Is it possible that us allotmenteers and home growers are part Womble? Do you feel a sense of achievement and pride when you re-use or re-purpose something, particularly when the thing in question was freely given with a smile?
For as long as I have had an allotment, I’ve been a member of Freecycle. I’ve received many very useful items from many very lovely people in the local area. The red metal shelves from a couple in Clapham; the shelves still hold all of the Very Important Items in the tool shed. The propane greenhouse heater from the elderly lady, downsizing in Whitton and most recently two thirds of a bulk bag of compost from a twenty-something who only wanted enough to fill a raised bed and a third of a bag of sharp sand left behind by builders in Ham. Thank you to all of them for their generosity and thoughtfulness. Their gifts have become part of my allotment story.
I do my bit to give back too. Although I’m an avid scanner of the offers column, I’m still surprised that other people want my junk! Today Lincoln happily collected the tile cutter, telling me about his planned DIY project for the bank holiday weekend. Jane collected the garden chairs and promised to send photos of them upcycled for the volunteer garden project. Phil collected the Dyson upright, one just likes his parents apparently. He left knowing that it had belonged to my father in law. Finally Francine who had been desperately seeking another IKEA Termosfar light to complete her design; she had thought she would need to order from the States so imagine her delight when she discovered the item was just a 10 minute car drive away. There is a part of me that likes the idea that in some way, me and my junk have become part of those people’s stories. Strangers who have become a little bit more connected.
An added bonus is that the place of nightmares , aka the cupboard under the stairs is tidy with useful items such as jam jars neatly stacked in boxes.
Are you a Freecycler (or a member of some other similar board)? It’s easy to join, go on – just click here.
I Freegle spare seedlings. Always surprised by the feeding frenzy that triggers. There’s usually enough to divvy up. Good source of pallets too. It’s a good way of passing on stuff for which you no longer have a use. Frequent freegler. I aim to get shot of more than I acquire…
I’ve always been a bit of a minimalist so don’t hoard anything, and generally use what I have until it’s well past even giving away.
I’m all for reducing, reusing and recycling and believe that many allotmenteers are masters of the art so to speak. xx
I’m always aiming for minimalist but the wombling instinct is strong. 🙄
It’s something that I wish I was better at but I’m not. Partly, it’s because I don’t have a car and so it’s tricky to pick things up. I did really well when I first got the plot because some friends were clearing out their parents and grandparents houses, so lots of useful gardening equipment came my way! I’d like to be a minimalist but my ‘cupboard of doom’ says otherwise!
I know a car makes receiving so much easier. Although there was one time when a guy arrived on a bicycle to take away a fridge/freezer 😳 it was lashed to the frame – bike became barrow but I wouldn’t recommend it!
Oh I’m definitely with you on this one. My entire allotment is packed with stuff I’ve collected from skips and along the road – mostly carried home and rarely driven.
And this week I’ve freegled my shed, my neighbour’s shed, and this evening a tractor tyre.
All successfully liberated for a new life instead of going on to a bonfire or in a bin.
I do love a bit of skip diving. I have a very nice table top for a potting table, rescued as it were
I use Freegle – e.g. recently gave away a strip of shower screen trim. I’d had to buy a metre and only needed a little, so great that it was useful for another person. It’s great that things can be saved from landfill in this way 😊.
You’re the 3rd person to say they use Freegle. Same principle; as you say keeping things out of landfill
I have used Freecycle as well but found Freegle more user-friendly from a technical point of view, I think.