The Buy Nothing Project

The Buy Nothing Project promotes resource sharing, reducing waste, and fostering local, community-based exchanges.

The Buy Nothing Project

If your aim is to live a more sustainable lifestyle, The Buy Nothing Project is worth investigating. It could also help you to be more involved in your local community.

The project works as a network of localised gift economies that encourages people to give and receive items and services within their community. No money is exchanged.

The Project was founded in 2013 by Liesl Clark and Rebecca Rockefeller in Bainbridge Island, Washington. Since then, it has grown into a global movement with thousands of local groups across the world. The local nature of the project allows each community to tailor its group to the specific needs of its members.

It aims to build community connections, reduce waste, and promote sustainable living by fostering a spirit of generosity and sharing. It also contributes to the principles of the circular economy.

How is the Buy Nothing Project linked to the Circular Economy?

Resource Sharing and Reuse:

The Buy Nothing Project encourages members to share items they no longer need with others in their community. This practice promotes the reuse of goods, extending the lifespan of products and reducing the demand for new resources. By keeping items in use for as long as possible, the project contributes to a more circular flow of resources.

Minimizing Waste:

Instead of discarding unwanted items, members of Buy Nothing groups can find new homes for them within their community. This minimizes the amount of waste sent to landfills and supports the idea of a circular economy where waste and the environmental impact is reduced.

Localized Exchange:

The Buy Nothing Project operates on a local level, with community-based groups facilitating the exchange of goods and services. This local focus reduces the need for long-distance transportation of items, contributing to a more sustainable and circular approach. This reduces the carbon footprint associated with the movement of goods.

Community Engagement:

The project fosters a sense of community and social connection. Community engagement is important for creating awareness, encouraging responsible consumption, and building a culture of sharing and collaboration. Strong community ties can lead to more sustainable consumption patterns and a reduced reliance on disposable and single-use items.

No Money Transactions:

The emphasis is on sharing, gifting, and receiving without engaging in traditional market transactions. The principal behind this is to move towards alternative economic models. The aim is to prioritise sharing and resource efficiency, and to separate economic growth from the consumption of finite resources.

How does it work?

Buy Nothing groups are typically organized on a neighbourhood or community level. Each group operates as a separate entity. Members are encouraged to join the group that corresponds to their geographical location.


The Buy Nothing Project promotes resource sharing, reducing waste, and fostering local, community-based exchanges.

Through its emphasis on community engagement and the elimination of monetary transactions, the project aligns with the broader goals of creating a more sustainable and regenerative economic system.

The core principle of the Buy Nothing Project is the gift economy. Members freely offer items or services they no longer need. They can also request things they are looking for. The focus is on sharing resources within the community rather than buying or selling.

Members are prohibited from buying or selling items within the group, creating a space where people can share without financial transactions.

The project contributes to sustainability by promoting the reuse of items and reducing waste. By sharing rather than discarding, community members can minimize their environmental impact.

Community engagement is a major focus of the Buy Nothing Project

One of the primary goals of the Buy Nothing Project is to strengthen community ties. Members have the opportunity to connect with their neighbours, build relationships, and create a sense of belonging. Participating in a Buy Nothing group can help you to declutter your home!

Buy Nothing groups often use social media platforms, such as Facebook, for their communication and coordination. Members can post items they want to give away or request items they need.

‘It’s amazing what people give away’: The joy and savings of a buy-nothing group – ABC Everyday

How to Find a Buy Nothing Group Near Me

To find your local Buy Nothing group go to the “Find a Group” page on the Buy Nothing project’s website. Every official Buy Nothing group around the world is listed and hyperlinked.

Check out a previous post on reducing waste

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