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FREEGLE IT! – it's easy! Save money, save the planet!

<< You may already enjoy reusing and repurposing items. But have you discovered Freegle yet?? Climate Action Newcastle member Olwyn Hocking spills the beans on why she – and thousands of other local people – are such FREEGLE FANS! >>

“Freegle is like online dating for stuff. We pair people who have stuff they don't need with people who need stuff they don't have.”

This teak dining table was my lucky find on Freegle - I gave away a much-loved oak table before downsizing, and karma meant this beautiful table was offered the week I moved. It's a great feeling!

What have these got in common?

  • New iPhone 5 screen protectors (pack of two)

  • Brown ankle boots

  • Assortment: canvasses, pictures, décor, books, dresser/desk

  • Bird book

  • Bundle of kitchen items

  • White heavy solid door

  • Kids toys

  • Long ladders

ANSWER: they’re all on offer on the Newcastle section of the Freegle website on the day I'm writing this blog. A quick email is all it takes to express interest; if you’re the lucky one, you arrange to collect. Bingo!

But I get just as much of a buzz from giving things away. It’s been a gamechanger in persuading me to LET THINGS GO! Decluttering really took off for me once I found Freegle. Its bonus points include:

  • Lose the guilt of giving away unwanted presents

  • Weakens the sentimental reasons why we hang on to too many things

  • Gives the bonus of meeting likeminded people

  • Supports people in need

  • Quick and simple – post an “Offer”, then do nothing more than arrange a time for the lucky person you select to collect (EXAMPLE BELOW: our settee being whisked away in hours, when we were downsizing)

  • Promotes the “sharing economy” mindset – if we all know there will always be people offering used envelopes, folders and ringfiles, or moving house and offering their cardboard boxes, fewer of us need to go to seek them out, we just all keep swapping them via Freegle

  • The biggest surprise was managing to freegle a greetings card based on a sad painting of Ophelia suffering her fate - I never found an appropriate occasion to use it. I posted it - and someone who’d seen and loved the original asked for it, to put in a frame

  • Keeps even broken items from landfill – it’s surprising how many people will bid for them, to take out parts or because they have the skills to repair or repurpose them.

Newcastle's Freegle group has 20,000 members. They save many tons of items from landfill every year. The national membership is 2.7 million people.

The heroes who achieve this magical mix are the volunteer moderators. About 450 of them across the UK keep an eye on the offers and bids to make sure rules are being observed (such as not offering dangerous items).

If you’re scratching your head and wondering: isn’t that what Freecycle is? then the background is that our UK Freegle broke away from the US Freecycle organisation more than a decade ago.

Convinced? Here’s a link to logos and posters and the Facebook page to help spread the word to even more lucky people! And below are a few of the scores of items I've freegled! - plus some stories from other Freeglers.


A local Ukrainian family we are supporting asked if they could have a garden table and chairs; being city dwellers they are really enjoying living out in the country. I put a 'wanted' on local freegle and was given a wonderful set of garden furniture for them. Thank you to wonderful freegle.

I was looking for space in my cupboards for a new saucepan and realized I was becoming a bit of a hoarder, that's when I discovered Freegle. What a godsend.

I had several unwanted cans of paint and someone suggested a local recycling group. Having posted the paint on Freegle, I was amazed to receive 12 replies from similarly-minded 'waste-haters'. Since then I have been able to pass on several other unwanted items. These are things which someone else can use but are unsuitable for a charity shop. I shall continue to recycle on a regular basis.

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