The Clinton Herald, Clinton, Iowa

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February 20, 2013

Cut the clutter, help the planet by 'freecycling'

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Some of the other freecycling or sharing sites include FreeUse.org, StagaNetwork.com, FreeMesa.com, Around Again, Worldwide Free Share and countless others. As with any other site where communicating with strangers is a possibility, users are encouraged to follow all of the usual safety measures including not revealing personal information and being extra careful if you decide to meet with a person to exchange an item.

Freecycle.org

Probably considered the granddaddy of the sharing sites is Freecycle.org with a presence in over 85 countries around the globe. The site also works with thousands of community groups and the number of users in the Freecylce network is reportedly in the millions.

Local groups must be part of a Yahoo group or use the company’s software to participate in sharing, which some groups don’t like, but many believe having access to Freecycle’s vast network makes following that particular rule far worth it.

However, if you’re part of a recycling group in your area and don’t want to use Yahoo or Freecycle’s software, other recycling sites like FreeSharing.com may be a better fit for you.

The website ReUseItNework.org is another recycling hub that places items with the people that need them, and unlike similar sites, the creators tell users that your items don’t have to be in perfect condition as many who use the site like to repair things and are aware items may not be in the best condition.

The ReUseIt site essentially has a global network and works in a way similar to the other recycling sites, as it’s mainly a hub for local recyclers to join or for people to exchange items for free.

And of course a lot of people don’t just donate on these kinds of sites, they also use them to get free stuff that they may need or want. As with anytime you buy or receive something used, you always take on the risk of the item being a piece of junk, which some people who have used these types of sites have complained about.

Overall, the concept of freecycling or freesharing is a good one, with its environmental benefits and assistance to people who may not be able to ordinarily afford certain items.

And most of all, people can finally get a chance to clean out some of the clutter they’ve been hanging on to.

Story provided by ConsumerAffairs.

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