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Buy Nothing: The Hyper Local Gifting Project That Took Off On Facebook




An Indian man looks at the Facebook app on his smartphone in Amritsar on March 22, 2018.
An Indian man looks at the Facebook app on his smartphone in Amritsar on March 22, 2018.
NARINDER NANU/AFP via Getty Images

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If you’re on Facebook, then you might be familiar with Buy Nothing groups. 

These are hyper local groups where neighbors can give away goods or services for free. And you’ll see all sorts of things on there: bikes, dog walking offers, used lamps and desks and even half-eaten cakes. The Buy Nothing Project was started in 2013 by two women from Washington state, and according to their site, they now have groups in forty-four different countries. And the founders have said that the movement isn’t just about recycling, it’s also a way to tighten communities and establish a gifting economy. We dive into the Buy Nothing Project, as well as its evolution and impact.

With guest host Sharon McNary

Guests:

Foram Mehta, journalist and content developer who wrote the piece “The ‘Buy Nothing’ Groups on Facebook Are What Humanity Needs Right Now

Nayantara Dutta, culture journalist who wrote the Vox piece “Neighbors are gathering online to give and get the things they need right now"; she tweets @nayantaradutta