Natural Living Des Moines

How we’re doing: Waste and Plastic by sarahtar
February 1, 2008, 9:07 am
Filed under: Lifestyle, Waste

January was a banner month for producing waste, but all for a good cause – sorting, cleaning, purging. A lot went to Goodwill, but a lot was tossed, too. And I’m OK with that. We had several things for Freecycle, but Freecycle is annoying me lately, it seems like half the people flake out, and the email list is clogged with “wanted” and “needed” posts, which seems really greedy and against the spirit of the thing.

We made inroads in reducing plastics, mainly by not bringing any new plastics into our house. A few toys, but otherwise, that’s it!


6 Comments so far
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Sarah, I really enjoy your blog! I wanted to ask if you would tell me a little more about your experiences with freecycle? I’d love to use them, but I’m very leery of it for some reason. I don’t want to waste a lot of time waiting around for someone who never shows up. Just curious if that’s been your experience? Thanks! ~ Janet at

Comment by Janet

Re: the last comment–I had used Freecycle with great success in the past. But when I tried to post something on it this morning, I read that whoever “owns” the group had left the group, or whatever, and started a new recycling/sharing group. Any ideas what that might be? Website, etc.? Thanks!

Comment by Stephanie

Hm, apparently there has been somewhat of a shakeup.

Des Moines Metro Freecycle can be found at

The old Freecycle group apparently turned into Des Moines IA Metro Reuse It.

There is a message here: about the differences. Though they claim to be vastly different, frankly, they seem to be the same thing but with different names.

MY EXPERIENCE with Freecycle in the past: I’d set up a time for someone to come pick something up, and they’d flake out or be really late. A few people were critical of the items they got. I’ve ended up throwing away numerous items that never got picked up. One time, I reposted an item I had previously said was taken, saying that the person who was supposed to get it had flaked out on me (which they HAD – they just did not show up), and then the flaker sent me harassing email for about a week.

At the same time, we’ve had a few WONDERFUL experiences, one in particular, a needy family came to get a desk we had for their 10 year old daughter, and she was soooo excited. They were thrilled, as well.

Comment by sarahtar

Thanks for the update! I too had a few no-shows with Freecycle, but it worked well enough that I’d try it again.

Comment by Stephanie

Appreciate the follow-up, thanks! I came close to using the service once to get rid of a bunk bed, but then we happened to mention it to a waitress at a restaurant we frequent and she needed it for her little boy. We were happy to get it to someone who really needed it, but then I didn’t up using Freecycle after all so I was just curious. Thanks!! Janet

Comment by Janet

I don’t think it’s a bad idea in general, but we’ve had much better luck either asking around our social circles or just putting things out on the curb. And, frankly, I have no issues taking things to Goodwill, either.

Comment by sarahtar

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