The Buy Nothing Project
The Buy Nothing Project is an experiment in gifting what we have to prevent the overproduction of unnecessary goods and reduce our carbon footprint.
The project offers people a way to give and receive, share, lend, and express gratitude through a worldwide network of hyper-local gift economies in which the true wealth is the web of connections formed between people who are real-life neighbors.
Liesl Clark and Rebecca Rockefeller of the United States initiated the movement as an experiment back in 2013. It took off immediately, and now in its 6th year has reached over 750,000 members across 30 countries and continues to grow rapidly.
Like many groups, it operates via Facebook however it’s very different in that its underlying mission is one of conservation and connection. It’s less about the “stuff” and more about fostering relationships and community. The act of sharing is really a bridge to help people connect with one another.
In addition to physical items, neighbours can offer and request skills, services and time.
Some more creative examples of sharing that have taken place include:
- A man asking for blackberries for wine he’s making and then sharing the wine with the
- A chef teaching a cooking class for interested members.
- Helping a family doing a 30 day “Buy Nothing” Challenge to provide gifts for their 11 year old son’s birthday.
ABC News covered this a few years ago – see the video below!
Keen to join in the fun?
Your first step is to see if a group already exists in your local area. You can join one group only, the group where you live so you can literally “give where you live.” This is what builds community.
If a group doesn’t yet exist in your local area, you can start one! Online training is provided to walk you through how everything works, as well as ongoing support from other admins. In addition you can also join an existing group as an observer to see everything in action.
The project hopes to eventually become redundant as neighbours and local communities naturally connect and share their resources together. Until that day, a Buy Nothing Group is great way to reduce your environmental impact (along with your spending) and meet great people in the process! Join us and help us to spread the word!
Your community will thank you for it.