Thursday, January 19, 2017

Buy Nothing Project: Hyper-Local Gifting

Facebook isn’t just for selfies, political rants and cute kitty videos; local residents are using social media to connect on a group page called Buy Nothing Clairemont/Linda Vista.

Members of the closed group post items they wish to give away freely. Practically anything can and is offered from baby clothes to kitchen gadgets to furniture and more.

It’s not a barter group; recipients are not required to offer anything in return. If something is posted a member would like to have, they comment on the post, sometimes with the reason they are interested. The person offering typically chooses a recipient at random.

Members may also post a request for something such as a specific toy or a more general request for items like workout DVDs. More often than not someone in the group of nearly 900 will fulfill the request.

The Buy Nothing Project is a worldwide social movement made up of hyper-local groups, such as the Clairemont/Linda Vista group. It started in Washington State with two friends on Bainbridge Island and now has hundreds of thousands of members in 18 countries.

The mission of the project, as stated on the website is:
We offer 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.
In addition to the benefits of clearing out clutter and/or receiving free useful items, the project helps keep things with some life left in them out of the waste stream. An opened but unused bottle of shampoo that doesn’t work for one member is gratefully received by another whose favorite it is. Without Buy Nothing, that bottle is likely going in the trash.

Reading through the postings and comments can really restore your faith in humanity.  Neighbors offering things for free that they easily could get money for: a bicycle, a blender, a bed.  A member requesting a pair of boots for a hard working single father and the group responding within minutes with offers of boots and regular shoes too.

In these days when it may seem like person to person kindness, neighborly feelings and gratitude may be in short supply, the Buy Nothing Project is a champion of all those things.

To find out more about the Buy Nothing Project, including how to find and join
a group near you (or start one!) visit

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