Salt Lake city neighbors create a sharing economy through online Buy Nothing groups | News | Salt Lake City Weekly
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Salt Lake city neighbors create a sharing economy through online Buy Nothing groups

Small Lake City



In recent years, a growing number of consumers have embraced the concept of sustainable consumption and community-driven initiatives. One such movement gaining traction nationwide is the "buy nothing" group.

"Buy nothing" operates through social media platforms such as Facebook, where members join a local group that engages in the gift economy. Members can post items they no longer need or request items they want.

The groups encourage a spirit of generosity, with the primary goal of sharing resources within the community rather than purchasing new items from outside. Transactions within these groups are based on trust and goodwill, creating a sense of camaraderie among members. By working together, participants reduce waste and save money, helping to reduce impacts on the environment and build a strong local community.

My spouse had never heard of such a thing—to be fair, they are not on social media (and they do not talk to our neighbors). But these groups, facilitated through social media platforms, have become a powerful force in promoting a culture of sharing, reducing waste and building stronger local communities. It started in Washington state and quickly spread throughout the nation. Here in Utah, you can search for your local neighborhood's group—for example, "Buy Nothing Sugar House" or "Buy Nothing Rose Park."

A few favorite finds through Buy Nothing are an overstuffed leather chair that I love to nap in and a gorgeous yellow velvet Ethan Allen chair (yes, name brands are not unusual on the site) that I now use as my reading chair. I recently picked up a twig wreath that I hung up for the month of February and discovered new dog treats that my geriatric chihuahua loves!

My art studio is full of art supplies that have been gifted from the Buy Nothing group. Hanging in our bedroom is an original abstract drawing that we found to be gorgeous (a member of the group has an uncle who is an artist). My kids have even benefitted with new makeup, cute sweaters and treats I would not normally buy.

During harvest season, we love the fresh produce that neighbors post about that people can pick up on their porches. It is truly my favorite group on Facebook and often the only reason I stick around on that platform.

Our budget continues to see benefits from this group. When we need to get rid of things, the convenience of just being able to put it out on our porch and have it gone is incredible.

Community: I am here for it.