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 FullCircles.org (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!
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!
This year, UsedOttawa.com 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. Used.ca, the parent company of UsedOttawa.com, 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.
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 UsedOttawa.com Facebook page here or the Used.ca 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 🙂
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 Trashnothing.com 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 Trashnothing.com 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