Fighting for freerecyling

Grist has lost the plot, literally

This is so truly unbelievable that I am totally aghast.

Until today I considered grist a bastion of clear and erudite thinking around the freecycling world. Grist has been so much at the forefront of debate showing the problems endemic in The Freecycle Network that today, to see them providing sanitised “how good they are” airing not only on the website but also on TV just leaves me totally and utterly stunned.

This article is about as bad as it gets on its own. However it gets worse, much worse. The article refers back to their very first arcticle on TFN, completely omitting all the controversial articles that surround TFN – all of which are on Grist – in the middle. It is as if Grist wants to completely rewrite history.

Underpinning this is Grist’s tag line which states, “a beacon in the smog.” Sorry Grist, you have a new tag line “We have totally lost the plot – literally.”


November 6, 2007 - Posted by | freecycle |


  1. I will disclose up front that I work at

    I am a little confused about your problem with the mention of freecycling … it was not “TFN”, it was “freecycle” … meant to mean no more than sites or services that can match your surplus stuff with people who can use it. I myself have made use of my area’s freecycle group on yahoo to find second lives for things that can be difficult to recycle like a television, DVD player and mattress. That was the message on the Today show feature, that there are alternatives to the landfill and traditional recycling if you have items that are still useable. What the hell is so wrong with that?

    The Today show appearances were meant to promote our new book “Wake Up and Smell the Planet”, a means of reaching a broader audience than the grist website and its committed readers. Unless we can broaden the movement we might as well throw in the towel now. Give us a break.

    Comment by Tom Twigg | November 7, 2007 | Reply

  2. I agree. I came to Grist tonight to express my outrage regarding the fcn plug on the Today show only to find that piece of trash they wrote expanding on their praises of fcn, their worldwide status etc etc with barely a mention of Craigslist and absolutely no mention of any other similar free groups. What happened to the REAL fcn they have written so much about in the past? They had a perfect opportunity to correct their error on the Today Show by playing down their mention of fcn in this article, or excluding them completely and including information about all the other great groups out there. Frankly I am dumbfounded as to why Grist would do such a complete and total flip completely ignoring all their previous articles about fcn.

    Comment by Mark | November 7, 2007 | Reply

  3. Tom,
    Thanks for coming back on this. Then why does your article link to the TFN website? Explicitly it states

    “One of the best ways to give new life to your old belongings is through the Freecycle Network, an online community with chapters all over the U.S. and around the world, through which people offer up items they no longer want and other people happily snap them up. (Read an article about Freecycle’s founding.)”

    The least your article could do is list a range of websites where people can find freecycling groups. If I was to suggest one other then lists nearing a 1000 independent freecycling groups, and that goes worldwide.


    Comment by andyswarbs | November 7, 2007 | Reply

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: