Early November: your first academic term is now about halfway finished. If you’re not already feeling the financial pinch, you soon will be. But you’re probably still short on some essentials. You’ll need crockery and cutlery and other everyday items that you don’t think about. Here is how you get stuff for free and how to embrace freecycling as a giver and a taker.
What is Freecycling?
The word “freecycling” is a portmanteau of “free” and “recycling”. The idea is simple. If you no longer want something, give it to somebody who does. Give, don’t sell, and you can free up space in your home quite quickly. Reselling can be a long and arduous process and if it’s something big and heavy, it can potentially sit around long after it has outstayed its welcome. Freecycling grew around 10 years ago during the last financial crisis although the idea has been around much longer than that. The Freecycle page went online in the UK in 2003. But it seems 2008 made people start to think about others, to give away rather than attempt to sell in a market that wasn’t buying.
How do you make the most of freecycling?
Use Freecycle Websites
Freecycle was the first but it’s not the only one out there now. People have been using the web to give away unwanted goods for a while and now you too can make use of these websites to get the free stuff you need. There are environmental benefits as it means less stuff ending up in a landfill. We recommend giving as well as taking. Granted, you probably don’t have much in the way of personal possessions, but consider leaving anything you get on freecycling sites behind or putting them back on the site when done.
Freecycle quick tips:
- Sign up in your local area and set parameters to a reasonable distance depending on your travel capabilities
- Sign up for areas well-known for student populations. Students like to travel as light as possible so, at the end of the academic year, they don’t want to have too much to take back on move out. It’s better to give it away than pay for transport
Use Local Facebook Pages
These are the now the go-to places to get stuff that people just want to give away. You can get almost anything, but you must be quick to get your name in first and be prompt with the collection. People are not giving stuff away purely out of kindness – it’s because they just want to be rid of it/them. Either they are moving home, getting replacements, or simply no longer have space. Another useful place is your university messageboard or specialist group where you might find previous year students giving stuff away.