As inflation continues, ‘Buy Nothing’ grows in popularity

Published: Nov. 24, 2021 at 11:16 PM PST
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RENO, Nev. (KOLO) - As inflation hits a 31-year high and many continue to struggle financially, there is a movement gaining momentum in our area.

It’s called Buy Nothing and as the name indicates you give and receive items without paying.

Cathy Schmidt has been a member of the Buy Nothing (Central) Reno group for a year now.

“I love the concept of not wasting anything,” said Schmidt.

During her time as a member, she has been able to give, “Just today I gave away a turkey,” said Schmidt.

Also receive, “I got this lamp from our Buy Nothing group and this big plant.”

However, what has surprised her the most is the connections with other members of the community.

“We depend on each other and I’ve made some fabulous friends,’ said Schmidt.

Buy Nothing (Central) Reno group went from around 700 members this summer to 931.

Group administrator Brianna Caldwell, believes the growth has mostly been driven by word of mouth and families in need.

“It’s just getting harder to get by and to live and is harder for families to like, pay for everything that they need,” said Caldwell. So, I’ve seen it become a place where families and just people in general, can rely on their community to get what they need.

Other groups in the area have also seen double and in some cases triple the number of membership requests this year.

Buy Nothing, mostly operates on Facebook and each neighborhood has its own page.

Members use posts to ask for and offer goods and services, all without exchanging money.

“We have four kids,” said Caldwell. “We had points where me and my husband got laid off and it was something like, if we needed something for a birthday party, for Christmas or whatever it was, everyone was like rushing in like, ‘I have this, my kid never opened it’ and ‘I have all this wrapping paper.”

The Buy Nothing Project started in 2013 as a way to reduce environmental harm of plastic waste.

Caldwell explains members can do three things, ask for something, give something or share how the help they received made a difference.

I think everybody feels they’re worthy when others come out and help them in whatever they need,” said Schmidt.

Although items available from other members may be unpredictable, these community groups can be great tool to save money this holiday season and the rest of the year.

To find the Buy Nothing group closest to your address, download the Buy Nothing Project app.

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