Michael DeLeon/iStock


If you're not hip to Craigslist yet, you should be. Aside from the website's countless conveniences, being able to use Craigslist will, undoubtedly, help you to green up your life. The site offers users just about everything the traditional bulletin board or classifieds does

Over the years, I've benefited from Craigslist more than I've suffered. I'm not ashamed to say it: I found my apartment, roommates, living room set, dining table, long-term jobs, freelance jobs, concert tickets, and even advice from Craigslist. But a small percentage of the time I've put into Craigslist has been wasted over the years

Do: use Craigslist to help you go green. Do not: waste your time or resources on Craigslist.

Top Tips to Best Use Craigslist for Going Green1.If it sounds too good to be true...

It probably is. Your mama raised you with this saying and your mama was right. I remember I once was desperate for housing in New York City and saw an ad that left my jaw wide-open. A young girl who had a penthouse in Manhattan was offering a gorgeous room in the penthouse for free. All she wanted was a roommate she could shop with. Of course I was naive for ever thinking this could be legitimate, but I figured rich people must get lonely too and shot off an email to the 'girl'. Over the following two weeks, I wasted an embarrassing amount of time communicating with this person via email. On top of that, I wasted several Metro Card rides going to meet this person who never showed up before I got the point. If I'd just followed my gut, I could have saved myself a lot. GYou don't want to buy into Craigslist scams. So put all thoughts of that brand new flat screen, $100,000 starting salary/no experience necessary job, and free rent aside. Instead, spend your time wisely by searching the site for posts that actually seem valid.

2.If it seems a little sketchy...

It probably is. Reading a post that sounds too good to be true is one thing. Reading a post that is sketchy is another thing. Personal example: I once was conversing with a guy on Craigslist about a ride share to California. Ride shares are a good, green way to get across the country. You help to reduce CO2 emissions by doing this and you save some money. But this guy kept asking for pictures of me. So I canceled plans and just counted all of my wasted time as a loss. Maybe the guy was doing so innocently, but I kind of doubt it. Whether you're dealing with a ride share partner, a potential employer, a potential roommate, or a "songwriting partner", it's important to be able to sense when another person is actually looking for more. Asking for your picture is a good way to tell. Also, be very aware of the language the person uses. Is this person staying on topic? Or are they drifting off into a land of irrelevant questions for you? If you feel like someone you're trying to do business with on Craigslist is heading in a different direction, cut off the relationship. (You know, unless you want to go in that direction with that person).

3.If you feel like you're being pushed...

You probably are. Turn on your sensors and learn to detect negative and hostile energy from its inception. You'll save yourself in the long run this way. I've had far more than one experience with a hostile person on Craigslist. It took me a while, but I finally learned that it's the internet and I don't owe a mean person anything. I once had to get rid of some clothes, so I posted and ad on Craigslist saying I had a bag of clothes for free. A woman called me. Had I been paying more attention to her tone, I would have noticed that she was short with me from the get go. She called me a couple of times each hour that day before coming to get the clothes

Craigslist can be a Mecca for green wheelings and dealings. But keeping your eyes peeled for people who thinks nothing of wasting your time is key. If you don't question everything you see on the site, you'll end up frustrated with wasted resources under your belt. Follow these tips and you'll be on your way to making your Craigslist experience even more green.