I have recently been looking at furniture, as my girlfreind and I are moving into an unfurnished flat after xmas, and have discovered FreeCycle, a yahoo group set up to help people offload stuff they don't want to people that want it for free.

It's got me thinking about how much stuff we throw away for no real reason other then we want something newer, pretteir, shiner or cooler. The sheer volume of stuff being moved on this site, just for my area of london, is incredible and if this is only what is being sensibley recycyled, how much perfectly good goods are just thrown away and end up in landfill?

Instead of taking people's unwanted stuff that is perfectly usable, we buy cheap "primark" type goods creating more waste as we inevitely throw these disposable goods away a few months later.

People are tightneing their budgets, consumer spending is less and stores are going bust. In this climate initiaitves like FreeCycle show their true worth. I can't afford to go buying furniture, but I should be able to furnish my new place, for the cost of a days van hire. This is much better for the environment - the energy and materials used to make this furniture are being used more efficeintlky then they would have had they been thrown away and by not pruchasing new furniture more resources and energy are not being used (aside for the van petrol). The energy involved in disposal of the furniture is also saved.

So by recyling and buying second hand saves money, is better for the enevironment and helps conserve resources. Bit of a no brainer, instead of buying something new, see if you can get something seconhamd for free!