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