Most households accumulate too many things, and dropping off to the op shop is certainly one way to extend the lifecycle of unwanted items, but another way is to create a local Buy Nothing group through the Buy Nothing Project.
The Buy Nothing Project is available on Facebook, with groups in 20 countries, and it easily allows for the creation of localised groups that can both share, lend and ask for things, freely.
By being localised to a small area offers the benefit of meeting with your neighbours, and the distance to go pick up items is greatly reduced.
At Transition Wyndham, some keen networking occurred to create 5 separate Buy Nothing Groups, covering the whole Wyndham local government area.
These groups attract a diversity of people, some only marginally aware of the environmental impacts of over consumption, but all certainly very pleased with the benefits of the gift economy and being able to connect with their neighbours.
In November 2017, the Buy Nothing Werribee group held their first get-together and the feedback was overwhelmingly positive – yes it is about gifting, sharing and asking for things, but is largely a social space that allows neighbours to collaborate, connect and support each other – something the op shop or drop off bin can not do.
For any further support and encouragement to start a group, aside from going to the Buy Nothing Project website which has comprehensive information,
feel free to contact Lisa Field at firstname.lastname@example.org or on 0433 559 530 for a chat.
From the Star Weekly:
‘A new cluster of Facebook groups is encouraging Wyndham residents to share their unwanted goods and pass on things they don’t want or can’t use.
Hoppers Crossing resident Alicia Polman said Buy Nothing is a movement with its origins in the United States, and is a way for people within neighbourhoods to swap unused items, rather than binning them.
Recently, Ms Polman created a similar group for Hoppers Crossing and, within a month, there was enough interest to set up separate groups for each Wyndham suburb.
Ms Polman said residents can offer any excess or unwanted goods for their neighbours to snap up, including home-grown fruit and vegetables, clothes, appliances, toys and tools.
She said residents could also call out for items that they needed to borrow – for example, a drill for a quick home maintenance fix.
“I love how quickly it’s grown, and how willing people are to give,” Ms Polman said.
“I feel like it’s a really good step towards getting away from a consumer-driven society, using stuff that would otherwise go to waste.”
Lisa Field, who runs Buy Nothing Werribee’s Facebook page, said it is a great way to declutter without dumping, and it helps residents forge closer ties with others in their suburbs.
“It’s a really practical, simple way to meet some new neighbours and offload some stuff, without creating waste,” she said.
To find your group, search for Buy Nothing, plus your suburb, in Facebook.’
This article was published in the Star Weekly in February 2017 http://www.starweekly.com.au/news/buy-nothing-facebook-pages-take-off/