(Mis)adventures in Freecycling

Every student’s dream is to be able to get things for free, and if you ‘Freecylce’ the possibilites are endless. The Tab sent a writer to discover whether ‘Freecycling’ is the answer to our student prayers, or a disaster waiting to happen

Culture Environment free Freecycling London Tab students The Tab

When I told my friends that I was thinking of joining the Freecycling movement, their reaction was mixed; the idea that things could be obtained for free was (understandably) a popular one, but the concept of was labelled as “that hippy kind of nonsense”.

I might not have flowers in my hair and or wear a kaftan, but the lure of free stuff proved too much to resist so I signed up to www.freecycle.org in a vague attempt at blagging other people’s unwanted junk.

Freecycling is a movement, started in 2003, that aims to allow people find and give things away to others in their local area. You subscribe to groups such as “Camden” in my case and then either offer your surplus items in an ad or post a request for the things that you want.

Despite the fact that term is only a week in, Freshers’ week has taken its toll and I am already short of funds, so I placed a wanted post on the site asking for some of the books I needed for my English course. It only took a few minutes to set up my account, and a few more to make my post. And then I waited…And waited.

I am possibly the most impatient creature in North London, so in the few days that I waited for a response I was constantly checking the Freecycle website to the point of obsession! This possibly isn’t the best route to take if you need something urgently, as it can take a while for people to respond or for your requested items to become available. I am also a massive coward, so when the reply to my post came through saying that someone had the books I needed my first thoughts were all about what would happen if I got murdered or kidnapped or dropped off the face of the planet!

If you choose to join the Freecycle network, it would probably be a smart idea to do as I did and take a friend with you to pick up or drop off your freecycled items, just to make sure you’re not going into the arms of a psycho – it’s a great idea, but could be quite dangerous due to the anonymous nature of the system. I did get some of the books I needed, which was brilliant, and I can see this being an excellent way to offload some of the things that you may no longer need. From a student perspective, the simple fact that you can get things for free is a resounding plus for the whole freecycling concept, and I genuinely believe that if more students knew about it, they would use it, and it would take off massively. I personally will definitely be freecycling in the future.