Wednesday, October 08, 2008

freecycle rocks!


I replaced my cellphone before it had stopped being functional.  For a year now, it has slept in a box with other small electronic gadgets, computer cords, etc. (Mr. Sealion is so organized!)  Because I was too guilty to let it go.  E-trash guilt.  As if living in progressively-activist Berkeley isn't enough, (when I'm not obsessing through baby-care books) I read online or books about environmental/health concerns (like the one I'm reading now, to take a "break" from baby-reading: Exposed, by Mark Schapiro).  These seem even more relevant and concerning now that I'm inviting a new and fragile human into the world.  

SO this morning I logged on to the Berkeley page of Freecycle.org to advertise for Mr. Sealion some scrap lumber he is parting with, and saw a post: WANTED: working cellphone.  After coordinating with the author of the post, my old cellphone will be in the hands of its new and appreciative owner this afternoon!  All I have to do is set it out on my front porch for him to pick it up. 
My former cellphone awaits its new owner, in a box with a happy note on my front porch.

You wouldn't believe the kind of stuff people are interested in taking off your hands ~ for school assignments, art projects, refurbishing an old house, or for some eccentric collection.  The rules on Freecycle are ~ it must be free, and family-oriented.  If you want an item, ask for it, if you have an item, offer it.  Then the author of the post coordinates with the responder of his/her choosing for the item to be picked up.  Around here, people usually arrange to leave the item outside and not exchange face-to-face for safety reasons.  It's so easy!  

Not too long ago, "garbage" was barely a word in the dictionary.  People really did use things until they wore out and could no longer be repaired.  Then they incorporated their still-usable materials into other useful things.    
The Earth is a closed system; what we throw away doesn't simple disappear.    
"One man's junk is another man's treasure."  
[Enter your cliche' about waste and conservation here.]
  
If you haven't seen it, here's a great little primer and/or reminder about "stuff":  The Story of Stuff.
To read up on sooo many subjects of environmental/health concern (such as electronic waste), the Environmental Working Group is a trustworthy, and encyclopedic resource.  Of especial relevance to me in my life lately have been the subjects of body care products, and plastics.  

I haven't done a "public service announcement" in a while, so thanks for bearing with me.  ;-)  
Now back to your regularly-scheduled "waiting for baby" programming.  

The ripe babyberry on October 4.  

2 comments:

ecogyrl said...

cheapcycle is another good one (for things that might require a monetary exchange).

Sequoia and Sierra are two names I've considered, but they will likely be relegated to dogs since we plan not to make wee ones. Sequoia for the big, beautiful trees and Sierra for the big, beautiful mountains. Strong, multi-dimensional, never fully comprehensible, majestic (yet humble), and always reaching beyond the limits of the sky.

just my 2 cents...

Mick said...

i love the idea of freecycle and have used it numberous times in lextown.. however, here, I find the participants to be oddly cavalier and flaky; it has on occasion become a substantial job just trying to give something away, as there is this pattern of "freakcyclers" who immediately pounce on an offer and then never follow up and never come get the item. Next on the list, same thing. Rinse and repeat. (sorry, just procrastinating on your blog -- happy day to you and fam! sorry to miss you in berkz a few weeks ago. (emotion: sad)