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A Really Really Free Market: it really is free!

**UPDATE: The Really Really Free Market has been delayed due to rain! The new date is June 15.**

You may have heard of it! Freecycling has been around for quite some time. Basically, local groups share, through email or Facebook, items they do not want or need with other people who do want or need them. Zero money is exchanged. It is a great way to give away things that have been sitting in a cupboard for forever, or that are broken for someone else to fix or re-purpose, to give to someone in need, but to also receive said items for a myriad of reasons.

I started freecycling when my friend told me how her sister had moved to Calgary with nothing and had furnished her entire apartment for free using a freecycling group. That had me very interested, because I had just moved to a new apartment with my soon to be spouse, and we needed some things but had too many of others. I joined our local group, FullCircles Ottawa, and that is how I was introduced to the fantastic world of freecycling!

FullCircles was introduced by Eric Snyder, who started the first Ottawa area freecycling group in 2004 and founded (Canada) in 2007. Based on the old adage that “one person’s trash is another person’s treasure,” FullCircles’ goal is to optimize the use of  “stuff” in our society and to reduce the flow of trash into our landfills. They do this by connecting people with unwanted “stuff” to frugal people enthusiastically embracing the use of previously owned, second-hand free “stuff.” I myself became a member of Team FullCircles after writing a blog on my personal website about the amazing things I had received from people through the Yahoo! group. Basically I do social media stuff for them and put my two cents in on ideas and help at the Really Really Free Market. It’s great fun!


This table and chair set was my reason for joining FullCircles. Yes, I got it free. And when I was done with it, I gave it away to someone else, for free! That blue booster seat was also gifted to me through FullCircles.

In conjunction with FullCircles’ email/Facebook group, is the FullCircles Ottawa’s Really Really Free Market. June 15 will be the 6th Really Really Free Market (and will hereby be referred to as the RRFM). The RRFM is an amazing event. Starting at 8:30 a.m., anyone can drop off reusable items. These can be pretty much anything, as long as the item is not broken beyond use, illegal, or you need to be a certain age to buy i.e.: pornographic material, alcohol or firearms. I have seen some very interesting items but a lot of regular everyday things as well. You can take anything that may suit you. But you don’t have to. And you don’t have to contribute to the market to take an item. Everything is completely free. The market does not use a single cent to run. If you would like to read more on this from the organizer Kelly Wilson, please click here. I’m including some pictures of free markets past so you can see how much fun it is!

Winn from Team FCO at the clothing table, some monitors going to e-waste, the housewares section, and some market-goers perusing the wares

Lisa from the Tiny Budget Wedding takes in gifts of wedding items, some more people look through items on tables, Don Welbourne painted this donated guitar that was “raffled” for free, and some members of Team FCO (Cathy, Manuel, Kelly, and Brian) with mayor Jim Watson and future councillor Mathieu Fleury.


This year, has partnered with the RRFM. They are helping bring freecycling to a larger audience as they also have a Free section and were founded on environmental principles. Both of the “teams” care about education, good environmental practices, and the social good that said practices can do., the parent company of, is introducing a Twitter and Instagram program where if you see good stuff at the side of the road (curb offers) you can tag #ShouldaUsed____ (Ottawa, Vancouver, Regina, etc). Other followers can see it and if they want, they can go get it. Or it may spur others to post their stuff for free on a freecycling site or their local Used site! Landfill diversion is a pretty important topic these days and I really like seeing so many groups interested in making changes to how people get rid of the things they do not want any more.

This bike was freecycled to me, but it was too small. I freecycled it to a lady who had her bike stolen. She ended up riding it to the last RRFM. She uses it daily!


The Ottawa FullCircles Really Really Free Market will be held at Village International Mennonite Church / St. Margaret’s Anglican Church; 206 Montreal Road, Vanier, ON. Please join the Facebook group here to keep up to date with details (especially if it rains…which it won’t! Right?) or leave a comment if you have any questions. Alternately, you can follow the Facebook page here or the Facebook page here. You can follow both groups on Instagram too: @fullcirclesottawa and @usedeverywhere. Remember to tag items you see on the curb! There are already a few entries on the page. I’ll add some pictures for you to see here 🙂

There are so many uses for this stuff! #shouldausedvancouver indeed!


Nobody wants rained on furniture! List this stuff on free sites!


Are you looking for a local freecycling group? There are tons of them! Some are big, some are small, but all have the same directives. Andrew Trusty created which is a really handy way to find and join local freecycling groups, and you see all of the activity in one place. Go to and search your area. You will be surprised what you find!

I’m really excited that my two “jobs” have come together. I think the RRFM and Used have so many things in common, and I can’t wait to see everybody come down to the market. It just gets bigger and better every time. Plus, the more people that come and drop stuff off, the more stuff there will be for you to re-home and repurpose! Remember that EVERYTHING at the market is free. Don’t bring your money! Nobody wants it! Just bring your unused items and an open mind and heart.

See you there!
-Sara, Used blogger and Team FCO

3 Responses to “A Really Really Free Market: it really is free!”

Sara Danbrook

The Used Street Team of Julia and Lisa will be at the market too! There are lots of surprises planned 🙂


Susan Armstrong

We have an event in warkworth called the Donny Brooke….people donate good conditioned unwanted items that are picked up and delivered to our local arena where bidders come from miles around every June (even weddings are postponed so families don’t miss it), then about 8 local auctioneers go around and people bid on the items of their choice….leaves you smiling with fond memories and most items sell for about 2$! The profits go to fix up our little town that is becoming a destination for so many admirers and shoppers….helps out the local businesses. B&B s etc.


[…] really, really free. There is NO money involved. A good example of this kind of swap is the FullCircles Ottawa’s Really Really Free Market. You find a spot with a free space (a park, a gym, a community center) and ideally, tables. You […]


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