Yard Sales in my area, so I think I will be expanding the group focus to include “Freecycle” style offerings, too.
What do y’all think? Do you belong to Freecycle in your area? Like it? Hate it? Why?