Reduce your environmental impact with the Buy Nothing Project

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By , Audacy

Out with the old, in with the new.

That phrase doesn’t just apply to the New Year, however. It’s also very fitting when it comes to decluttering your space.

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But how do you sustainably get rid of old tools, games, and other household objects that you no longer have a need for?

While some might suggest hosting a garage sale, dropping it off at a consignment shop, or throwing it away, there’s another and more eco-friendly option: the Buy Nothing Project.

According to, the project was started in 2013 by Rebecca Rockefeller and Liesl Clarkin on Bainbridge Island, Washington. The friends were inspired by villagers in the Himalayas who embraced what’s known as a gift economy.

This gave way to an experimental hyper-local gift economy on Facebook, which eventually turned into a social media movement that became supported by hundreds of social media groups in 44 countries, an app, millions of participants, and thousands of volunteers.

So, how does it work?

Members can give any gift – physical items or a service like repair work – as long as it follows national and local laws. Members can also request gifts from others.

If a group already exists in your area, you can request to join it via the website or Facebook page, the outlet notes. If it doesn’t, you can be the one to spearhead it by reading the instructions and filling out the form to get started.

Once you become a member, you can post with the options to “give, lend, receive, or borrow.”

The Buy Nothing Project notes that the rules prohibit buying, selling, trading, or bartering.

Through its service, the project turns one person’s trash into another person’s treasure as it gives life to materials and objects that may have otherwise ended up in the trash.

Through the act of giving and sharing, it simultaneously reduces waste and prevents the overfilling of landfills.

If you have leftover paint, you can offer it up to someone who might need it for an upcoming DIY project. If you’re moving, you can request boxes. You can share food if you have extra that might go to waste thus reducing gas emissions. You might even notice teachers asking for leftover supplies, and if so, you can donate those markers that have been lying around the house.

The project embraces the idea of “reduce, reuse, recycle,” so what are you waiting for? Join others in the Buy Nothing Project now!

For more ideas on how you can save the planet, visit 1Thing.

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