Aren’t you tired of having to buy everything? What if there was a way to live simply, with all you need, but without having to pay for it – just a thank you? Well, I found a way when I moved to Seattle! Actually, it exists all over the country and it’s called the “Buy Nothing” group on Facebook. Not on Facebook? Well, I guess now you’ve got a valid reason.

Get to know your neighborhood

The concept is simple: calling upon your community when in need of something. Nothing to pay. Nothing to give in exchange. Simply return the favor when you want to get rid of things instead of trying to sell them for a few bucks. Say, you need a flower vase or you aren’t using your toaster, then spread the word on the Buy Nothing group of your city or neighborhood – Seattle is split into several areas (Ballard for instance).

You can only belong to one group since the whole idea is community based. Before you can join your local group, the admin of this specific group (a friendly neighbor) must verify that you actually live there.

A way to recycle

It’s amazing! Minimalist by nature, I landed in Seattle with just one backpack. Now that I am living here, married and with a baby, there are things I do need. Like new clothes, baby things, books, etc. And, whenever I have something I don’t need anymore, I post it on the group. It’s crazy how we tend to accumulate stuff when we have the space for it. Fortunately, I am not attached to things and I love my space uncluttered. 🙂

As the saying goes… One man’s trash is another man’s treasure. Although, I’d not consider what is being offered trash. Most items are in great shape, if not new. Some people even give away veggies from their garden!

In short, the Buy Nothing group works great and it also prevents over-consumption with its inevitable excess of garbage. It’s a nice way to recycle your stuff and save some money while taking part in the community. Furthermore, you get to make new friends in your neighborhood.

My Buy Nothing experience so far? made new friends, got to explore parts of my town that I didn’t even know existed, got an Ikea wooden bunk-bed for the kiddo, flower vases, cleaning supplies, maternity clothes, kefir grains, beautiful wool jacket, etc.

What do you think? Feeling like creating some space around you or in need of something you’d rather not buy? Join your local group!

Heloise De Smet