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guardian_blog
On 13 Oct 09, Adam Vaughan wrote this Guardian blog post on alternatives to Freecycle which invites people to send in sites they’ve come across. He had subsequently closed the comments when, last week, he says he was sent details on GoodNewsForPolarBears.org and so decided to re-open the comments. Then he, himself, added a link to GoodNewsForPolarBears.org in a new comment.

He’s right about the site being busy – it’s just surpassed its 1000th registered member! Quite a milestone.

But the point is summed up perfectly in a previous comment by TeenzBeanz:

At the end of the day the important thing is to keep stuff from landfill, so however you choose to do it, good for you! Don’t throw it away, give it away!

We just made some interesting changes in www.goodnewsforpolarbears.org to help you find other people near you.

The changes can be seen in THREE areas of the site:

1. Registration – for new members, when you register we now make it easy for you to find and join a local group.  Just type in your town, “London”, or “Kilmarnock” and we’ll show you all the groups in or related to that town along with how many members in each; you choose which group to join, maybe the largest one, or if you see others more local you may choose one of those, even if they have less members.  This way you get to decide what your local group looks like.  Over time we expect that some of the smaller more local groups will grow, whereas those that have fewer members will aggregate with larger local groups.  Which brings me nicely to the next point… changing your group…

2. In your Member Profile (sign in and click the link ‘My Account’, then select the ‘Profile’ tab) you’ll see an extra link labelled ‘View Group’ – this lets you see other members in your group.  You’ll also notice there’s now a count of how many members in your Group.  You can also now ‘change’ your Group (or even just have a look around for larger local groups to move to); just hit the link ‘change’ and then type in your town, your nearest large town (or even your county), and we’ll show you other local groups you could join, along with the nunber of members in each.

It’s really up to you whether you join a larger or smaller group, but when you join a larger group you probably have more chance of getting alerted to good stuff (since more members means more stuff).  Of course there’s nothing to stop you searching the site for stuff in ANY groups, so you shouldn’t get too hung up on the size of your ‘home’ group.

You may on the other hand decide that the, for example, “Bristol, Bristol, UK” group is too large, in which case there’s nothing to stop you starting a more local-level group, say, “Temple Meads, Bristol, UK”.

Anyway, have a go, have fun, and remember to invite your friends to grow YOUR group.  It’s all free, so tuck in 🙂