Buy Nothing Sharing Events

Buy Nothing Sharing Events

In person Buy Nothing events are a wonderful way to get to know your neighbors and to share in the abundance in your community. Over the years, we’ve hosted all kinds of sharing events in our small town, either in our homes or out in public parks, or in community buildings. Sometimes they’re impromptu, but most often they require a little organizing and some work ahead of time to get the word out. Below is a list of events we’ve thrown plus ideas that have been shared with us by communities all over the world. We’d tried our best to steer clear from words like “sale” or “swap”, and we hope you’ll try too! There are some alternative name suggestions within each event, below. Please use these ideas for your own purposes! We’d love to see more in-person sharing happen in every community.

Image Description: Sepia-toned image of an olive-skinned brown-haired brown-eyed girl holding out a metal box filled with Playmobil human figures and horses to offer as a gift for other children.

Image credit: Liesl Clark

Buy Nothing Boutique

Other possible names for this event include: 

Buy Nothing Bazaar

Buy Nothing Free Market

Rehoming Event

Upcycle Event

Giving Extravaganza (Thanks to Brenda Flores)

Buy Nothing and Give Everything

Gift-a-Palooza

Share Fair – (Thanks to Cherie Frank)

Free Fair

Free-For-All – (Thanks to Jennifer Wagner)

Gift Meet (Thanks to Jess Monsterr)

Gift of Giving Festival (Thanks to Jess Monsterr)

Grand Gift Gala (Thanks to Carolyn Schlicher)

Gift and Gab – (Thanks to Danielle Ell)

Twice is Nice Gifting Event – (Thanks to Kellie McLellan Jackson)

Rummage Roost (Thanks to Ally Robertson)

Meet, Greet, Give & Gather (Thanks to Katylin Enoch Seraphim Justin)

Share in plein-air! re-Green! Rethink! Reduce Repurpose Reuse Recycle Repair Recover Regift!
(Thanks to Katylin Enoch Seraphim Justin)

Invitation: Come and give away the items you just don’t have time to post or bring items that have been left unclaimed in the community! This is a chance to do one-stop Giving (and Getting!) This event is a great way to spruce up your home (and your storage, garage, and closet, etc.), let your kids participate in the giving and receiving, plus you can chat with your neighbors face to face.

Please remember that you don’t have to bring anything in order to “shop” at our Buy Nothing events. This is a social event as much as a sharing event. Do not feel obligated to bring anything but yourself! 

You can bring your own tables, racks, or blankets to help with your displays. Don’t forget to bring bags to bring your new items home! You can also return home with the gifts no one has taken from your offerings or a volunteer may post them in our local gift economy for others who might like them, or they’ll be shared with a local charity. Just connect with the organizers to make a plan!

Treasure in Your Trunk

Other possible names for this event include:

Junk In the Trunk

Booty in the Boot

Treasure in Your Trunk

Buy Nothing Free Market

Really Really Free Market

Invitation: Come join us in the parking lot of ___ and bring your goodies to share with the community! You can display your items on the tailgate of your car, on a blanket, table, or on your own homemade display! All comers are welcome and you’re also welcome to arrive with nothing to offer. But please go home with arms full of gifts! 

Buy Nothing Clothing Share

Image description: Pale feminine people with brown and blond hair looking at clothing piled high on a table, one translucent shirt with gold embroidery held up in the sunlight.
Image Credit: Liesl Clark

Other possible names for this event include:

Gift of Garb Clothing Event

Buy Nothing Second Hand Clothing Gifting Boutique (Thanks to Mel Lamborn)

Clothing Free-For-All

Clothing Melee

Buy Nothing Clothing Fair

Community Closet (Thanks to Nicole Weber)

Invitation: Clean out your closets and drawers! The Buy Nothing Clothing Share is coming!

Whether it’s not your size any more or just not your style, so long as it’s in good shape with plenty of life left, your clothing is going to make someone else very happy. The same goes for old jewelry, unused cosmetics (unopened only, please), and accessories of all sorts. Any kind of clothing is welcome!

We’ll do this potluck style: We’ll set everything out so it’s somewhat organized, then we’ll all fill a glass with something we’d like to drink (BYOB, whatever sort works for you) and we’ll start our mellow, friendly, and free ‘shopping’. Any clothing fights will be settled by group arbitration, so bring your manners and your sense of humor along with your clothing and drink.

Location and time TBD – We’ll post the address here in 2 weeks before the event. Carpooling encouraged!

Buy Nothing Food and Garden Potluck

Image Description: A basket full of homemade yogurt in a jar, kombucha in a bottle, fresh-baked bread, and a bunch of kale.
Image Credit: Liesl Clark

Invitation

Please join us at ___ where we share our garden and culinary goodies!
This weekly gathering is one of my favorite things to do each week. Great company, delicious finds — this is what community is about!

Buy Nothing Garden Share

Other possible names for this event include:

Buy Nothing Plant Share

Buy Nothing Seed Share Grow Garden Beds and Friendships (Thanks to Lita Byrnes & Katylin)

March Hare’s Tea and Garden Seed Party (Thanks to Katylin Enoch Seraphim Justin)

Invitation: Come share your plants, seeds, and garden produce at our weekly Garden Share gathering at the park!

Image Description: Light purple lilacs pour out of a basket holding pots full of plants and some carrots.
Image Credit: Liesl Clark

Books & Beer

Image Description: A colorful stack of paperback books (including the Complete Illustrated Book of Yoga, Stranger in a Strange Land, by Robert A. Heinlein, Culture and Imperialism, by Edward W. Said) in front of a sunny window, with a Corona Beer and a Reed’s Ginger Beer beside the stack of books. 

Image Credit: Rebecca Rockefeller

Invitation: Do your shelves have books gathering dust, tomes that you’re ready to send to new homes? Re-home your books at our Books-n-Beer shindig. Think of this as a literary potluck. 

Stop by the counter at ______ to buy the beverage of your choice (yes, OK, technically this is not a pure Buy Nothing event, but you’ll be supporting a local business with your cash). Then head upstairs with your books and your beverage to meet other Buy Nothing participants who might have that novel you’ve been wanting to read, or something entirely new and surprising that will keep you up late, turning pages by flashlight. 

We’ll set all the books out on the big tables, then everyone can choose what they’d like to bring home, no need to haggle. It will be fun, you will meet other wonderful Buy Nothing people, and ____ is family-friendly so your kids can come along, too. Bring your own food to go with your drink, or order pizza for delivery once you arrive. 

Image Description: A girl with long brown hair in a pink shirt stands with her back to the camera, her hair very tangled.
Image Credit: Liesl Clark

Bedhead & Boardgames
(Thanks Katylin Enoch Seraphim Justin!)

Invitation: Come as you are. Brunch, bedheads, and boardgames are all you need, and we’ll serve scones and coffee. Meet us at (place, date & time).
Stop by for a free cup of coffee & scone, then stay for 90 minutes of chatting and board games.
Bring your favorite game and let’s meet and hang out. We are not a family of larks, so be forewarned, we will have bed head, so come as you are Saturday morning, lounge attire welcome. This is a family event. (The amenities at the community center include bathroom, ADA access, pool table, air hockey, and big tables!)

 

Other possible names for similar food and friendly chat events include:

Buy Nothing Project Meet & Eat

Buy Nothing Pickling Party! Bring your fresh veggies and learn to Pickle! (Thanks to Lita Byrnes)

Buy Nothing Coffee & Chat

Buy Nothing BBQ/Potluck

Image Description: A plate on a table with a shag rug in the background. The plate has a drawing of it with a house and animals outside with a single tree. The plate also has the following words on it:

“This plate belongs to everyone, wherever it may go… With each new sharing of its gift, the love and blessings grow. So fill it up and pass it on to family and to friends… to start the circle one more time, love’s journey never ends.” Image Credit: Janet Billenstein

Pass the Cookie Plate! (Thanks Katylin Enoch Seraphim Justin!)

Invitation:

Bring a plate with 12 homemade, store-bought or even that box of frozen thin mints cookies!

Bring your empty plate, a cup for coffee and join us for a gathering.

Please note the ingredients of cookies to share and give so that everyone feels easy going. 

I will provide organic coffee, cow cream, hot water and a selection of tea bags.

Hours and Date

Often a library or community center will host this event for you for free!
Our library has hosted these for our community in winter months. A pro tip is to call early in the year and see how far ahead they will allow you to reserve a room.

BN Stitch-n-Bitch

Invitation: This one’s self-explanatory. Come stitch and, well, chat with your fellow bitc…..oh, you get the gist of it.

Image Description: “Cranky Crochet”! Balls of crochet yarn and a crochet hook in blues and maroon tones on a gray and white striped backdrop.
Image Credit: Shelley Schwinn

Image Description: Two Light-skinned young children dressed in Star Wars Costumes with crossed Otter Pop-Lightsabers
Image Credit: Katylin Enoch Seraphim Justin

Otter Pop Talk
(Thanks to Katylin Enoch Seraphim Justin)

Invitation: Otter Pop Chat! I will bring an icebox Otter Pops, scissors & a trash bag!
Let’s meet an hour before the free outside movie night under the trees! I heard it is Star Wars! Date and Time. OR
Let’s meet at the wade pool on Opening Day! Date and Time.
We will be there for the opening and until the pops are passed out. 

Come by and cool off! Have Otter Pops to share, bring them!
Need them frozen, contact me ahead of time.
Want an Otter Pop? Come on by and say hello! I will be the gal with the big black hat and the red wagon with a cooler of Otter Pops to share!{I do buy and ask a local store to freeze two large boxes of Otter Pops. But this can be done for free if you ask for a company to donate the Otter Pops to a community event.}

Buy Nothing Community Gleaning

Image Description: Young Asian boy in an orange sweatshirt in a tunnel of grape vines smiles and holds up a bunch of grapes he’s gleaned. 
Image Credit: Liesl Clark

Invitation: According to Wikipedia, gleaning (also called scrounging) is the act of collecting leftover crops from farmers’ fields after they have been commercially harvested or on fields where it is not economically profitable to harvest. Some ancient cultures promoted gleaning as an early form of a welfare system, but in reality, it was more of both a community and work-centered social safety net for the less-fortunate. If anyone has a tree or garden or knows of a city park that the town or city will welcome gleaners to, we could gather a group here – kids most welcome! – to glean together and share the produce with the community. Please let me know if you’re interested in joining in the fun or if you have a garden or know of a tree that could use some happy hands to help harvest. 

Image Description: Light-skinned child with brown hair making a grimmace has her face pokes through an unwieldy yellow banana costume. 
Image Credit: Rebecca Rockefeller

Halloween Costume Share

Other possible names for this event include:

Costless Costume Party (Thanks to Angelina Bonetti Deans)

Invitation:

You know you want to be a banana!
This one is for the kids of Buy Nothing!
We’ll set out costumes so they can pick what they’d like to dress up in Buy Nothing Project style for trick or treating this year.
Please gift your unwanted wearable costumes in all sizes. You can bring them or drop them off with me ahead of time. 

Image Description: Light-skinned child with brown hair making a cutting out purple and gold flowers from rice paper
Image Credit: Katylin Enoch Seraphim Justin

 

Buy Nothing Bring Everything Valentine’s Making Party

(Thanks to Katylin Enoch Seraphim Justin)
Invitation:

I am hosting a little Valentine’s Making Party on (date & Time).
Location is …It will be a popup-party!

DO: bring your art to work on, bring your ideas, bring your neighbors, bring things to give, or share. Bring your mug. I like to bring coffee and fixings to share!
In years past, I gathered loads of supplies but so much went unused. I am curious about what we will make if we glean and not buy supplies and share.
I have been making Valentine’s for years from random things, like X-rays, feathers, scraps, fliers, and remnants. An hour will fly by… let’s make this happen!

Welcoming Warm Winter Wishes

Image Description: Brown skinned hands with beaded bracelets and colorful clothing wrap gifts in patterned cloth.
Image Credit: Photo by Askar Abayev from Pexels

Invitation: Are you ready for the Buy Nothing Give Freely Holiday Boutique? We hope so! It’s an open house style event in celebration of Christmas, Hanukkah, Diwali, and Kwanzaa – Come find gifts for the people on your Nice List, and leave a few choice items for others to take home. Bring items to give to family, friends, neighbors, or don’t bring anything at all! Children are welcome to come and pick out presents for family members, too. Toys are welcome, housewares, nice clothing, jewelry, holiday gifts of any kind! Bring some wine or a snack to celebrate with us, or just join in the sharing. All leftover gifts will be posted to the Buy Nothing community or will go to local charities.  

Image Description: Handmade ornament of glittery snowflakes and sequins hanging from the branches of a holiday tree.
Image Credit: Liesl Clark

More!

There are so very many in-person reasons to gather and Buy Nothing can provide you with so many great excuses. We’d like to leave you with a few more lovely events we’ve witnessed, and we think you’ll get how to put them together, as they’re permutations of the events above!

Buy Nothing Sports Equipment Share (In the fall, people love to share their winter sports equipment – think skis, snowboards, snowshoes, sleds, etc – for the upcoming season)

Buy Nothing Back-To School (In which back to school supplies are collected and shared with community members)

Buy Nothing Pop-Ups (Imagine: A Buy Nothing Pop-Up Bookstore, Buy Nothing Plant Pop-Up, Buy Nothing Pop-Up Free Flower Bouquets….all done at your doorstep)