Why I Love the Buy Nothing Project

A few years ago, my friend Irene told me about the Buy Nothing Project as she participated in my decluttering group. At first, I avoided it, as it seemed too good to be true. It’s a site where you can connect with your neighbors and give away or ask for items. There is no swapping, as I learned when I tried to swap my large pet carrier for a smaller one. But, that was quickly solved by doing it in two steps: 1. offer my carrier up and 2. ask if someone has a smaller carrier. Little did I know at the time that I would be making several trips to the vet when my cat, Karma, got very ill. I was so glad to have a carrier that worked better for those trips!

So why do I love it?

HELPING OTHERS  I once had too much bulk food and I was wanting to downsize the quantities I kept on hand to be about 3 months worth. Normally you would have to throw this type of item out or put it in compost. I was able to put it on my local Buy Nothing Facebook page and within 24 hours I had a few folks interested. I selected a gal who responded first, but you get to decide if you want to select the first, do a drawing, or select based on why they’d like the item. The woman who came worked, so she came after work. She had her 10 month old baby with her. As she helped me clean out my cupboards, I realized this was making her month go better as it had been tight for them that month. My discards were what she and her baby were glad to receive.

REDUCING WASTE   I’ve been able to take several items that would be trash and find them new homes. It really is a perfect way to “reuse” versus recycle or throw away stuff. Here are some photos below as examples.

BUILDING COMMUNITY   I have gotten to know some of my neighbors more. Mind you our area is pretty big, but a couple of folks I’ve been in touch with more than once. I had a Kindle I wanted to give away, but the power cord got damaged…so I was able to ask to borrow a cord via Buy Nothing, charge it up, wipe off my private information, then gift it. They are worldwide, so there is likely one near you or you could start one in your community.

MOTIVATING ME TO DECLUTTER   Knowing that someone else wants my discards gives me motivation to get rid of items I am not using. It’s amazing how many items I’ve had that haven’t been used in years…and by years, sometimes that means five or ten or even more! Why not get that item to someone who can enjoy it, meanwhile simplifying my life and home.

SHARING & APPRECIATION  Hearing “thanks” is also motivating. The people I’ve met have been very kind and appreciative. I like that it’s about giving vs selling as it just has a different feel to it. It’s much more about community and helping others. And no big CEO is reaping profits somewhere as with Goodwill.

So, if you haven’t yet tried it check out your local Buy Nothing Project and give it a try.

Please share about your favorite way to get rid of items you no longer want in the comments below. 

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  1. Thanks so much, Kathy, for writing about us! I love your images of everyday items that might otherwise be thrown out, that you were able to give to your neighbors. I’m excited to share this on our Buy Nothing Project Facebook page.
    — Liesl at The Buy Nothing Project


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