Recognising the Value of Free

There’s a real problem with free in that it has zero cost (obviously) so people seem to think that means it also has zero value.

I hate to see any waste and my heart sinks with everything that gets put into the bin and not recycled. My kids are fed up with me saying that I am just saving the planet’s precious resources for their children. Despite, or perhaps because of, my views on recycling they have switched off but I am not sure what excuses the members of Freegle have.

Freegle, Freecycle and sites like them exist to allow people to reuse and repurpose items that they no longer want or need and allow others to taken them from you – for free. I’m all for it and regularly offer items.

Just recently we had a big clear out of things from my younger sons room now that he is away at Uni and it looks like he won’t be moving back in with us. All these items went onto our local Freegle. It is not untypical to get a response within minutes of the item being posted, quote often with some elaborate story attached as to why they are worth of the item. This emotional pleading doesn’t work on me as I just want the item out of my house but away from landfill.

After a while I’ll settle upon someone to receive the item. Sometimes this is the first person to respond, sometimes not. One of three things happens now:

1. they respond, fix a time, turn up and take the item πŸ˜€
2. they don’t respond πŸ™
3. they respond, fix a time and don’t ever turn up 😑

A variant on 2 is where I subsequently get an email after I have written to find out what happened and am told that “something else came up and they couldn’t make it at the allotted time”. I would say that two thirds of all posts fall into the don’t turn up or don’t respond categories. TWO THIRDS!

Which raises a question. Why are people so fucking rude? And I suspect that the answer is that they just don’t see any value in an item that has no monetary value attached to it. Perhaps what they also don’t stop to consider is that I might have a bookcase sat in my hall waiting for them or that I made arrangements to be in that evening when they said they were going to come.

So I am re-evaluating my use of Freegle and prioritising charity shops and friends on Facebook as more reliable methods of reusing items and, quite frankly, the people aren’t so fucking rude.