‘Buy Nothing Project’ Helps Cut Down on Waste, Make Social Connections

‘Buy Nothing Project’ Helps Cut Down on Waste, Make Social Connections
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In recent years, hundreds of Facebook groups have popped up where people can give things away for free. One such group is the Buy Nothing Project, which aims to cut down on waste and connect people in their local communities.

The project encourages people to share what they have with others, without money ever changing hands. It has been around for 5 years, spreading around the world and garnering more than 3,000 volunteers. The goal of the project is help others give their own things away, while making it easy for other people to ask for things they need.

For now, the Buy Nothing Project is solely a Facebook group, but that hopefully won’t remain the case for long. The organization’s website reads:

“We need to use the master’s tools to dismantle the castle.”

Johanna Humphrey is part of the Buy Nothing group for her Roxborough/Manayunk neighborhood in Philadelphia. Buy Nothing started as a single group outside of Seattle, but it has since spawned more than 2,000 other groups, including 20 other nations. She explained that Buy Nothing is as much a social experiment as it is an environmentally-friendly, reuse-it project. Some of the connections made have turned into friendships. [1] [2]

“The next step is going to be backing off and trying to render ourselves obsolete by moving off of Facebook and encouraging people to share in person and do less so on their devices.” [1]

Kimm McLaughlin’s community surrounded her with love and support when her daughter died by providing her with the angels and butterflies she so desired to decorate her room. [2]

She says:

“It melts my heart and I love it. I love all that helped me out. It was a beautiful thing.”

To find out if there is a Buy Nothing group in your area, or if you want to start one, log onto Facebook and check out their page. You can only join one, and it must be in your own community.


[1] NPR

[2] CBS News San Diego