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LITERATURE

 » Full Dark, No Stars - Stephen King's new novella questions mankind's ability to trust others.
[02.21.2011 by Bridget Doyle]

MUSIC

 » The Top 30 Albums of 2010 - Fashionably, fabulously late, our favorite music (and believe me, there was a LOT) of 2010, the year that some have called the best year for music ever. And only some of those fools work here. Plenty of usual suspects, lots of ties and a few surprises that I won't spoil, including our unexpected #1.
[12.24.2010 by The LAS Staff]

MUSIC

 » Live: Surfer Blood/The Drums at Lincoln Hall, Chicago, IL - Remember when Weezer used to put together records that you could sing along to and rock out to? That's what Surfer Blood's show was like!
[11.04.2010 by Cory Tendering]

Music Reviews

Screaming Females - Castle Talk
»Screaming Females
Castle Talk
Don Giovanni
Trent Reznor & Atticus Ross - The Social Network [Original Soundtrack]
»Trent Reznor & Atticus Ross
The Social Network [Original Soundtrack]
The Null Corporation
Deerhunter - Halcyon Digest
»Deerhunter
Halcyon Digest
4AD
No Age - Everything in Between
»No Age
Everything in Between
Sub Pop
Robyn - Body Talk Pt. 1/ Body Talk Pt. 2
»Robyn
Body Talk Pt. 1/ Body Talk Pt. 2
Konichiwa
The Walkmen - Lisbon
»The Walkmen
Lisbon
Fat Possum
LOSTATSEA.NET > FEATURES >

April 14, 2010
Have you ever drank yourself into foreclosure, then wondered what you should do with that old pair of bar stools now that the bank owns your kitchen? Conversely, have you ever wanted to open up a new corner cafe and bistro with your art school friends, but couldn't find a pair of bar stools with just the right amount of secondhand chic?

When LAS first posted a news item about Freecycle in 2005 the network had expanded from Tucson, Arizona, where it was founded in 2003, to over 3000 community groups serving some 2 million Americans. Today the Freecycle program, which uses an easy email-based newsgroup that combines the social bulletin-board aspect of Craigslist with the quantity and condition of eBay and garage sales, serves more than 7 million members in some 4700 groups spread across 70 countries.

Splitting the difference between a curbside discard pile and a garage sale, the Freecycle network combines the best aspects of environmental stewardship and frugality in a manner that Grist bloggers and Grandpa Thrifty would admire. Aimed at "changing the world one gift at a time," the Freecycle Network is a godsend for those of us with too much stuff and too little time, not to mention being on a budget or saddled with a creative mind and unfinished projects. Simply joining a local network gives anyone access to a stream of unwanted and free-for-the-taking items that can range from automobiles to xylophones. Anytime a Freecycler has something unwanted but useable--the whole point of the list is to avoid junk--they simply post a note to the network and ask for someone to take it away. More often than not a minute of typing (entries basically read like a classified ad, short and concise with a headline and description) will have a Freecycler in need rolling up to the curb and taking away what would otherwise have required a trip to the dump.

For Freecycle the rapid expansion of user groups has been spurred by both the sheer attractiveness of free goods and the widespread ease of access. Last year, following an agreement with Nokia, the group launched a mobile application, mobile.freecycle.org, that they hoped would "expand the global gifting network beyond the constraints of the computer to people's mobile phones in over 85 countries around the world."

Another noticeable gain in Freecycle traction has come with the growth in ecological awareness and the simultaneous tightening of belts in tough economic times. Be it Climategate or Copenhagen, green topics are front and center, often rightly tied to economic stability. "With the double whammy of increased environmental awareness and a heightened consumer appreciation of reuse and recycling," said Freecycle founder Deron Beal in a recent press release," the recycling network had "ignited a grassroots wildfire." Beal's words can't be dismissed as mere hyperbole when considering his network's average turnaround of some 700 tons of goods per day. As he points out, "that's seven times the height of Mt. Everest in the past year alone when stacked in garbage trucks."

SEE ALSO: freecycle.org

--
The LAS Staff
A number of the Lost At Sea staff have worked and continue to work for various publications, both independent and commercial. Often very stifling in their narrow focus, conventional media outlets left our writers hungry for something bigger, more diverse, more communal. More active, because this is the twenty-first century and it makes sense. During it's short life LAS has accomplished many of its goals (but not all) and has in turn set new ones. Everything that we accomplish is through teamwork and cooperation, both with our regular staff writers and with our contributing writers. LAS is nothing short of a collective. Another contrasting point to some of the magazines out there is that we've checked our egos and scene ethics at the door. We welcome anyone and everyone to contribute and cover a wide range of topics. LAS does not follow your guide lines.

See other articles by The LAS Staff.

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