5 reasons to love buy nothing groups
Simple Living

5 Reasons To Love Buy Nothing Groups

Buy Nothing Groups are one of my new favourite things over the last couple years. I was excited to join in when one finally opened up in my community and, when I moved, I sought out one in my new area. If you haven’t found a group of your own or you’re unsure about joining one, I’m sharing some reasons to love Buy Nothing Groups to inspire you!

second hand sign

What are Buy Nothing Groups?

Buy Nothing Groups are, simply put, a group of people that gift items so you can buy nothing. Groups are organized by area and can be found on the Buy Nothing Group App or on Facebook. Within a group, people can post an item to gift, can ask for an item they’d like to receive, or post a message of gratitude. There’s never any need to justify your request for an item–whether asking in a separate post or requesting a gifted item–as everything in the group is freely given without any questions.

You can read more about the Buy Nothing Project here: https://buynothingproject.org/about

Reasons to Love Buy Nothing Groups

Here are five of the reasons that I love my Buy Nothing Group:

1. Buy Nothing Groups help keep items from the landfill

Extending the life of an item is one of the most sustainable things you can do. Buy Nothing Groups are a great way to pass on items that you no longer have use for so that they can continue to be used and loved.

While thrift stores are always an option for giving away some items, other items would not be accepted at a donation center even though they can be reused.

Some items in this category that have shown up in my group are:

  • balloons
  • opened craft supplies and paints
  • broken small appliances being gifted for parts
  • houseplants–full size and recently propagated
  • food items from pantry clean outs

2. Buy Nothing Groups help inspire generosity

One of the biggest impacts my Buy Nothing Group has had on me is how inspiring it is to see the community’s generosity. Sometimes the world can feel like a greedy, negative place, but my Buy Nothing Group is a place where generosity and kindness abound.

It has been inspiring to me to see how a group of people can come together and so freely share things with each other. It has helped me grow in the area of letting things go, knowing that I can reach out to my community if I end up being in need.

3. Buy Nothing Groups help with saving money

Buy Nothing Groups are completely free, which means they are great for helping people save money. It’s a perfect place to ask for an item before heading to the store to buy something. Not only does that help our wallets, but it also helps the planet!

4. Buy Nothing Groups help make decluttering a breeze

Whether it’s decluttering in general or purging belongings before a move, Buy Nothing Groups are a great place to post items you are decluttering. Gifted items can either be posted one at a time or in “batches” of items, such as a box of kitchen utensils and supplies.

5. Buy Nothing Groups help connect communities

Buy Nothing Groups are hyper-local communities which means they exist in small areas of a city. This means that everyone gifting and asking for items are likely really close by. I love that I’m able to walk to pick up items because the gifters are actually my neighbours. The smaller group size allows people to get to know one another a bit better and allows for familiarity to build between group members.

In a world where we can be isolated from each other, one of the reasons to love Buy Nothing Groups is that there is a focus on bringing people together and building communities.

Cork Yoga Mat

My Buy Nothing Group Treasures

There is an incredible variety of items that are offered up in Buy Nothing Groups–everything from the weird to wonderful and every practical thing in between.

These are a few of my favourite gifts received over the last couple years:

1. Food

Gifts of food are quite frequent in my current Buy Nothing Group. At a time when groceries are so expensive, it is lovely to see people being so generous with what they have.

Food waste is a big issue and one I’m passionate about, so I love that people are even open to posting recently expired items in order to keep them from going to waste. Not all the food shared is in that category, but since food waste is a huge contributor to climate change, it’s worth noting.

I’ve received produce and pantry staples, like lentils, from a number of different people. Pictured below is a small kabocha pumpkin I received. I was really excited to try a new type of squash I hadn’t heard of before.

2. Glass Bottles with Stoppers

I was really excited about these bottles because they looked perfect for storing homemade salad dressing. I don’t buy pre-made dressing because, in addition to waste from the bottles and possible unknown ingredients, it usually goes bad before I can use it all.

This was such a simple item to be gifted, but I’m still really excited about them!

Glass bottles with stopper

3. Vintage Bench

My local Buy Nothing Group had a super sweet older gentleman join when he was downsizing his home to sell it. He posted the funniest captions with his items and he had decades of fascinating, vintage items. His presence really brought our group together as a community as we were all mesmerized by the fascinating items and stories.

I was lucky to be gifted a few of his items including this fantastic bench. It is still in the process of being refinished, but it is a beautiful piece with so much potential!

4. Denby Serving Platter

Denby dishware always reminds me of my Grandma’s kitchen when I was a little girl, so when someone posted a Denby platter in our Buy Nothing Group I put my hand up right away to ask for it. It’s one of my favourite items because every time I use it, it makes me think of my Grandma–even though it’s nothing like her vintage set, it still helps me reminisce.

Why do you love Buy Nothing Groups?

There are so many reasons to love Buy Nothing Groups. What are your top reasons?

Cork Yoga Mat

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  • Michelle (Boomer Eco Crusader)

    I absolutely love our local Buy Nothing group. When I was doing my decluttering challenge, I got rid of so many things on that page, and most of them were claimed within minutes of me posting them. I love how happy and grateful people are when they pick things up.

  • Karalee

    I have heard about Buy Nothing groups, but I haven’t joined one. I should definitely see if there is one in for my community! It was great seeing some of the items you got from your group, and it does seem like a great way to pass on items to someone else that can use them.

    • A Sustainably Simple Life

      It took a while for one to pop up in my community, but I was so happy when they did. They are so great to be a part of πŸ™‚

  • Molly | Transatlantic Notes

    I absolutely love this idea! What a great way to be sustainable but also be part of a generous, caring community initiative. This is something every village, town and city should have. Just reading about it made me feel happy; I’d not heard of this before so I will look it up in my area!

    • A Sustainably Simple Life

      Oh I love this comment so much! And I totally agree. I hope every community can build a group like these ones πŸ™‚

  • acrossthegreatplanes

    I love this! I hadn’t heard of buy nothing groups but will definitely be checking to see if there are any near me. I’m quite active in Facebook market place as I’ve been doing a lot of decluttering recently but I’d love to gift some of my items instead! It looks like you’ve found some really great things too. Thank you so much for sharing x

What are your thoughts? Let us know in the comments!