A Buy Nothing Group is a group of individuals that openly gift and share items with each other. Buy Nothing Project started as a “hyper-local gift economy” by two friends in Washington State in 2013. Since then, it has expanded to a worldwide social movement in 44 counties. As of February 2021, Buy Nothing had over 3 million participants and 11,300 volunteers. So why should you join your local Buy Nothing Group? To save the planet, save money, and save your local community feeling.
Save the Planet
Buy Nothing is a wonderful way to reduce, recycle, and reuse items you are purging. In our consumer society, we often upgrade the items we use at home or work. When we upgrade, many of our old items end up in the landfill. Many of the things we discard are in perfectly good condition; we simply don’t want them anymore. Since we are planet-conscious, we often donate these items to charities in our local community. If the local charity cannot use the item, it still ends up in the landfill. We know the impacts of plastics and other waste on the environment. A simple way to reduce waste, and recycle or reuse our unwanted items is to gift them to someone in our community that can use them. Buy Nothing provides a platform to do that.
Looking to buy something? Look on the Buy Nothing site first. Since I joined the site in my community, I have saved several hundred dollars. Some of the awesome things I have received include: kid’s clothes (lots of them), books, kids activity kits, baking pans, Pyrex dishes, sun chokes, and plants. Our local Buy Nothing Group also has “traveling boxes,” which are boxes of clothes by gender and size that get passed through a list of individuals. It allows you take what you like and add the clothes that are either too small or no longer wanted. It is a great way to have hand me downs shared throughout the entire community.
Save your Local Community
I think Buy Nothing Groups are saving local communities in two ways:
- Bringing people together for a common purpose
- Providing the giver and receiver with a sense of gratitude and happiness.
Buy Nothing brings people together every day with a common purpose. If you are interested in crafting, plants, kids’ activities, and you find someone who is either giving or receiving items related to your common interests, you already feel connected to them. As I mentioned above, our local Buy Nothing Group is very active. We have lending libraries (you have something I need to borrow), traveling boxes, wish lists, and much more. Being new to the area, my local group has provided me a sense of belonging in the community through both giving and receiving.
Buy Nothing also provides both he giver and the receiver with a sense of gratitude and happiness. There are many studies that show when someone gives a gift without expectation of return, their overall happiness increases. So it may seem that givers on the Buy Nothing Group actually gain more happiness than the receiver. Gratitude cannot be overlooked as a driver of happiness. Much like gifting studies, there are many studies that an attitude of gratitude is a powerful source of happiness. Clearly, Buy Nothing is a happiness force multiplier.
So if you haven’t already, look up your local Buy Nothing Group and join today.