"I am against religion because it teaches us to be satisfied with not understanding the world." -Richard Dawkins

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Freecycle, Freeduce, Freeuse?

Somewhere out of the dark recesses of commercialism, beyond the money-hungry moguls squeezing every average American for every last penny they earn in their aimless and dry lives, there is a beacon of hope. They call it Freecycle, and it, like Craigslist, is an affront to The Man, daring to let the people take care of their own business, be it for money, for services, for barter or, in this case, for free.

(How Anthony Bourdain did that sound? Whoa.)

I myself am a rabid proponent of Freecycle, I subscribe to the list, I hungrily look over everything as it comes through my inbox, because you never do know what you're going to find. I've used it to rid myself of perfectly good clothes I don't wear anymore, and through it I've acquired fashionable work clothes, brand new tennis rackets and a can of balls, a brand new LL Bean messenger bag/laptop case (which I promptly gave away to someone who needed it more than I did,) and most recently, much to Ro's delight, a new set of Duplos and several pairs of Hanna Andersson organic cotton underpants in her size.

I have a few people whose names I watch out for, because they always seem to be giving away something good. A Vegan professor who lives in Troy and has a daughter around Ro's age is always listing things that make me jump up and go "Ooh!" You never know if you're going to be the first person to respond, so you never know if you're going to get the item or not. It's a little bit like free-stuff roulette, always a thrill.

Just yesterday someone posted a Pentax Asahi K1000 to the list, and I, unfortunately, was about the 20th reply. I've never been in love with a camera the way I am with the K1000, but you win some, you lose some. What pleases me is that it doesn't seem to matter. Everyone operates on an honor system, and watching it in action is heartening. Knowing that somewhere under our dark exterior, the people in this country really are okay with giving, with sharing.

Personally I can't wait to get all my stuff unpacked so that I can start giving back. It's kind of hard to list stuff to give away when you're living out of one room and don't have anything in there in the first place. =)

Ro and her free Duplos.

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