09/27/2020 – The Buy Nothing Project began when two friends, Rebecca Rockefeller and Liesl Clark, created an experimental hyper-local gift economy in Bainbridge Island, WA, in 2013. Since then, it has become a worldwide social movement, with groups in 30 nations.
Local groups, like the one in Owasso have formed gift economies that are complementary and parallel to local cash economies; whether people join because they’d like to quickly get rid of things that are cluttering their lives, or simply to save money by getting things for free, they quickly discover that the groups are not just another free recycling platform. A gift economy’s real wealth is the people involved and the web of connections that form to support them.
Members of the groups find themselves spending more and more time interacting with each other, finding new ways to give back to the community they love.
With the circumstances surrounding COVID 19, the Owasso group grew exponentially, so much so that over the weekend, the original group sprouted into three separate, closer knit hyper-local groups. The Buy Nothing Project has formed groups for the East, West and North areas of Owasso, connecting residents in those geographical boundaries.
I had followed the original group for several months, and have witnessed the beauty of the giving. I have seen not just the giving of members “things,” but also of themselves, donating their time and services to help others. I have witnessed the happy hearts of those giving, and gratefulness of those that have received these blessings. Local community members volunteer their time to watch-over the groups, making sure they run smoothly, and as intended.