Our August Community Champion is the Buy Nothing Project, for the community building work they do in Canberra.
The Buy Nothing Project is a movement that began in 2013 with two friends in Western Australia. It operates as local Facebook groups across Canberra and participants are encouraged to ‘give where you live’. Participants can offer to gift spare items, or request things they need. They are entirely volunteer run.
The Buy Nothing Groups across North Canberra
The Buy Nothing Project doesn’t just reduce landfill and help people in need, it also strengthens community connection and builds trust. As founders Rebecca Rockefeller and Leisl Clark said, ‘it creates connections in person, not just online, leading to more robust communities that are better prepared to tackle both hard times and good by giving freely.’
One of the guiding principles of the Buy Nothing Project is that they measure wealth by personal connections made and trust built, rather than the ‘stuff’ exchanged. In my local suburb, we’ve used our local Buy Nothing Group to get a bed for our dog, and given away furniture, electrical goods and oodles of clothes that our kids have outgrown. Because you’re making the exchange with a local, there’s never far to travel, and it creates an extra reason to smile at your neighbour when you see them again at the local shops.
Since the lockdown began, Canberrans using the Buy Nothing Groups have offered to drop over groceries for neighbours in isolation, share spare toilet roll and messages of solidarity and support .
You can find your local Buy Nothing Group here, and check out the Buy Nothing Project website here.