person's trash can be another's treasure..."|
the high cost of house buying, Freecycling is booming|
- the green solution?
Going green is an increasingly popular
lifestyle choice for many people.
Tessa Dunlop meets a woman who is using
the web to go 'eco-friendly' and furnish her house for free.
Wiltshire uses an Internet site called Freecycle, an online recycling centre.
has brought her much more than furniture - it's also led to new friendships and
a feeling of community.
green's mantra is "reduce, re-use and recycle".
is to stop people throwing goods away.
It started in the USA three years
ago and already boasts over two million members world-wide.
that, "one person's trash can be another's treasure", leading some people
to Freecycle complete homes.
The concept is simple and it couldn't be easier
to get started.
If you have something to give away, you join your local
branch of the Freecycle Network, offer it for free, and then wait for e-mails
from people like Marilyn.
and her husband are English but have spent most of their lives living in South
Freecyle is a
website which started in the US three years ago. Its roots are green minded. It
is now taking the UK by storm.
Freecycle has two million members world-wide.
world-wide Freecycle Network is made up of many individual groups world wide.
is a grassroots movement of people who give (and get) stuff for free in their
own towns and cities.
Each local group is run by local volunteer
Membership is free.
is one rule - everything posted must be free.
promotes giving your unwanted stuff away as opposed to throwing it in the tip
and needlessly filling up landfill sites.
The interest in
sustainable living has fuelled the boom in Freecycle's activities.
husband recently lost the job he had spent most of his working life doing working
for a pharmaceutical company.
He could not find work and the couple decided
to come back to England where two of their children had moved earlier.
sold their farm and land, and gave away most of their belongings to their maid
Marilyn and her husband are basically starting their lives
from scratch with little money, so Freecycle has been hugely important to get
the things they need.
The money they got from their house in South Africa
could not get them onto the property ladder in England, so they were forced to
rent while they tried to get back on their feet.
The only place they could
find within their budget was a unfurnished house in Trowbridge.
funds they decided to use Freecycle to furnish their new home.
a few weeks on the Freecycle website, Marilyn hit the jackpot and offers of furniture
came flooding in.
Furniture and friendship
to Freecycle the couple were able to move into their new house on Saturday 13th
But it wasn't until the moving-day that Marilyn finally met
the people who helped her to set up home.
One of them was Jill Shepherd
who lives just a few miles away and, has now become an e-mail buddy through Freecycle.
Marilyn and Jill are Freecycle converts.
Marilyn is particularly keen to
stress that she is not a scrounger.
She says that when the couple finally
get back on their feet, they will Freecycle everything back.
Her new friend
Jill, who provided some of the furniture through Freecycle, has given away nearly
all her worldly goods.
She is moving onto a houseboat and needs to downsize
- her donation of goods to Freecycle is helping others get back on track.
to Freecycle, both women have gained much more from Freecycle than just furniture
- they've made new "green" friends.
desperation to hope
Canadian-born Corrine Irvine who lives in
Barton Hill is helping to promote the West Country Freecycle sites on the network.
Corrine is a keen advocator of the "reduce and recycle" concept.
Originally from Canada where she worked in run down communities as a care
worker, she first used Freecycle in her job.
She would find things for refuges
and people who were moving into homes after fires or were struggling with poverty.
Freecycle style is booming|
Corrine came to England in 2006
and decided to live in the West Country after meeting a man with whom she started
When she arrived, she found that her partner had a council
house but no furniture, and his five children were all sleeping on the floor.
She Freecycled a house for them but one day, after returning from a job
interview, she found that he had taken everything, leaving her homeless.
A woman she had met from Freecycle helped her to find a new place and gave her
Corinne now lives in Barton Hill and is trying to work with
community groups in Bristol.
She is still an active member of Freecycle
but now she gives things away rather then taking things.
Like the other
Freecyclers, her life has been totally transformed by Freecyling.
relating to this story:
The BBC is not responsible for the content
of external websites