The 411 on the Buy Nothing Project


A friend recently invited me to join a local buy nothing group on Facebook, which I thought was just a random “give stuff away group.” After being in the group for a while, I learned that the Buy Nothing Project is a worldwide social movement that has a great way of building community.

Per the buy nothing website, “The Buy Nothing Project began when two friends, Rebecca Rockefeller and Liesl Clark, created an experimental hyper-local gift economy on Bainbridge Island, WA, in July, 2013. Since then, it has become a worldwide social movement, with groups in 44 nations.”

The idea of the Buy Nothing project is to create a gift economy right where you live with the people who you interact with every day. You can post things to give, share, or lend. You can ask for things you need without judgment, and show appreciation for your community. You can (in real-time) implement reduce, reuse, recycle. You can volunteer your time or ask for help in any other capacity. 

The Buy Nothing Project has set rules, but they aren’t hard to follow. Just be sure you read the requirements for your area before you participate. Each group has a map that outlines the area it covers. You must live or spend the majority of your time in that area in order to join that group. This ensures the gifts stay local, and makes receiving and gifting easier as travel is reduced. You may only join 1 group at a time.

The groups run via Facebook groups and can be found all over, including Columbia. All you have to do is request to join and answer the questions. 

The Columbia area groups are:

Buy Nothing Rosewood/Lower Richland/Columbia (Southeast), Columbia, SC

Buy Nothing Irmo (south) & St. Andrews/Seven Oaks/Riverbanks, Columbia, SC

Buy Nothing Northeast Columbia/ Forest Acres / Fort Jackson / Woodfield, SC

What similar organizations do you like to support?

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Lisa is a transplant from the Midwest. She was born and raised in Kansas (yes, she has seen a tornado) and spent a few years in Ohio before moving to South Carolina in 2014. She holds a degree in Biology and works as a research assistant at the USC School of Medicine. Her career in science spans 11 years and she can't imagine a job anywhere else. She has also been married to her college sweetheart for 11 years. He is a professor at USC, so they are Gamecock fans by default. They are proud parents to a spunky 2.5 year old girl who keeps them on their toes. As a family, they enjoy being outside in the wonderful southern sun, gardening, playing tennis, and going to the beach. They also are parents to 2 fur babies who still aren't sure about their little sister.


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