ISSUE NO: 01
STREETGROWERS GETS CREATIVE WITH THEIR FREEGLE BOUNTY
Streetgrowers go for Freegle Gold... Many years ago we were enthusiastic followers of Freecycle and had picked up the odd bargain and once or twice cleared some clutter by passing on our unwanted items to people who would make better use of them. But in recent months having started our own produce business which involves a lot of growing and making we rediscovered our love of sharing when we found ilovefreegle.org Our first 3 months have been very busy.
HOW TO FIND YOUR BOUNTY The beauty of Freegle is in two key aspects, one is that groups are separated into different geographical locations so you can choose how near to home you search for things and secondly you can set it to send you emails when a Freegle buddy posts a new message with an offer or request for items in one of your groups. This has made the whole process genius in our opinion. You can even switch the emails off when you are away...or of course if you are on holiday in the UK sign up to the area you are visiting and bring back a country bargain.
CHOOSE WISELY Firstly choose the best boards for each placement, a damaged board might be no good for the top which will be holding the unit up but be fine elsewhere.
From flooring to Storing This immensely handy but incredibly simple storage unit is made using 12 off-cut floor boards we picked up from a Freegle buddy in Lewisham. We collected about 40 lengths and headed them back to base with ideas of using them for raised bed sides in the growing areas. This is still the plan for the remaining ones. However having spent too much time every day looking for a specific
JOIN WELL Using halving joints we cut each board in the same way then slot them all together to form the inner boxes. One slight split needed a little reinforcing underneath.
piece of kit or gismo to get a job done we decided to make this useful tidy for the garage wall which is a double bonus as space is of a premium as it usually is in any well used garage or shed so making max use of a wall space was a really good idea. We could have sanded them, or painted them too but we prefer the lived in character. Check out the method below...
BEST BITS ON THE EDGES Using the best boards with least old nail holes and chips we nailed the outside edges firmly all the way round making sure to hold the unit square.
Go on...Freegle, it’s good for you and the environment
REQUIRED KIT A half decent pair of gardening gloves is a must as you don’t know how dirty or how rugged the items are going to be, mind you yours don’t have to be pink..!
It is pretty obvious that the first thing you think of when you hear about Freegle is the saving it can make to your purse. Why go out and buy bricks at £1.26 each when you can collect them locally for nothing, all it requires is a little patience and I guarantee your experience will be a vast improvement on the customer services displayed in many a local DIY superstore. But dig a little deeper if you will and you will see that by becoming a Freegle buddy you will in fact be doing your bit for the planet. In the past 3 months we have saved something like a ton of waste from going to landfill sites. Sure some of the wood may well have been recycled by a responsible council trying to hit its targets to avoid refuse fines but most would have just been ploughed into the sub strata and never but never have decomposed. Take the large shovel and dig even deeper into Freegle practice and of course you can see that not only have the items not found their way to the tip but you will not have added to the demand for unsustainable products in the way that you would have if you bought new from the shops.
A vehicle to collect items in is really wise, it doesn’t have to be a huge van though and some brave Freegle buddies have collected from us and headed to the bus stop.
Not all the benefits are monetary, or yours by any means. There is the added bonus for the Freegle giver that they will not either have to expend fuel driving the items to their local tip or pay their council to come and remove something that can be perfectly serviceable to someone else. One of the most enjoyable parts about Freegle in our experience is the lovely kind funny interesting people we have met when giving and collecting things. People who are genuinely interested in what
you will use the freebie for and then pretty soon telling you they have had a look at your website (ours is flagged in our email signature) and they love the ethos of our business and the look of our produce and are heading back indoors to put in an order. Every time this leaves us thinking if only they had ordered first we would have delivered for free. Which has given us the good idea for our first Free-Growers offer on the back page of this micromag....>
WHICH GROUPS : DIFF PLACES DIFF CASES
For us Lewisham takes top spot, not only does it have a higher number of messages on a regular basis than the other groups we are members of but it offers great items too.
Bexley comes in a close 2nd with a good number of offers and generally the items are almost new and we’ve met some really lovely local Where we have found residents too. what we are looking for
We are always amazed at the quality of things being offered
Breadmaker 2 Strimmers Garden Candles Door Mat Clay Flower Pots Wire Trays Mixed Plants 40 old floorboards 2 Pallets 2 Bags Horse Manure 2 Demi Johns
SOME OF THE THINGS WE COLLECT HAVE NEVER BEEN USED...
It is amazing how generous people are when you pop 9 Paving Slabs round to collect an item. So many places we have arrived at and the Freegle buddies offer us extra 40 House Bricks items, often things they have never even used. Maybe they were unwanted gifts, of like so many 34 Glass Bricks things these days bought in haste and cluttered the shed collecting dust. We arrived at one lovely guys Car load of fire wood place to collect some wire trays which we plan to use in the greenhouse and he gave us almost the entire contents of his shed including our lovely garden table candles which had never been lit, a brand new door mat and 2 Condition of items strimmers with a bag of new line to fix we collect them. Sure some of the items are dirty old and well used, but once cleaned up they will Ready to use % be perfect for the project we have in mind, others are as good as new or unused but all Need cleaning up % of them are gladly given away. One very happy lady saw us leave her with a clear Require fixing % lawn after taking all the branches of the Good for projects trees she had cut down which has filled our % winter wood store and is seasoning nicely Extras asked to take right now. Our favourite bounty to date are % 2 beautiful demi johns, as yet they are waiting for planting as bottle gardens, unless we score a wine making kit some day soon!
NUMBERS Total number of individual items collected so far
173 Number of Freegle groups we are members of
4 Approximate cost in ÂŁ of total bounty to date if bought in shops
Streetgrowers : your Freegle Buddy might be a good starting point for the novice and we would love to hear from others who have good advice to offer too.
by Sue Beauchamp and Helen Abbott
Our top 6 tips are built around our belief that Freegle is a great community of sharing and works best when we are all in it together.
Top Tips... 1.
Join all your local groups not just one
Set up email alerts
Offer as well as take
Make best use of your local groups, ••• Only take things you not just the Borough or area you live FREE FREEGLE PICK UP WITH in but peer over the borders too, will use now, not to YOUR STREETGROWERS store away for later your desired bounty might be just ORDER... another mile up the road. Tell the Freegle buddy It has not gone unnoticed how many what you will use it for Freegle buddies are without their Be sure to offer items as well as take in your reply message own transport and this makes things from the pool of goods. We have had difficult for them if they want to a really good time giving away extra Try to link collections if collect things, so here’s our once in a plants and unused clutter from the picking up more than one lifetime offer. From now until garage and loft. thing so you do a collection Christmas 2012 as our gift to you, if round Aim to only take things if you plan you buy any one of our products from our online deli and live within 5 on using them very soon for a project or for their intended purpose. if miles of DA16 we will gladly collect you gather goodies you will only any Freegle item that will fit in our COMING IN ISSUE 02 car free of charge and deliver it with end up Freegle-ing them in a Detailed plans for rec • years time covered in dust. your purchase. Now we can’t do ycling boards into a range of better than that can we? funky planters for the gard Remember it’s a community en, balcony or window-box. your working with so give a bit FREEGLE BUDDY ADVICE of detail about why you would We have learned a lot about the best • Our cold frame building like the item when you reply to way to use Freegle to our benefit project from Freegle glass blo offers, and try to add a pic to over the past year and this has cks and our old bathroom wi ndow. certainly been easier for us since we things you are giving,. took on running our own business • Could you kit out a wh Finally why make two trips ole house full time and our hours and daily in a week on Freegle? when one will do. You’re schedule are flexible. But one of the best things about the Freegle groups probably on Freegle because you care about the is the community feel and sharing a environment so care about the brief chat about plans and projects carbon used in transport and save when meeting Freegle buddies. So there too. we thought sharing our top tips
4. 5. 6.
FACEBOOK www.facebook.com/streetgrowers Like our facebook page if you want to see our updates on your news feed. We often have competitions, events and offers on our produce so be sure not to miss out.
TWITTER @streetgrowers Keep up to date with all our news and events STREETBLOG www.streetgrowers.blogspot.co.uk A chance for you to comment on our posts and share your views
FREEGROWERS ISSUE No: 01
Free-growers is the quarterly micromag from Streetgrowers detailing the news and info about our Freegle activity. It also contains your ideas for recycling so do get in touch firstname.lastname@example.org