On the weekend, I read an article about Freecycle. And I thought it sounded like an interesting idea, so I dug a little deeper. In case you hadn’t heard of it either, consider this your cheat sheet guide to this very cool global phenomenon…
According to their website, The Freecycle Network is made up of 5,119 groups with over 6.6 million members around the world. It’s a nonprofit organisation (the site groups are administered by volunteers), designed to help people reuse stuff that they don’t need by giving it to others and keeping it out of landfill. Kind of like swapping stuff with the neighbours in your village. If you actually still spoke to the neighbours in your village.
Their motto is ‘changing the world one gift at a time’, which sounds pretty great to me. And when you check out the groups in your local area, you can see the huge range of stuff that people are either giving or wanting – from shredded paper for Christmas hampers to specific books to chickens to horse poo. And a lot of people want old bathtubs for their gardens, it seems.
But like any community, there are some scammers around. One of the groups that I looked at warned about a FREE PUPPY SCAM!!! and another cautioned members to beware of people charging extortionate delivery charges for their bomby old televisions. So be careful – it’s a jungle out there. And if you need a machete to get through, I think I know of a Freecycler that can hook you up…
Anyways, I highly recommend that you have a look at the Freecycle site and check out groups in your local area. Just be sure to balance out your giving and your taking, lest you end up with a backyard full of old bathtubs and a bedroom full of shredded paper. And a starring role on that show Hoarders.
Sometimes, it’s nice to get away from it all. Especially as we come into the silly season, when we can be hit with invitations and wish lists and Mariah Carey and sunburn (or frostbite, depending on your hemisphere) and mixed nuts and cards and shopping and people. All of the people. It can be tough to find a place just for yourself – where you can chillax and regroup, before rejoining the madness. Well, have I got a treat for you, my friends!
I present the clever gals from Striped Coast in Lithuania – their range is designed to ‘keep your home and soul warm’. And, although I’m actually more interested in keeping my home cool at this time of year, I do like the idea behind their work. But not as much as I like the work itself. Which is this: TABLECLOTH HOUSES. Uh huh. Such a clever idea – chuck an oversized tablecloth over your table and create a peaceful oasis underneath. And they make such pretty houses too.
See what I mean? No alarm code to remember, no garbage bin to put out, no windows to clean – this could be the perfect house to escape from the business of busy-ness. The only real downside I can see is if people start using the roof your tablecloth house for their dinner – then you might need to watch for stray kicks, pieces of broccoli or stinky feet intruding on your oasis…
If you’d like to check out more tablecloth house goodness (or some cute homewares) from Striped Coast, they are here.
Sometimes, it’s easy to forget how lucky we are. In the midst of running around and paying bills and cooking dinners and catching buses and shopping and walking and sleeping, you can lose sight of those little everyday sparks that make you smile. So, in case you’re having trouble finding yours, please share mine from yesterday – a beautiful necklace made for me by my five year old niece, Lauren. Yes, that’s a silver Barbie logo and little silver handbag (Carrie Bradshaw, eat your heart out) and there’s a pearl and a shell and too many other good things to mention. And it fits over my head and sits beautifully, like a designer necklace should. Tiffany & Co, look out.