Thursday, August 16, 2007

Treasure and trash, trash and treasure...

I am often times amazed at the neglected furniture thrown to the curb in our hippie-dippie neighborhood. Most of the abandoned hardwood gold is tucked into an alley corner, left unseen a week or so too long (before my finding!) and now irreparably warped. So sad...all it really needed was a sand, a stain and a wax.

So I dream of the day when I can build my own wood shop. I was fascinated with them as kid, raiding my dad's supply of scrap wood so I could modify my bike ramps and tree forts.

I specifically remember when he bought his Shopsmith table saw. At the ripe age of eight, that machine seemed so huge, screaming and ripping through lumber as it searched for errant fingers and shirt sleeves. It was an eight year-old's frenetic dream machine.

Maybe one day I can hammer-and-nail in a manroom of my own, surrounded by my neighbors' furniture, glowing brightly underneath my 120" plasma television (so long as we're dreaming, I'm going for broke).

When that day comes (come oooooon Powerball!) I'll have an outlet to find some good neglected booty. Old booty for free. Free internet booty. Booty.

Sorry, I got sidetracked.

The site is called Freecycle (Freebay?) and with over 4000 chapters across the US, they more than likely have a chapter in your neck of the woods. Freecycle is a non-profit movement aimed at matching people up with other people's stuff, and matching people's stuff up with other people. The only condition as that the stuff be given for free!

From the website:

The Freecycle Network™ is made up of many individual groups across the globe. It's a grassroots and entirely nonprofit movement of people who are giving (& getting) stuff for free in their own towns. Each local group is moderated by a local volunteer (them's good people). Membership is free...

The Freecycle Network was started in May 2003 to promote waste reduction in Tucson's downtown and help save desert landscape from being taken over by landfills. The Network provides individuals and non-profits an electronic forum to "recycle" unwanted items. One person's trash can truly be another's treasure!

When you want to find a new home for something -- whether it's a chair, a fax machine, piano, or an old door -- you simply send an e-mail offering it to members of the local Freecycle group.

Or, maybe you're looking to acquire something yourself. Simply respond to a member's offer, and you just might get it. After that, it's up to the giver to decide who receives the gift and to set up a pickup time for passing on the treasure.

Our main rule: Everything posted must be free, legal, and appropriate for all ages.