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Green Gifts for Free?

Date: 26-Feb-09

Noticing how much stuff gets bought for kids and how much of it goes straight to landfill, Wendy decided to do something about it ... and find her kids' Christmas pressies on Freecycle instead.

Freecycle is not a new concept - it's essentially swapping things with your neighbours.  A cross between e-bay and an op shop: you offer your pre-loved items for free on a local email network, choose someone, and they come to pick it up. Easy! While you're there, you can have a look at what other people are offering and grab something for yourself.

Having used Freecycle to give away furniture, Wendy saw piles of kids gifts and toys being offered up. Embarking on her Christmas Freecycle quest, Wendy was amazed by the good quality toys, games and more that she was able to get. She found an action man figure, complete with accessories and tower, that was perfect for her son. Then there's the bike for her daughter and filing cabinet for her hubby.  A lick of polish got a leather folder ready for wrapping. Overall, the gifts were in great shape, and Wendy reckons the family is more than pleased with their new stuff.

How was the Freecycle experience? Wendy made a few lifestyle changes - like logging onto her email more often. But these changes have paid her back in the hundreds of dollars saved (thousands if you include stuff for the house and garden). Freecycling rather than shopping for Christmas was a whole lot more enjoyable: "One of the best things has been having fun. I've met people in my local area that I wouldn't normally meet" said Wendy. "Freecycling opens your mind to new possibilities. You get ideas from what other people have given their children."

To find out more

Join Wendy and thousands of other Australians in Freecycling your extra stuff.  Give your pre-loved goods another home, and pick up some useful items while you're at it.

Freecycling is a great way to re-use and recycle household items - with many environmental benefits. Check out Planet Ark's pages on Freecycling and the many other ways to Trade and Exchange your goods and services with others.

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