The FullCircles Blog

Multi-contributor blog on the topic of reusing, freecycling… garbology in general.

Archive for the 'Community' Category


Thin plastic shopping bags

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Team FCO member, Winn Lambert-Meek, has been touring around Europe for the past few weeks.  Look what we received from her today


“I’m still in Rome however will be home later this week.  Imagine my surprise to find out that plastic bags as we know them are banned in Italy … 

If you need a bag at the grocery store they’ll charge you a dime or therabouts and the bag is biodegradable … I have one that I’ll give to Diane Holmes [City of Ottawa Councillor] when I return.

Hope all of you are well … I’ve been internet deprived for most of my travels but for now I have it this little apartment.

I look forward to catching up with everything!



posted by Gub in Community,Environment and have No Comments

Media Release-Ottawa’s Really Really Free Market

For immediate Release May 5, 2011


June 4th, 2011


Ottawa, ON — Full Circles Ottawa (FCO), a local freecycling community, is proud to announce it will be hosting its 2nd bi-annual  Really Really Free Market (RRFM) event on June 4th in Vanier, ON at Montreal Rd. and Begin St.  Residents can drop off items at 8:30 am to 10:00am.  The market opens to the public at 10 a.m.

The RRFM is a full day event promoting and demonstrating FCO’s philosophy of “freecycling”; a gifting economy upholding the values of sharing and reusing serviceable items – free of charge – reducing pressure on landfills, and premature recycling of perfectly good usable items.  The event has been scheduled to tie in with Canadian Environment Week (June 5 to 11th, 2011) and City of Ottawa Spring Giveaway Weekend.

RRFM participants meet at a single location, “Ottawa’s Really Really Free Market,” to learn about freecycling, to give and get free items, to meet new people in the community, and to participate in free activities.

This year we will support local business owners by offering them free table/booth spaces at the RRFM to promote their businesses. All participating businesses will honour the freecycling philosophy by not selling anything.  Businesses can offer information, samples, and advice for follow up to obtain new clients. 

We will host an eWaste drop off run by Ontario Electronics Stewardship Program approved Collector, RD Long Computers.  Any unwanted electronics will be handled by RD Long in accordance with strict OES requirements.

In 2011, we welcome Project Priceless; A Wedding Experiment where local Ottawa couple, Brian and Jordan, are planning a “cheap or free” as possible wedding.  They will be meeting event participants to explain their idea and to accept donations for their unique wedding.

City of Ottawa Councillor Mathieu Fleury has graciously accepted our invitation to meet the public and to observe our event activities first hand.

We also have a free raffle of items donated by local businesses, and a local artisan.

Face Painting, re-purposing demos, local musician Anastasia Fillipova, and much much more…

At the event, members of our community are also encouraged to make food donations to the Ottawa Food Bank.

FullCircles Ottawa (FCO) Mission:

The FCO mandate is “reusing to reduce”; the philosophy that using an item to the end of its life creates less impact and less recycling, a process that further contributes to the degradation of our planet. 

Based on the old adage that “one person’s trash is another person’s treasure”, FullCircles’ goal is to reduce the flow of trash into  landfills, slow the amount of items prematurely recycled, by connecting people with unwanted “stuff” to people willing and eager to use other folks’ second hand “stuff”.  Simply put, we believe in FREECYCLING!


For more information, visit:

CONTACTS:   Event Organizer, Kelly-Ann Wilson,

FullCircles Ottawa, Eric Snyder,; (613) 688-1570

posted by CheapChick in Community,Environment,Event,Free Stuff,Reusing Things You Already Have,RRFM and have No Comments

Community Gardening in Ottawa

Community gardens often have several horticult...

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Community Gardening Network of Ottawa is an information and resource-sharing network that supports the sustainable development of community gardens within the city.

via Just Food | Providing Food Security to the Ottawa Carleton Region | Local food, gardening workshops, volunteer opportunities.

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posted by Gub in Cheap Eats,Community,Composting,gardening and have No Comments

Ottawa’s Really Really Free Market – Update

the Really Really Free Market, Mayday weekend ...

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Our Really Really Free Market has begun to take on a mind of its own.  We now have people contacting us to partner and that in itself is impressive.

Of course, the general market will be as it was planned from day one.  A Reuse to Reduce the amount of perfectly good items being prematurely recycled or sent to the landfill.  Drop what you don’t want; Take what you need!

The market is comprised of departments and the distribution starts at 10 a.m.  Our volunteers arrive at 8 a.m. to start setting up for drop offs that begin at 8:30 a.m.

We have invited several people to attend the market and we are expecting Vanier City Councillor Mathieu Fleury to arrive around 11 a.m.  I’m sure that Mr. Fleury will attract media attention and this is good for the ORRFM.  The more people that become aware of freecycling and gifting economies and begin to practice it, the less flow of items being prematurely recycled/trashed.

My favorite part of the market this year is Project Priceless: The Wedding Experiment.  Brian and Jordan are trying to get married for as cheap or free as possible.  I have been following Jordan as she finds creative and inventive ways to get things done.  Full Circles members have been contributing items and they will be at the market to meet, greet and collect donations from their fans.

This is not our first FullCircles Wedding,  it’s just been more publicized than most.  Our Fall market will feature the Tiny Budget Wedding and, if you have Chinese lanterns to offer, Lisa our Tiny Budget bride will be attending the spring market as a volunteer.

Of course, our eWaste Collector RD Long Computers is back with the big truck to collect all the unwanted electronics for the day.  Many will not understand this concept but in order to protect the citizens of the city, any electronics will be placed in eWaste on this particular day.  We can not risk that someones identification might be stolen by someone who is not a member of Full Circles and who can’t be found after the fact should this occur.

We are introducing for the first time a farmers/garden market.  Our sister group, Ottawa Plantcycle, will be in attendance.  We are hoping that people all over the city will want to bring seeds, cuttings, house plants and garden tools and accessories to share with other gardeners.

Once again, we will be doing a city wide donation for the Ottawa Food Bank.  The food will benefit the community and our Food Bank Sponsor, Feddie Osman from Holmes heating, will run the collection.  Feddie offers information on great H.V.A.C. deals from Holmes heating and for every sales lead Feddie donates a meal to the food bank…what more could the food bank ask for?

I am hoping for a re-purposing demonstration team to show people some of the simple things around the house that you can use for other things instead of throwing them out.  I have my milk delivered and at the top of those milk jugs are pulls that make the greatest cat toys ever.  They love to chase the plastic circles around.  I also have tops from those milk bottles that make the perfect furniture slides…so there are a lot of things you might have kicking around you never thought about using.

I have been contacted by the CIBC and they too wish to become involved.  We have been offered leaf collection bags, a very timely offer, to give away to everyone as long as supplies last.  We also hope to have volunteers from the bank helping us on that day.  Of course, we extend thanks to TD Friends of the Environment to whom we owe gratitude for their financial support for freecycling over the years with donations for such things as brochures, business cards, signage, and web hosting.

Another new addition to the market is the free BBQ and Raffle.  This is still tentative as I fill out forms trying to find donations of hot dogs, buns, drinks and a BBQ.  I have been offered a few nice items for the free raffle table.  For anyone who donates an item to the raffle your business will receive full credit and we hope that this promotes business for any business that donates.

Our media releases will start going out at the beginning of May.  We hope to welcome even more people into the market in the form of small business who want to promote themselves and share samples of their wares and we have approached several other charities in an effort to help find items for the good work that they are doing.

I will be starting our volunteer drive this week and I also want to promote our event on the free advertising pages which can be challenging.  If you know of a charity or a project that would like to show themselves off for the day you are more than welcome to give them my email address or contact me yourself.

I’m looking forward to June 4th and to meeting everyone who joins us to make this one of the greatest events that the City of Ottawa has ever seen.  Where else can you go and know that no matter what it is you do there it is all entirely FREE!

Kelly-Ann Wilson
Creator – Ottawa’s Really Really Market
Facilitator – Full Circles Ottawa

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posted by CheapChick in Community,Event,RRFM,Waste Management and have No Comments

Ottawa, Canada: [Spring] Cleaning The Capital

Questions and Answers – Cleaning the Capital

Cleaning the Capital

What is Cleaning the Capital?
When does Cleaning the Capital take place? When are key dates?

What kind of projects are available?

What about cleaning graffiti?

How do I register as a volunteer?

What if I need cleanup supplies?

What if I don’t need cleanup supplies?

What if I can’t find a project team?

Why should I volunteer?

What is Capital Cleanup Weekend?

How do I get involved?

What do I do with the garbage/litter I collect?

What about leaves?

Are there some basic safety tips we should follow?

How can I win a prize?

Why should I fill out an on-line cleanup report?

What is my registration code? How can I obtain it?

How can I get my Cleaning the Capital Thank you Certificate?

posted by Gub in Community and have No Comments

The Tiny Budget Wedding & FullCircles


As the creator of Ottawa’s Really Really Free Market, I am on the lookout for people with special projects that we can help with.  The market is a great venue for supporting members with important projects and what could be more important than a wedding?

The Tiny Budget Wedding theme is ‘circles’.  This tugs at my heart because FullCircles is very important to me and I was so touched when I read Lisa, our Tiny Budget Bride’s entry into a photo contest hoping to win free wedding pics for her special day.

Here’s Lisa’s story:

“My fiancee and I met online and moved in together within six months – that was the end of the “quick” in our relationship. We have been together for almost eight years – nine by the time we actually tie the knot. Throughout these years we have withstood three, yes three, attempts to set a wedding date only to be thwarted first by a severe illness and death in the family and then two, yes two, layoffs. We’ve endured mouldy apartments (yes, plural), struggled with my own health issues, moved across the province for school (then eventually work, hopefully), lived with both sets of in-laws on separate occasions and relied on the local food cupboard to make ends meet. By this time the foundation of our relationship is strong but flexible, solid but adaptive, firm but soft. We would like to think we know each other – and what’s important to us.

Therefore, our wedding theme is going to be circles – symbolizing the never-ending love we have for each other, emphasizing the circle of life that we are experiencing and the circles of our family, friends and community that have loved us, nurtured us and supported us.

Our budget is tiny – even so, it is a stretch for us – but it is so important for us to honour and celebrate our amazing family, friends and community who are, once again, stepping up to the plate to make this wedding happen for us. Family members are helping to cater the meal, friends have offered to house out of town relatives, the Full Circles Ottawa ( community is helping us to gather free, reusable items for our decor and party necessities in honour of the health of our environment.

Our wedding will not be an opulent or extravagant affair but it will be special.  It will be ours.  And it will be about dang time!

One of the items that we are looking for are the Chinese Lanterns.  This is the item that Lisa has chosen to represent her circles and if you can help with the donation of lanterns I know you will hold a special place in one of those circles!”

Kelly Wilson
Full Circles Ottawa

posted by CheapChick in Community,Fullcircles Success Stories and have No Comments