The Buy Nothing Project

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I stumbled across this page whilst having a scroll through the most excellent Free Our Kids blog, all about Hattie and her family, and their year of buying nothing (at all, not even secondhand-crazy lady, fabulous project!) for their kids.

This project started in the good old US of A, and has now also got groups in Canada, Mexico and Australia.
AND the UK.
Because I have started the very first UK group in lil old Warminster 🙂

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The tagline on the website is “Buy Nothing, Give Freely, Share Creatively”, which kind of sums it up. The website also describes Buy Nothing Groups as “Random Acts of Kindness, all day long” 🙂
It differs from Freecycle and Freegle in that people can offer/ask for help, time, skills etc as well, and also ask for things they might need to borrow, or indeed offer equipment that they would be willing to loan out.
So I guess it is similar to Streetbank, but using Facebook as the platform, perhaps allows people to interact with it more regularly and instantly (rather than having to log on to a separate website).

Basically, it is trying to encourage a hyper-local Gifting Economy. Here is a bit I have borrowed from the website, that explains it better than me!

“Our local groups form gift economies that are complementary and parallel to local cash economies; whether people join because they’d like to quickly get rid of things that are cluttering their lives, or simply to save money by getting things for free, they quickly discover that our groups are not just another free recycling platform. A gift economy’s real wealth is the people involved and the web of connections that forms to support them. Time and again, members of our groups find themselves spending more and more time interacting in our groups, finding new ways to give back to the community that has brought humor, entertainment, and yes, free stuff into their lives. The Buy Nothing Project is about setting the scarcity model of our cash economy aside in favor of creatively and collaboratively sharing the abundance around us.”
Some weird and wonderful things have been gifted, as well as some more mundane things: “everything from toilet paper roll springs to rides home from the doctor; burial sites for beloved pets to freshly-baked bread and casseroles have been given freely”

I’m really excited by this, and think it would be pretty cool to have a network of Buy Nothing Projects springing up across the UK.
It is super easy to do-you just contact the very friendly, frighteningly (in a good way) efficient Liesl, she sets you up a page, you read the ‘rules’ and make sure you are happy, and off you go!
Already, in 24 hours, the Buy Nothing Warminster page has nearly 30 members, I have arranged to meet up with a new mum, who is new to the area for coffee tomorrow, and have given away 3 jars of my ‘rustic chop’ marmalade 🙂

So how about it-anyone else a Buy Nothing Group in their town?!

17 thoughts on “The Buy Nothing Project

  1. I love the idea of skill shares and exchange rather than money changing hands… we’re not used to that in our society today. It almost needs a bit of brainstorming in communities to get this working.

  2. The Buy Nothing New Project is such a great initiative and offers so many awesome opportunities for environmental conservation, social cohesion and creative sharing. Great job on starting a group in the UK. I’m off to join the Aus group:)

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