The Magic of the Buy Nothing Group

If you haven’t joined your local Buy Nothing group on Facebook yet, here’s why you NEED to. (Especially if you are a mom.)

But first, what is a Buy Nothing group?

Buy Nothing groups are local Facebook groups that allow members to post stuff they want to get rid of (usually labeled “GIFT” in the post), or items they would like to receive or borrow (usually labeled, “WISH”). Typically, the group is limited to a certain mile radius or subdivision, so it truly is your local community. 

The fundamental rule is that each item must be freely given with no expectation of repayment, which means no buying, selling, trading, or bartering.

There are a lot of reasons to love the Buy Nothing Facebook group.

 Here’s 5 reasons I love mine:

1-Buy Nothing groups are a natural way to make mom friends. 

I’ve made three in the year that I’ve used my Buy Nothing group. The first mom friend I made lives less than half a block from me in our tiny subdivision, and I somehow had never met her, although I had seen her walking by my house with her stroller nearly daily. 

She was giving baby boy clothes away and I was 38-weeks-pregnant with my first boy. While usually the gifting is done without physical interaction and is a quick porch-drop-off situation, when she and I realized that we were such close neighbors, we struck up conversation and a quick friendship was formed. 

This friendship became even more special when I was able to gift her my baby girl clothes when she found out she was having a little girl. 

Often, the mom friends you make through this group are ones you can continue to gift hand-me-downs to throughout your children’s life stages. It is a gift that keeps on giving. 

2-The occasional hilarity.

Every so often, you’re bound to see a post like:

Gift: 12 pounds of bananas. Confusion in the insta-cart order.

3-The passage of time is marked.

I’m the sentimental type, so for me, this has become one of my favorite things about the Buy Nothing group.

One of the most popular and frequent gifts on Buy Nothing groups are baby-related items, because as any mom can tell you–time flies quickly when your kids are little, and the toys and rockers and onesies that you need one minute, your baby has outgrown the next.

I have found it kind of momentous each time it was time to gift my baby’s clothes in the Buy Nothing group. It is a milestone that reminds me how quickly it goes by, and how thankful I am to watch him grow. 

4-It’s wallet-friendly and eco-friendly

I’ve become much more conscious of what I truly need to purchase. If I know I can probably get it on the Buy Nothing group, I’ll ask for it there rather than spend the money on a new one. 

In addition, I’m less likely to throw away something that could be reused by someone else. It’s always a good feeling knowing you’re doing something small that could help the planet.

5-The reminder that people are good, and you aren’t alone

Every year on Mother’s Day, a woman in my Buy Nothing group posts an invitation. 

Gift: For those grieving this Mother’s Day–for the mother that is gone, or was never present. For the mothers grieving over a child, or yearning for a baby. I will have coffee, tea, and snacks in my backyard with comfortable chairs and a listening ear. I will be there all day. I’d love to hear your story and be with you if you don’t want to be alone. 

I tear up every time I think of this woman, who year after year offers this priceless gift to others. In a world that feels a little bit darker every time I turn on the news, I try to remember there are people like her, right here in my neighborhood, doing what they can to make the world a brighter place.

And that is why I love my Buy Nothing group.

It offers community in the most unexpected place–a surprisingly amazing corner of the Internet. 


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