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If you are like me, you have probably said this statement a few times in your lifetime.  Perhaps while looking around a garage or yard sale or at one of those “antique” stores along the side of the road.  We are voracious consumers, buying, accumulating, buying, throwing out, and buying some more because we just threw some stuff out and we have space for more stuff.

The next time you look at something you may think is trash, stop, pause, and ask yourself if someone else could use this.  It may be an old couch that has seen a better day, or a sweater that went out of style a few years back, or a lawnmower that can use some fixing up.  I am asking for a favor as in this economy, there are those who cannot afford furniture, need to stay warm, and those who like to fix things.  In addition, there are some really cool items that you may want that someone may not.  What I am talking about is Freecycle.

Freecycle is a collection of groups across the country and around the world where people post items that they no longer want or need, and people post things that they need.  All you need to do is pick up the item.  I wish I could say it is more complicated than this, but it isn’t.  Post, reply and pick up.

So why is this a hot topic in the recycling world?  This concept goes far beyond conventional recycling – this is zero waste – this is no dumping in landfills – this is giving anything and everything a second life – this is sharing – this is helping – this is how it should be done.

This simple concept keeps more than 500 tons of materials out of landfills each day, every day.  To put it another way, every year, this social network keeps 365,000,000 pounds out of our landfills.

It is not a new concept, but one that is often lost in consumerism – sharing.

Who knows, you may help some people out and you may find something you have always been looking for.  Trash, treasure, it all depends on who you ask.