This Week's Herman Trend Alert

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  The Herman Trend Alert

April 22, 2009

Free for All---Recycling Unwanted Machines

Just in time to save cash-strapped consumers comes a movement to encourage "giving away usable unwanted items to others instead of depositing them in landfills". (Wikipedia) Called "freecycling" or "free recycling", this concept offers a socially conscious, environmentally responsible way to eliminate overhead.

Many of us have seen perfectly good furniture and other items set out at the curb for the garbage men to take. Some of us "went shopping" at the curbs, when we were in college.

Registered in the United States, The Freecycle Network (TFN), sometimes known as Freecycle, is a non-profit organization. TFN has organized a worldwide network of "gifting" groups: With a worldwide online registry, including groups in Brazil, Columbia, Singapore, and Slovakia, the organization coordinates the creation of local groups and forums for individuals and non-profits which offer and receive free items for reuse or recycling. Promoting gift economics as a motivating cultural outlook, the official tagline of TFN is: "Changing the world one gift at a time".

As of February 2006, TFN passed the 2 million member mark; it has a global organization of over four thousand local chapters. As of this writing, the membership was an impressive 6,626,000 in 4,726 communities across the globe. Hundreds of similar groups worldwide have replicated TFN's original idea. TFN now has a number of corporate sponsors, including its first, Waste Management, Inc. For information about a community near you, visit http://www.freecycle.com.

A wide variety of products are freecycled, from computers to copy machines, from televisions to toasters, from food to fuel to cars to paper goods. Whatever you have that you want to dispose of, there is someone who can make good use of it.

Another, similar group is www.takemeimFREE.com. Started by an executive who wanted to eliminate excess warehouse space and did not want the items to end up in a landfill, this group believes that reusing items is "good for the economy, the environment, and all of us".

Not only does freecycling make sense, but we believe this movement will gain momentum and grow rapidly, fueled by the needs of individuals and businesses to do more with less.


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