What you should know about the Buy Nothing project

It sounds like the ultimate spending diet: don’t buy anything. If you haven’t heard of the concept, buy it with Buy …

It sounds like the ultimate spending diet: don’t buy anything. If you’ve never heard of the concept, it is spreading with Buy Nothing groups popping up all over the world. Thanks very much Don’t buy a project, a non-profit organization with chapters in 44 countries with more than 6,500 parishes.

So what is the Buy Nothing movement and should you join a local Buy Nothing group?

Don’t worry: this is not a cult and the concept doesn’t need to be taken to extremes. Yes, you can still buy things. We’ll explain.

[READ: Top Money Lessons From the Pandemic.]

What is the Buy Nothing Project?

In 2013, two friends, Rebecca Rockefeller and Liesl Clark formed a gift group on Bainbridge Island, Washington. The idea was that instead of trading terms or offering gifts, you simply give away things that you don’t want to have people in your community who may be able to use them. And what do you get in return? Hopefully a nice thank you.

Within the Buy Nothing groups, members offer everything from baby equipment to furniture, but it’s not always about “stuff”. Sometimes people give or receive expertisesays Katie Emery, a Los Angeles resident who is part of a buy nothing group. For example, she says that a member of her group offered to give an hour of her time to advise someone on gardening issues.

“I’m a novice gardener so I accepted your kind offer. She spent over an hour with me showing me which plants would work best in different areas of my garden and even showed me how to better arrange my potted plants, ”says Emery. “This one hour meant a lot to me and I hope that I will soon be able to give something back to my community with my own knowledge. It was so inspiring. ”

Another member gave away a 100-year-old sourdough starter, says Emery.

“Suddenly everyone in the neighborhood learned to bake sourdough bread. And even the finished bread was given to other neighbors, ”says Emery. “It was such a great experience, I can’t recommend it enough.”

Where can I find Buy Nothing Groups near me?

The Buy Nothing project provides links to Facebook groups in states, cities, and sometimes neighborhoods. Most of the Buy Nothing groups are on Facebook, and the Buy Nothing project is also working on an app.

How buying nothing works

After joining a local group, you can ask for things you want or need, or offer things to give away – or a little bit of both. You can also lend items to people in your community.

Saying “thank you” is the main payment for receiving free items. So make it clear to the giver that you value what you get.

Here are some of the top reasons to join a group, by members:

Save money and live better. Daniela Sawyer from San Mateo, California, has been part of a Buy Nothing group for about six years – also because money was tight, she says.

“With Buy Nothing, I was able to get second-hand clothes, shoes, novels and toys for my children,” says Sawyer.

Do something good for the planet. Sawyer says she likes “Don’t Buy” her group for that reason, too, and that giving away “gives the item one more chance to be used and prevent it from ending up in a landfill”.

[Read: Here’s How You’re Paying for Climate Change]

Feel good about giving. Rebecca Churchill, of Oakton, Virginia, says she joined a Buy Nothing group after helping her mother pack her house to move to a smaller location.

She likes the idea of ​​giving things away to help others. “I don’t need a new handbag, but there are Afghan refugees who are moving to this country who need everything, and in my own town there are children who go to bed hungry,” says Churchill.

Get rid of clutter. Another selling point is downsizing belongings to beautify your home manageable and organized. “A simpler life brings peace, and I feel more mentally organized and calmer when my home isn’t choked with visual clutter,” says Churchill.

Get to know your neighbors. Helping people in your community can make you feel good, and as an added benefit, you’ll feel a little closer to your neighbors. You give things to people that you either know or will get to know better.

What are Buy Nothing Group Rules?

The rules require members to “give freely” without expecting any reward or compensation. “Trading, barter, buying or selling contradicts the mission of the Buy Nothing Project,” says the website. It also suggests that members give “creatively”, for example through skills sharing or through community libraries, clothing swaps, and cycling programs.

What is the “buy nothing day”?

If you’ve heard of Buy Nothing Day, it actually has nothing to do with the Buy Nothing movement. It was started as a protest against consumerism by a Canadian artist and takes place officially or unofficially in the USA on the day after Thanksgiving (contrary to one of the The biggest shopping days of the year, Black Friday).

[See: 12 Steps to Achieve Financial Freedom.]

Don’t buy anything: the bottom line

The most important thing to remember is that “buying nothing” is not all or nothing. Buy from, you don’t make a commitment to never buy anything again, never hold a flea market, or never have anything for sale eBay, Craigslist or Facebook Marketplace.

Of course you will shop and live your life. However, if you join a Buy Nothing group, you may be able to make it a seamless part of your life and enjoy some of the benefits while also getting to know more people in your neighborhood.

In any case, if you have things that you no longer want, but don’t feel like selling them and you don’t like to throw them away, a Buy Nothing group can do a lot of good.

That’s why Christine Alemany likes her Buy Nothing group in New York City. She says many people leave things behind when they move out of the apartment building she lives in.

“We found carpets, art, furniture when people moved out. Some are easily used. Others are antiques. I hate that these are thrown away. So why not donate to the local community? ”

You and other roommates did just that.

“These items can mean so much to people and would otherwise end up in a landfill. Instead, students and newcomers can furnish their apartments. You can then use the money that would otherwise be spent on medication, health care, etc., ”Alemany says.

Also, Alemany says: “It just feels good.”

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What you should know about the Buy Nothing project originally appeared on usnews.com

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