It's a grassroots and entirely nonprofit movement of people who are giving (& getting) stuff for free in their own towns. It's all about reuse and keeping good stuff out of landfills. Each local group is moderated by a local volunteer (them's good people). Membership is free.
I have been receiving the Eugene/Springfield freecycle group emails for months now, and have never been all that interested in what people had to offer. Which isn't to say it isn't fine stuff--just not anything I found myself needing. But the beauty of freecycle is that it quickly and easily matches up people who might be needing that exact thing with those who just want to be rid of it.
Just last week, there were three postings for things that I couldn't pass up--and I ended up getting two of them (like craigslist, sometimes someone else beats you to responding). The process went so smoothly--a couple of pleasant emails exchanged, addresses shared, and items put on porches for me to come and pick up at my convenience. And at the end of it all, I ended up with one bottle and one box of laundry detergent and an open but unused package of gdiapers inserts. How awesome is that?
- You may want to sign up with an email that you check but don't use all the time, as there are many emails sent daily. But if you're really interested in something, you have to respond quickly, as stuff gets snatched up pretty fast.
- You may wonder what is the difference between freecycle and the free listings on craigslist. There isn't much difference, other than these get emailed directly to you, instead of you having to go and check craigslist daily for new listings. Also, people can put up an ad for something they need, to see if someone else on the list wants to get rid of that but didn't know it.