A love letter to my Buy Nothing Club

Several months into 2020, the boxes, plastic wrap, and product cases began to pile up, and so did my guilt. What’s the point of advocating for climate action when I’m part of the problem? Our online shopping habits contribute to greenhouse gas emissions by increasing airplane emissions as well as the need for gas burning, massive container ships (which STALLED at the ports for weeks on end, emitting even more wasteful emissions in 2021).

That’s when I stumbled upon a 400+ comment thread on Nextdoor that asked neighbors if they need anything, and if anyone was willing to volunteer or give something away. Folks were asking and giving away produce, canned goods, diapers, vacuums, gardening tools, you name it. But it also seemed inefficient- you had to be reading the thread at the right time to find the right item you’re looking for (and some items triggered bidding wars).

THEN I saw a comment about joining the Buy Nothing Club. It turns out these BNCs exist in most neighborhoods throughout the country, and are facilitated by volunteer admins who monitor the FB group or app. There is no trading, negotiating, or bidding allowed. I chose to join my neighborhood BNC on Facebook, and over the last year I’ve received (FOR FREE):

3 cans of spam
A new, full size container of eczema cream
Lemons and limes
Brand new ASUS monitor

And I’ve GIVEN AWAY:

Old curling irons
Makeup/skincare samples
Nail polish
Dresses

Honorable Mentions (items I saw posted but did not need) include:

Vintage working typewriter
Amazingly decorated sugar cookies (from a local baker who is practicing)
Entire boxes of packing peanuts
Baby clothes
Wheelchair

These are all items that would be sadly thrown away without BNCs. So I’m here to share the love- it’s FREE, you’re reducing WASTE, you get stuff you needed OR you can get ride of stuff you don’t want, and did I mention it is LITERALLY FREE?

Join your local BNC here, and brag to your friends about all the free stuff you got, no shipping, no extra packaging, no taxes or fees. Win win win.

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