Free stuff is cool

The picture below shows most (but not all) of the cameras I’ve been given this year.  In fact add to this a Canon T70 and Pentax MZ7 from my friend Liam (whose lenses I have used on my DSLR thanks to an adaptor ring) and a Praktica MTL50 and darkroom equipment from my stepdad, and tons more.  My entire collection of cameras in fact has been donated, with the exception of my Holga and my Canon DSLR.  That means a lot to me since I don’t have a surplus of money most months, and photography has become very important to me.  It also allows me to spend the money I do have on developing – for each roll of 12 shots, of 120 film it costs £10 and for the roll of 110 I’m shooting at the moment £11, not to mention £20 for 8 photos when it comes to Polaroids.  That mounts up pretty quick.

Aside from this being a ‘Hey thanks!’ though to people who have given me stuff, I wanted to blog very briefly about Freecycle.

Freecycle is an international community which is free to sign up to, and which helps people around the globe recycle their stuff, for free.  The website states:

“Our mission is to build a worldwide gifting movement that reduces waste, saves precious resources & eases the burden on our landfills while enabling our members to benefit from the strength of a larger community.”

There are nearly nine million members world wide.  Basically you register at your local city’s group, you stick an item on for the sake of generosity, say something that’s just in the way, then you can put a wanted add up.  I wanted some old cameras to mess with.  And I got four replies, totalling 10 cameras and a carrier bag full of accessories. 

Somewhere along the journey though you realise how great it is to be part of a community who give stuff to each other for free, then you’re searching your house for things you could pass on.  Saved jam jars, unwanted board games, I’ve established part of my dining room to a stack of things waiting to be picked up, and I check my email account everyday, like a child opening the lounge door on Christmas morning, waiting for someone to send that magical message – ‘Dave, I’ve got a Leica and a Hasselblad I don’t use’

Ah well, I can dream. 

All I’m saying is, join the community if you haven’t already, give your things away and then next time something breaks , or you have the sudden desire for a purple chair in the corner of the room, instead of running to those crumbling castles of capitalism to be fleeced for something designed to last 18 months before it collapses, you can always ask for it for free.  My old Uncle Silas used to say, if you don’t ask you don’t get.


6 thoughts on “Free stuff is cool

  1. I agree freecycle is wonderful, I have found new homes for a lot of stuff surplus to my needs but far too good to go to landfill. I wish I had done as well as you in terms of cameras. I missed out on a fe due to email problems too

    • Oh, I forgot about my 365/blog crossover people – you 365 guys must have had it up to your eyes with my Freecycle eulogies?! I felt it was time to blog it though to try to share the love. Thanks for your comment Megan.

  2. I DESIRE your pola camera, the one all in white with those cool strokes. But they are soo expensive!
    This web you sent me seems to be very interesting… Have you ever been at Is a web to sell and buy, specially graphic works.
    Well, I´m gonna explore this 365 web.

    • Ha! That’s very strange actually because a Spanish woman, off freecycle which this blog is about, just met me at my local station to pick up the polaroid roll camera which I didn’t need anymore. I’m giving the other polaroid to one of my friends to have a go of. It isn’t the cameras which are expensive really its the film! I have two polaroids which strangers gave me for free. I’ll check out big cartel, I never heard of it.

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