Lately, I've been hooked by a new addiction - freecycle.org. This site connects people with free stuff they want to give away and people who need stuff, for free. The site encourages members to think twice about throwing away used but otherwise still usable items with the goal of recycling (the more accurate term is re-using) items and keeping our landfills from becoming bigger. The site prohibits the selling of the stuff.
Since joining the site, I have given away one bistro set composed of 1 high table and 2 high chairs. I have received 1 old but fully functional desktop computer which I gave to my 3 year old son. He uses it to access online educational tools. I'm currently waiting to receive a once-used rechargeable hand-held vacuum for our car.
There are a lot of stuff offered on the site for free! Unfortunately I don't have a pickup truck to get bigger items such as sofas, cabinets, bicycles, beds, etc. My wife won't let me buy a pickup for fear that I might become a hoarder like those featured on cable.
Although Freecycle is for a worthy cause, it highlights one disturbing fact about life here - people have so much useless stuff (useless to them anyway). People park on their driveways because their garages are filled with stuff bought, used once, and then "put away" in the garage never to see the light of day again. Stuff such as "revolutionary exercise equipment" with dubious claims of 5-minute workouts are peddled by the home shopping network and QVC.
Consumerism has encouraged people to buy stuff they don't need with money they don't have. This has contributed to the great recession we are experiencing now.
This reminds me of an old George Carlin stand up routine.