Getting the job done

Sunday January 15, 2006

“Well, I’ve found a new home for the old tumble drier,” I said. “Bloke’s coming for it on Tuesday evening.”

“Great. Do you think anyone on Freecycle will be interested in the petrol mower?”

“I bet they would. Why, don’t you want it any more?”

“Nah. Your electric mower is much better.”

“You mean, after all that fun you poked at me when we got it you think I was right?”

“Just going with the flow.”

He’s right of course. The electric mower is feather-light, so easy to handle it’s more like going for a gentle stroll than mowing the grass, and it does a better job than the petrol one. I didn’t crow any more, just asked for the details and posted an email to the Freecycle group.

“I’ve got a taker for the mower,” I said, about ten minutes later.


“I’ve got another taker for the mower,” I said, about an hour later.

“This could get exciting. Which one will you give it to?”

“The second one sounds the more deserving but I’ll wait for the digest to go out tomorrow and see if there are more responses before I decide.”

I’m coming to really like the Freecycle idea. It’s partly the thought of keeping usable items out of the landfill, and avoiding stupid waste, but mostly it’s the speed and ease with which they can be passed on. When I last had a spare tumble drier I spent a couple of hours cleaning it up and posting an advertisement in the local paper, all to no avail, so the darn thing ended up at the town dump anyway. With Freecycle, you simply post off an email, explaining that the outer casing will need a good clean if it’s to be used indoors, and get one or more responses within a couple of days. Or hours.

The only hard bit is choosing which of multiple respondents should get the item. The guidelines recommend selecting the ‘most deserving’, but go on to say the ‘most fun’ is just as valid. My instincts lead me to think in terms of ‘first come, first served’ but I’m leaning towards going for cases of the greatest need.

When we get to Somerset I’ll be tapping into the local Freecycle group there, partly to dispose of anything we don’t need, or have room for, but also to take advantage of anything that might help in setting up our new home. Obvously, where we can sell stuff without too much bother, we’ll do that in preference—the cash makes a most welcome addition to my steadily reducing income. For items like white goods and mowers, though, packing them up for sale and risking the recipient rejecting them as unfit for purpose is a great hassle. On Freecyle the taker simply turns up in a borrowed truck, loads the item, and that’s the last you see of it. It’s a great, community friendly, way of clearing the clutter, and ecologically sound, too.

Other than that I hadn’t the most productive, or satisfying, of days today. Graham says I should take advantage of lazy days in anticipation of the greatly interesting times that we’re shortly to experience. Me, I just want to get the job over and done with.


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