The Buy Nothing Project. Have you heard of it? It’s only a year old and but has quickly become a social movement, with over 25,000 members in over 150 groups, in 6 different countries. If you live in Washington state, you’re in luck, because that’s where it started and there are many, many neighborhoods that have embraced it. It uses Facebook to connect you with your neighbors (and their stuff).
It’s a place to share the three-pack of ketchup you bought from Costco, and veggies from your garden that your family couldn’t possibly eat before they spoiled. It’s a place to find an old pallet to make wall art. It’s a place to give a second purpose to packing peanuts. I even saw a Coach purse being given away. Everyone has things they need and things they can give away to make someone else’s day. There are even “gifts of self” – people offer piano lessons, resume reviews, the use of their truck for moving furniture. Most posts stay up for 24 hours so you don’t have to be glued to your phone to score what you need. People comment with their interest, and you can choose a recipient based on your fancy or whim, you can look to places like random.org, or you can literally draw names out of a hat.
I love the idea of using it to source items for helping the homeless like this local man does.
In my group we have “round robins” – totes filled with items you can add to and take from. Here’s a tote filled with 9-12 month clothes, and it had everything from Carter’s to Old Navy, to Gap, to Naartje (never heard of that brand until now, but I assumed it was uber trendy!). I was so blown away by the very first tote I picked up – not only was it literally bursting with clothes, everything was stain-free and like new, and some clothes still had the sale tags attached. There are round robins for craft supplies, books, and even old school nintendo games. There are “library” lists filled with things people are willing to loan out – everything from Kitchenaid attachments, to camping supplies, Cricut cartridges, to DVDs. There are friendships to be made in meeting the people in your community, but there is always the option of “porch pickups” so you can fit it into your day.