Consumers also know that usefulness can fade, and the pleasure that came from new purchases can be fleeting. Apart from the usual solution to this problem, which is to buy more new items, it’s worth thinking that getting rid of items that are no longer needed or wanted can feel as good as getting it. Freecycle.org has made a name for themselves by doing just that. The concept has worked so well and because of word of mouth, many people want to become more “eco-friendly”, everyone cares about the environment and they want to do their part. One of the reasons they’ve been so successful, is because everybody wants to do their part to help the environment. Case Study: Giving and Receiving on Freestyle.org
Eight years ago, a self-described tree-hugger in Tucson, AZ named Deron Beal was working for a nonprofit that focused on recycling as a way to minimize what was going into local landfills. Beal set up a Yahoo Groups mailing list, hoping to create a giveaway marketplace where people could list usable items and others could lay claim to them and then come pick them up. The mailing list became the basis for Freecycle, a Web-enabled network of about 3,900 such e-mail groups, each dedicated to a local community and managed by a volunteer moderator, and claiming 2.9 million participants in more than 70 countries. The concept has worked so well because everyone wants to do their part to help the environment, and the idea of getting something for free is of course very appealing. Some of the effects something like Freecycle.org has brought is not only raising awareness of the effects of consumer consumption and wastefulness but also a way to offset the effects, even if the contribution seems small in the long run it goes a long way. Other websites and organizations have not risen to the challenge of exchanging and unwanted and used items because those companies are in it to make money and they contribute to communities and the environment in other ways....
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