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Go Green with Craigslist and Freecycle

>> Monday, 18 October 2010

Choosing the right kind of furniture for your home is a major influence on how green you could be...It is no harm in wanting the best for yourself. However, it could be a little considerate on our part to reuse heavy and usable furniture items (among other things) and not let them become landfill before their lifespan.

Readers who are familiar with my Design blog, The Design Enthusiast, know my love for preloved furniture. I have furnished an entire single bed room apartment with finds from local sellers via craigslist. Touch wood, it has been a great experience till date. Although, I am not into upholstered furniture, it is better to avoid beds or heavy cushioned sofas unless you are very sure about the condition. Reason being, loads of bugs and dirt may find their way into your abode. And then, there are odour issues we need to deal with. I dont advocate any particular furnishing style, but defintely would like to see minimal upholstery and cushions (read foam) as possible.

There could be more such collaborating websites I am not aware of yet. Another place to look out for is Freecycle. It is a brilliant way to minimize waste and think about greening your choices without much effort.

quoting the Freecycle website-
The Freecycle Network™ is made up of 4,864 groups with 7,603,875 members around the world. It's a grassroots and entirely nonprofit movement of people who are giving (and 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. To sign up, find your community by entering it into the search box above or by clicking on 'Browse Groups' above the search box. Have fun!

One very interesting thing about Freeecycle is that people giveaway stuff for take a look, maybe you will find something that may work for you. (I have been a grad student here in the hand me downs dont bother me...however, i dont see a similar vibe among fellow country men who land here with a job and a heavy paypacket. No comments on that though!!)


Kamini 18 October 2010 at 10:40  

When we moved to the US in 84, we hit all the garage sales we could and got some really decent stuff! There was no Craigslist then! But once I discovered Craigslist in the 90's sometime, it was amazing the stuff we could get! But I will be honest and admit I succumbed to the Pottery Barn/IKEA/Crate and Barrel spell too! Great reminder Sudha, about reducing our carbon footprint!

Sudha 18 October 2010 at 11:11  

Hi Kamini
Quite true...its such an interesting treasure hunt of sorts...thrift stores, craigslist and other exchange sites...:)...I too have a few things from IKEA (bought on craigs though :)...May be i have been lucky. I am glad you like the post

Austen | EcoBees 18 October 2010 at 16:26  

Hi Sudha, great post, thanks for that... can I also please draw your attention to EcoBees - a rapidly growing reuse network that uses interactive maps so you can see where all the free stuff is and helps you to reduce you carbon footprint. EcoBees also integrates with twitter and facebook too... worth a look: - happy reusing!

Sudha 18 October 2010 at 16:58  

thnak you for stopping by and adding to my list of fav sites

GB 18 October 2010 at 21:04  

I have to agree, why contribute to more waste when there is perfectly good stuff out there? I also have to agree on the upholstered things---couches and mattresses should be bought new. Basically anything that you can't clean with a good swipe of lysol should be avoided). When we moved, all leftover stuff was donated to goodwill--just call them and they will come pick it up.

Preethi Prabhu 21 October 2010 at 11:13  

Bangalore Craigslist is not as popular as in the west but its catching up. I loved this post.
Sudha, could you please write me a version of this article for gobangalore.

Sudha 21 October 2010 at 17:04  

hey Preethi
sure I will send it in

arjun 25 October 2010 at 00:57  

nice one

Sudha 25 October 2010 at 01:22  

thanks hve a great blog

Iniyaal 27 October 2010 at 06:14  

I had used Craigslist a few yers back, but the freecycle website is new to me. It is heartening to see websites that focus on re-use. Would be helpful if you have information of similar websites based in India.

Sudha 27 October 2010 at 16:25  

hey S
both the sites work in india...just that they are yet to become popular...will put together an article about such exchange sites in india very soon..:)

Anonymous 18 November 2010 at 01:28  

Sudha, so true.

I also hope that at some point, the need to buy new goods will go down and manufacturers will reduce manufacturing all kinds of stuff - a lot of which never make it to people's homes and perhaps go straight into a landfill from the stores. This thought horrifies me a lot. When I think of the amount of goods being manufactured and not being bought at all. Though this may work against a capitalist economy in some time, the correct balance has to be found, else we are in danger of living on landfill mountains in the not too far future.

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My weblog is my journey towards a greener living...I am not into any fad or being green for the sake of it. I feel very strongly about what I write.

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