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Buy Nothing Project: Share Resources, Build Community, Save Money!

September 3, 2015
Buy Nothing Project, Liesl Clark

Image from Liesl Clark of Buy Nothing Project.org

FREE!! Who doesn’t love that word?
Community. Who loves to get to know your neighbors?
Save. Who doesn’t love to save some money?

Share, know & save…that is the underlying theme in 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 kind of 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 hood, as well as get to know your neighbors. I hear Mr. Roberts singing in my head, “Who are the people in your neighborhood?” Heehee.

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.

My Experience

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 to go pick up the bins and bags of super nice clothes circulating (It’s called a Round Robin) in our group. Then my housemate and I got to go “shopping” in the comfort and privacy of our own home! How cool is THAT?!

Due to the coming of clothing swaps and now Buy Nothing, I have spent next to nothing on clothes – in years! 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 hood (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? I mean, you wouldn’t go knock today on a neighbor’s door and say “ISO cup of sugar.”..Right? Exactly. You get the idea.

If you don’t read the rules, you may end up with a note from the Admins, who monitor the postings, kindly asking you to pose yourself differently in the group.

So, once you’ve informed yourself of how it works, you are ready to go!

Lastly, besides getting and giving cool stuff, and saving money in the process of not buying things, making new friends has been the coolest part. Ok – and watching when folks wishes are met, in multitude, by the neighbors. Some folks end up in really hard times…and the group steps up to help.

You don’t have to be alone and suffering. You don’t always have to spend money on new things. And you don’t have to drive your stuff to charity donations (even though that is also a great thing to do with your stuff).

You can share resources with your neighbors, give and get support, make friends and save money!

Now…go find your group!!
P.S. If there is no group in your area, there are tips on the website of how to start one!

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