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Reduce, Reuse, Recycle, Freecycle

Do you Freecycle?

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Many people believe that going green has to be expensive.  That is sometimes true, especially when it comes to organic food or sustainable clothing and toys.  However, there are also ways to go green that aren't costly at all.  The best and cheapest way to do this is to find things that are used.  

Giving items a second, third, fourth life helps the environment by reducing waste. It prevents usable products from ending up in a landfill.  Additionally, it helps reduce waste because these items usually won't come in packaging so you're not stuck with plastic wrap, styrofoam, and cardboard boxes.  (It's less frustrating this way, too!  Those awful clamshell packages!)  Lastly, it can cut down on the ol' carbon footprint.  

You can buy used items from craigslist or local thrift stores.  OR you can get them for free on Freecycle!  Freecyle has online communities and/or mailing lists for different cities and regions where members can post items they're giving away or items they're on the lookout for.  There are over 4,000 groups worldwide.  

We've gotten rid of plenty of stuff this way, particularly outgrown baby gear.  (Swing, bassinet, Exersaucer)  It's a great way to clean out your house without throwing useful items away.  You'll also be surprised by what kinds of things you'll find people just giving away.  From window air conditioners to bicycles to pianos, you can find useful stuff in relatively good condition.  For free!  Some of the items may be broken and in need of repair, but for a handy person it can be great.

Before picking something up from someone on Freecycle, be sure to check Recalls.gov to see if the item has been recalled. It's also not recommended use previously-owned baby car seats and booster seats, as if they've been in an accident they may no longer be safe for use.  Also, don't forget be safe when going to a stranger's house!