Underground, overground, cycling free

We're in the process of having a good clear out before moving house. My natural inclination (being tight) is to stick things we don't want on eBay, but there are some items that would require too much effort to make saleable, yet still really aren't ready for the skip.

We had four children's bikes of various sizes. They'd all been in the garage for a good few years, so needed a bit of TLC - cleaning, tyre checking, chain cleaning and the like. Not really good enough for eBay. But help was at hand with Swindon Freecycle.

This is a cunning plan that (I think) originated in the US. You advertise items you don't want on a local online bulletin board. People come and take them away. The unwanted goods get used, rather than scrapped - it's great for the environment, and someone gets something for free. Genuinely everyone wins.

I'd been aware of this for a while, but this was the first time I'd tried it - and it was stunningly effective. Within 5 hours of listing the bikes, they'd gone. And I don't mean we'd had an email from someone who might want them - they had physically left the premises. Brilliant!

So next time you're considering sending something that's usable or do-up-able to landfill, give a consideration to Freecycle. Our local Swindon one is here - otherwise, head over to the Freecycle website and put in your town name. Uncle Bulgaria would be proud.