What do a washing machine, a can of Red Bull, and a box of kids toys have in common? How about a freshly baked batch of cookies, barely used bedding and kitchenware? They are all the kind of items you can find being generously given away every day on the unique Facebook Group, Buy Nothing Barrhaven.
The Buy Nothing Project has produced gifting communities all over the world! Despite the diversity in each country, city and group, one thing remains the same: We buy nothing, we give freely, and we share creatively.
“Post anything you’d like to give away, lend, or share among neighbors. Ask for anything you’d like to receive for free or borrow. Keep it legal. Keep it civil. No buying or selling, no trades or bartering. We’re strictly a gift economy.”
The Buy Nothing Project builds community. It gives us the opportunity to ask for help and to help others. And to share and use the huge underutilized abundance of “stuff” already out there hidden away in our community. Many of us have traveled down roads in our own community that we didn’t know existed! And dare I say that through the art of giving, friendships have been formed.
Buy Nothing Barrhaven has an impact not just on our community, but on the city as a whole. A few weeks ago someone posted a milk jug to give away. Yes… a milk jug that you can buy at the dollar store. While some might think “Why bother? Throw it out”, that plastic milk jug would sit in a landfill for years and years to come! How often do we just throw something away because we don’t want it any longer? BNB provides a forum to give those items away to someone who could use it… helping them AND helping the environment!
In the recent heat of summer, one of our pregnant members living without air-conditioning posted a desperate plea for a fan. By the end of the week, she had two! Another member’s niece recently lost everything in a fire. The group came together, constantly asking what more she needed… clothing, furniture, toiletries and more were donated.
Perhaps my favourite story of generous giving is one that I had the privilege of taking part in. A member recently posted a large bag of cucumbers that she wanted to split up… or, if people were interested, she would make a large Greek Salad for people to share. Did someone say Greek Salad? I jumped on that band wagon! As the conversation flowed on the BNB Facebook Group wall, so did the ideas. And in the end, the bag of cucumbers turned into members bringing dishes to an impromptu back yard BBQ. (And salad was prepared and given to those of us who could not make it.)
At 807 local members in just over 6 months, team BNB excitedly anticipates the next milestone for our community… 1,000 members! So how about you? Have you got “stuff” you no longer love? Stuff you no longer use that’s way too good to throw away? Join us on Buy Nothing Barrhaven and get some joy out of passing it along. And be sure to invite your Barrhaven neighbours, family and friends. We’ll reach our 1,000 member goal in no time!