Share, know & save…that is the underlying theme of the Buy Nothing Project, a community-powered, world-wide project, doled out via area-centric Facebook groups. It was inspired by a Bainbridge family’s experience in a Himilayan village.
BNP is like an improved version of the Free Section on Craig’s List, or Freecycle.org, except it’s neighborhood centric and the mission is to share resources within your neighborhood, as well as get to know your neighbors. I hear Mr. Roberts singing in my head, “Who are the people in your neighborhood?”
In this day and age of hurry up and do, go, be, it’s easy to get isolated and not even know your next-door neighbor whom you see every day. In addition, with the rising cost of living, it’s becoming increasing difficult for many to afford the things and services they need or want. Buy Nothing solves both of these issues.
I joined my local group just under a year ago and have given and received more than I could ever list. Household items, clothing, furniture, craft supplies, pet supplies, bikes…even food! Looking at my wardrobe, at least half of it I paid nothing more than the gas it took – or the walking power – to go pick up bags of super nice clothes from folks in our group. It’s sort of like going “shopping” in the comfort and privacy of our own home!
Due to the coming of clothing swaps and now Buy Nothing, I have spent next to nothing on clothes – in years – and I have a very nice wardrobe! I’m not kidding. On top of that, I’ve made friends, found a walking buddy and developed a great support network of folks right in my own neighborhood (after living here for 10 years and knowing barely anyone)!
“This sounds GREAT! So how does it work?”
- Go to BuyNothingProject.org
- Find your area.
- Go to your area Facebook group and join.
- Watch to be tagged in the group, then message the Admin with your cross streets.
- Wait for confirmation from the Admin.
- Voila! You’re good to go.
Read the Rules
Now…don’t forget to read the Rules of how the group works. There is tact to how it’s done. I liken it to a virtual knocking on the door of your neighbors: Hi Neighbor – do you have a cup of sugar I could borrow? You wouldn’t go knock today on a neighbor’s door and say “ISO cup of sugar.”..Right? You get the idea.
Lastly, besides getting and giving cool needed and wanted things and saving money in the process of not buying more new things, which also saves planet resources, making new friends has been the coolest part. It’s also great fun watching when folks wishes are met, in multitude, by the neighbors. Some folks end up in really hard times…and the neighbors step up to help.
You don’t have to be alone and suffering. You don’t always have to spend money on new things. You can share resources with your neighbors, give and get support, make friends and save money!