Buy Nothing Project Group Update

Since I started Philadelphia’s first Buy Nothing Project, the group has exploded locally (as well as globally, headed by their dedicated admin team). The local launch picked up publicity in Philadelphia Magazine and quickly grew to more than 400 members!

Additional groups formed in Fishtown, Northern Liberties, Fairmount, and even the burbs! And our Bella Vista/Washington Square/Queen Village group is working on breaking off the South Philly and Graduate Hospital members into their own groups to create more walkable neighborhood community groups.

I’m encouraging the split for a couple reasons. Mainly, a puzzle or a jar of jam is far less appealing when you realize you’d have to walk 3 miles to get it. And this group is about fostering small neighborhood communities – no one should have to travel more than a mile, and driving all around the city picking up odds and ends is not really the idea. People interested in casting a wider net for giving and receiving can also join groups like Free Your Stuff Philadelphia.

Meanwhile, I have met so many lovely people, some of whom have lived just down the street for me for years but we had never connected. I’ve seen TONS of items put to good use throughout our community and kept out of the landfills – not to mention saving money and consumption on new items!

In just six months, here are the items I have personally gifted and received:


  • An assortment of binders, folders, and other office supplies
  • Outgrown baby clothes and toys
  • A carseat and stroller
  • A collection of matchbooks
  • A small space heater
  • A broken plate (for mosaic-ing)
  • A portable DVD player
  • An old record player
  • A pillow and comforter

    Pillow and comforter in their new home
    Pillow and comforter in their new home. Photo courtesy of @avrankin
  • G-Diaper liners
  • Assorted K-cups
  • Old iPhone charger
  • A make-your-own beer kit


    • A wrought iron decoration for my patio
Screen Shot 2015-06-01 at 1.27.40 PM
Painted by me
      • Fleece-lined leather gloves
      • An unopened jar of yeast for bread machines
      • Two pairs of toddler shoes
      • A toddler bike helmet
      • Teaspoons, knives, and a vegetable peeler
      • A fold up baseball game toy
      • Kids’ hat and gloves
      • A tip that saved me $200 at Home Depot
      • Two batches of homemade cookies

Since I first posted about this project, there is an even better chance that you can find a group near you no matter where you live! And if they don’t have one yet, start one! You can also follow some of the inspiring Buy Nothing stories from around the world on their Facebook page.

Another great way to give and receive free items is through the Yerdle App – you just have to pay for shipping if the pick up isn’t local. Use my link for free “Yerdle Dollars!”

Have you used a Buy Nothing Group or similar in your community?

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