Tuesday, 7 September 2010

Freecycle and the Germans

When we were living in Australia, Freecycle was extremely popular. We would actively participate by offering our stuff that we don't use anymore, and receiving stuff from others. There were plenty of other participants in Freecycle.

Now that we are living in Germany, we also want to participate in the local version of it. However, it doesn't seem to be as popular as the Australian versions.  The stats from the Cologne version of freecycle shows that only a small number of traffic.

The equivalent group in Frankston, Australia shows almost an order of magnitude more as the following screen capture shows.
I don't have any ideas why there is such a disparity between the two Freecycle groups. I do have a feeling that most of it may have to do with cultural differences.

In most part of Australia, there isn't a stigma of receiving or using second hand items. That stigma does appear to be present in Germany, especially among the locals. However, among the expat community, the sharing of used items are more prevelant. Having said that, Freecycle is not popular among expats as the language is German rather than English. The expat tends to use forums such as Toytown Germany or English Speaking clubs / community such as AIWCC or English Speaking Cologne.

All around town, I see many hard rubbish items sitting on the kerbside waiting to be picked up. Most of these items are is reasonable condition and would definitely be usable in someone's house. For a country that exercise plenty of recycling, and being environmentally friendly, I am really surprise that it does participate more in Freecycle.

Perhaps, it could just a case that I don't know where to look. Any suggestions?