In promotion of the ideals of sharing and community, Fontanelle resident Dani Groves started a Facebook page last week that is called the Buy Nothing page. On it, users can post pictures of items that they have laying around they no longer want or need. They then have opportunity to give those items away or gift them to someone who needs them.
Unlike Swap pages where items posted are for sale, all items on this page are free. The page may be found by searching Buy Nothing Fontanelle/Greenfield/Bridgewater/Massena, IA on the social media site.
Groves explained this idea isn’t unique to Fontanelle or even this area, it’s a nationwide movement she stumbled upon and built from.
“I’ve seen a lot of Instagram stories about these Buy Nothing groups and I always thought that sounded cool,” Groves said. “I did some research and didn’t see any around our area. I didn’t know it was an actual organization.”
The Buy Nothing Project was started by Rebecca Rockefeller and Liesl Clark of Bainbridge Island, Washington. The website for the project says that the project exists to set aside the scarcity model of society and promote the sharing of abundance there already is.
“Local groups form 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 our groups are not just another free recycling platform,” the website said.
Groves explained that even more than sharing items, she began the local group to promote community among residents here.
“Our goal is to provide a space for neighbors to get to know each other and to minimize our impact on the environment by passing along our usable (and sometimes not so usable) items in the process,” she wrote in the rules section of the page.
Gifters may past any item they would like to gift or lend freely and are encouraged to let a post “simmer” so that more people can participate before the item is given away to the person the gifter feels is most appropriate to receive it.
The page grew to about 160 members by last weekend and Groves expected it to continue to take off as more people learned about it and how it works.
“I thought this would be super fun and it kind of brings the community together,” Groves said. “You’re all posting free things. That allows you to go meet your community members and neighbors and to be able to help each other. It brings a nice sense of community and brings us together in this time that’s not very fun.”