Sunday, January 4, 2009

Missing The Point ***Updated

Sometimes humans miss the point of something.

This holiday season was another example of an entire group of folks missing a very large point. I just need to vent a tiny bit to process this, okay?

I participate in Freecycle, though I'm thinking that I'll soon withdraw my membership since it seems to have gone from something really cool and helpful to a way for people to be lazy about taking out their own garbage.

Over the holidays, I don't know how many "wanted" posts I saw for things like Wii systems, new games, and other things people wouldn't be tossing in the garbage. This confused me and irritated me. It confused me because Freecycle is helping people recycle things in the community while keeping usable items out of landfills. The Wii system seemed a little too new for anyone to be throwing it in the garbage. It irritated me because it seemed greedy to use a forum meant for one purpose for another purpose. The intended purpose is to be a responsible caretaker of this planet, not to save a person from having to shell out money for a gift.

The latest thing that broke this very pregnant camel's back was the offering of an expired carseat. The person offering it readily admitted it was expired, and then suggested using it at the grocery store or on public transportation. Hello. Illegal postings anyone?

I think my Freecycle days are seriously numbered. I'm tired of picking up dishes that need washing, baby items that need washing (after I pick out all the animal hairs), misadvertised items that really should be thrown away, getting boxes of miscellaneous junk thrown in with the one item I did agree to pick up, and having people respond to my offers of items but never picking them up. (Obviously, I'd wash any item I received, but these items have involved serious scrubbing and soaking. We're talking people donated them in a truly used and NEVER washed after usage condition. Eww.)

What started out as a good idea has quickly turned into a place for people to be lazy, greedy, break the law, and be generally unintelligent. Or maybe I'm just grumpy and passionate about complying with little things like doing what is right. Actually, a compelling argument that both sentences are true could easily be made right now.

I'm off to go watch more snow fall, and contemplate what it must be like to be a meteorologist who is rarely correct. I sure hope they don't gamble for a hobby.

***UPDATE
I have just requested the moderators remove me from the Freecycle community in my town. The response I just received from my letter to the moderator about the carseat was poorly thought out and clearly written from someone who is inexperienced with babies, car seat laws, and ICBC. At the same time that response came through, someone posted a "wanted" ad through Freecycle for a sectional couch and recliner. I'm done.

I'll continue to live responsibly by donating usable items to our thrift stores in town, recycling other things that are not usable, repurposing still more items, and composting what I can. But I'm done with Freecycle....if they comply and take me off the list. It will be a relief. I was getting dozens of emails a day from them, which ironically all went in the garbage. At least it was virtual garbage.

2 comments:

Kimberly said...

I tried out freecycle for the same reason but have found it to be very similar here. Very unsettling.

Scribbit said...

I'm with you, I offered a bunch of bikes and some furniture and was glad someone else could use them but other than that I've steered clear of it.