Buy Nothing Project

I just learned about the Buy Nothing Project/group about a month ago. I’m used to seeing, reading, and writing about posting about (for or away/give or want) items on craigslist, Freecycle, Marketplace and our neighborhood social media platforms. My neighbors started mentioning our area’s Buy Nothing group as a way to re-purpose/re-home/donate items.

It’s awesome. I was able to re-home several things almost immediately (within the hour) that I’d been putting off. If it’s not ready to recycle, and one doesn’t know a local charity that may be interested, there’s a good chance a local neighbor will be eager to use up/re-home/new-to-them your item(s).

We want to keep items moving and in use in the stream of things. Items that get used regularly are maintained better than items relegated to years of storage. This means longer life out of the landfill. Items in use rather than storage won’t rust, dust, fall over, get squashed or forgotten. This is also one of the most local ways you can help your neighbors and community by keeping resources in a really specific geographic area, i.e. your neighborhood.

Buy Nothing. Give Freely. Share Creatively.

The Buy Nothing Project began when two friends, Rebecca Rockefeller and Liesl Clark, created an experimental hyper-local gift economy on Bainbridge Island, WA, in July, 2013. Since then, it has become a worldwide social movement, with groups in 30 nations. Our local groups form gift economies that are complementary and parallel to local cash economies; whether people join because they’d like to quickly get rid of things that are cluttering their lives, or simply to save money by getting things for free, they quickly discover that our groups are not just another free recycling platform. A gift economy’s real wealth is the people involved and the web of connections that forms to support them. Time and again, members of our groups find themselves spending more and more time interacting in our groups, finding new ways to give back to the community that has brought humor, entertainment, and yes, free stuff into their lives. The Buy Nothing Project is about setting the scarcity model of our cash economy aside in favor of creatively and collaboratively sharing the abundance around us.

This is a Project accessible through Facebook. Once you start typing in “Buy Nothing” a geographic area applicable to you should come up. You’ll confirm some area questions to be accepted, and then you’re ready to start! Quoting from their website again:

These are the types of posts that belong in our groups:
– Offers of any goods or service you’d like to share, loan, or give away.
– Requests for any goods or service you’d like to borrow or keep.
– Gratitude posts! Gratitude is key; it’s what fuels the magic.

This is a social experiment pushing people to rely more on our neighbors to receive from or borrow what we need, make do, DIY what’s wanted, fix what might be broken, use up what we already have, and mindfully understand the triggers beneath our needs vs wants before actively taking part in a consumer-targeted, profit-driven economy.

This seems to be an excellent means of rescuing food from ending up in the trash or compost. Sealed food people don’t intend to eat, food that needs to be eaten because people are going out of town, food expiring soon neighbors don’t want to go to waste, extra food people cooked and want to share, it’s all here.

Rescue resources, share, acquire package free, get local, walk or bike more, minimalize, try new things, work on going greener (reusable water bottles, towels, metal utensils, etc.), meet neighbors, help others, build community, you make it all happen.

So check it out! Be adventurous! Be generous! Be a little more green!

Thank you and Happy New Year!