thinking

Where Can I Find Things to Repurpose?

Did you know that there is a community of people out there who are giving away free stuff?

This month is all about Reusing, Recycling and Repurposing and we’re loving the examples you’ve already sent us on #MyNIReuse.

But one thing we keep hearing is: ‘I don’t have anything that can be reused’.

Well as our previous article suggested, “One man’s trash is another man’s treasure“. The question now is, how do you get your hands on that treasure? A wise person once said, if you don’t ask, you don’t get. So let’s find out some of the places you can go right now to ask for things that you can reuse or repurpose.

Facebook / Instagram / Twitter – whatever social networks you use.

social icons bannerWe often forget that social networks aren’t just a place to post baby pictures and have a moan about something you care about. They can be a gold mine of information. By tapping into your network of friends you already know a bunch of people who might have what you need and be quite happy to give it to you for free. Or they might share your request and a friend of a friend might be the one to help you out. Either way, one good turn deserves another, so remember to pay it forward.

Freecycle

“The Freecycle Network® is made up of 5,000+ groups with over 9 million members across the globe. It’s a grassroots and entirely nonprofit movement of people who are giving (and getting) stuff for free in their own towns and keeping good stuff out of landfills.”

There’s a good chance there’s a freecycle group near you. I have used it a few times myself over the years. I once got a perfectly good futon that just needed a new home. All I had to do was collect it. I have also used freecycle to get rid of a load of paving stones. Yes, these were probably worth money, but sometimes giving something away for free is a reward in itself. Or in the case of the paving stones, the easiest option!

If you have a project in mind and need a specific item, check out Freecycle and see if anyone there can help.

Nextdoor

“The private social network for your neighbourhood.”

So Nextdoor isn’t quite the same as Freecycle. Having originated later, it operates much more like a social network. You are as likely to learn about local events as you are to hear about requests or offers. My local one covers a range of topics, from the local fast food joints to road works and all sorts in between. It can also be an ice breaker if you are new to an area.

Remember that kitchen sink I had lying around in my garage? Well, I responded to someone on Nextdoor who wanted one and is now about to make it into a mud kitchen for her kids. That’s one more piece of “junk” that is someone else’s treasure.

Gumtree

Gumtree is the number one classifieds site in the UK and you’re probably familiar with it. But it’s not just for selling your stuff, you can also use it to give things away for free and make requests. If you’ve not used Gumtree before, you’ll need to create a free account before you can post your ‘ad’. Don’t reveal any personal details about yourself in your public listing. If someone wants to respond to you they can do so by email or text. Once you have what you need, remember to take down your ad.

Noticeboards

You might not notice them, but you’ll find noticeboards all over the place. They could be in your local shop, a community centre or at your work. These aren’t only good for buying and selling but can be used to offer free goods and services. They can also be a great place to learn about local community groups that specialise in facilitating repairs such as the Repair Café.

Do you know of any others?

There’s a few ideas of where to get started. Let us know in the comments below if you know of other places where you can find free stuff that you can repurpose.