Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Reduce, Reuse, Freecylce

Have something you're looking to get rid of? Freecylce it!

Freecycle.org is a non-profit movement made up of various networks. Once you choose your group (I chose Boston, MA), you're directed to a Yahoo!Groups page to register. From there, you can browse through your network's listings.

While I applaud Freecycle's aim of saving our landfills, I'm not a fan of the online structure. The biggest drawback for me is the lack of pictures. Photos of the item up for grabs are not included with the post. Instead you have to email the member who posted the item and request pics.

If you've ever browsed Craigslist, you've probably run into a few listings where the item sounded great from the title but was anything but when you looked at the pictures. On Freecycle, you may not realize the item's a dud until after you've played email-tag with the owner. Frustrating if you ask me.

Another downfall is the way the listings are setup. Items are posted as messages on the group page. For simplicity's sake, Freecycle asks that when leaving a post, you begin the title either with OFFERED, WANTED, TAKEN, or RECEIVED. The problem is, there's no filter that divides the messages between these catagories; the WANTED postings are right there with the OFFERED postings.

For now, I'll keep using Craigslist's free section when looking for a no-cost way to add to my furniture collection, but I'll definitely keep Freecylce on my radar.

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