The concept of the Free Market originated in San Francisco and was started by a woman whose goal it was to share with others. Kirsten Brydum was murdered in New Orleans on a biking trip and Freegans world wide mourned her death.
In an effort to pick up the torch, I created Ottawa’s Really Really Free Market with the help of my Full Circles Ottawa team and our groups members. I turned it into a ReUse to Recycle event in an effort to raise awareness for freecycling and to lessen the impact created by recycling usable items to soon. It has become my legacy and my gift to the residents of the City of Ottawa…the market really belongs to them.
Last year, plagued by a lack of organization and not having planned an event of this kind I found that I had to wade my way through a lot of politics and paper work. We have ironed out most of the wrinkles and have a lot more time for planning this year. I really feel that we can overcome all of the problems that we didn’t anticipate with the forerunner.
In the end we managed to pull it off without spending a dime and sticking to the principle that “everything” was free. This wasn’t easy but its not impossible. Never say never….
This year I’m looking forward to the market expanding greatly in size and we are welcoming new partners to improve on what we have already done. We will be once again be encouraging food bank donation. Our free vendor and group member, Feddie Osman from Reliance Holmes Heating, will head the drive for our local food bank, Partage Vanier and will have a donation station for those who want to drop off food.
Group Owner Val Griffin has partnered her Plantcycle group with Full Circles Ottawa and this year we will host a garden/farmers market section which is new. I’m looking forward to seeing a sea of green and gardening tools as well as any home grown/made product that people wish to share.
Our group member RD Long computers will return to collect eWaste and we will once again welcome trade show vendors who are willing to offer free information and samples of their wares. Because we don’t allow any sales on market day we offer small business an opportunity to interact with the public and advertise themselves as well as taking and making orders. However, no money changes hands.
Last year we designed our market into departments to make shopping simpler. We estimate that we processed a minimum of 5,000 pounds and not an ounce of that weight made it to a landfill. Just think, all of those things might have gone into the garbage and the people who would have suffered are the ones who benefited greatly from our event.
This year we will have 2 markets, The Spring Edition and the Fall Version. You are all formally invited to join us for our first Market day on June 4, 2011 in the parking lot in front of the Vanier CSC located at the corner of Montreal Road and Begin Street (across from the Jean Coutu) .
Remember Reusing to Recycle will greatly reduce the impact that our practice of disposing of items to soon is making on our planet. Like fellow team member Manuel Costa says “Keep it green. We all live downstream”.
See you on Market Day!
Creator of Ottawa’s Really Really Free Market