Feel Good Friday: ‘Buy Nothing’... gain so much

Feel Good Friday - Buy Nothing
Published: Feb. 22, 2022 at 10:50 AM EST
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PERRYSBURG, Ohio (WTVG) - Reduce, Re-use, Recycle.

We’ve all heard it and most of us have tried it. But over the last decade, there’s been a growing movement to combine those techniques with something more. It turns out, for many people, buying nothing is helping them gain much more than they ever expected.

Two women in Washington state launched the “Buy Nothing” movement about a decade ago. The concept was to create a safe space where neighbors could not only help one another and the planet, but also create real connections.

Luanne Billstein has served as administrator of the “Perrysburg North” facebook group for several years. She says members are held to a high standard that sets the movement apart from other sites where people get free stuff.

“It’s less about the stuff that we give and get. It’s more about relationships! That’s why they keep the groups hyper-local; they want you to know more intimately the people where you live,” she explained.

That is exactly what the group brought into Teresa Grodi’s life. The stay-at-home mother of five (with one on the way) admitted she initially approached the concept with a materialistic point of view. But when her dad had unexpected surgery, she turned to her neighbors looking for the necessities to help him recuperate at home.

“I think I wanted a hospital bed, a commode, a bed rail, a wheelchair, a wheelchair ramp .... And I had no idea how expensive these things were,” she said.

Yet, within 24 hours, she had all those items, free of charge.

Karen Sword is part of the same group. Her family moved to northwest Ohio a few years ago. The arrival of the pandemic, combined with fact that she home schools her kids has created an isolation she didn’t expect.

“I’m not just giving it to a charity where I don’t know where it’s going. I can see the people who are using it, and it just makes my heart happy.” she said with a smile.

You can search facebook for your neighborhood “Buy Nothing” group, or go to www.buynothingproject.org to learn more.

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