News Local

Community invited to Buy Nothing gifting event

Emily Distefano, The Carman Valley Leader


The Carman-area Buy Nothing Facebook group is taking their message from the keyboard to the community.

The group is hosting a Junk in Your Trunk event at King’s Park on Saturday, May 20 and the general public is invited to come meet new people, enjoy a free barbecue, and pick up some free stuff or give away what you don’t need.

The Buy Nothing Project is a worldwide movement that originated in Seattle in 2013 and encouraged the formation of hyper-local gift economies.

“We use Facebook as our platform of communication; however it means sharing, random acts of kindness, and community connections,” said Michelle Aldie, an administrator of the group and the founder of the Carman chapter. “The Buy Nothing Project is all about community, making connections, and getting to know your neighbours. Communities can truly be self-sustainable when people come together and help one another.”

Aldie said this specific event is meant to be a fun, free and family-friendly way for community members to get together and to meet one another.

“Essentially, it’s a community yard sale, where everything is free,” she said. “This is a great opportunity to share our new and used items with others who could use them and keep them out of the landfill. After spring cleaning, many people rid their homes of unused and unwanted items. But you know how the saying goes – one person’s trash is another person’s treasure.”

Aldie said all are welcome to attend, whether they are offering items or not. Anyone gifting items needs to register his or her vehicle beforehand, though.

“We encourage members of the community to come out, browse, enjoy the barbecue and find out what the Buy Nothing project is all about,” she said. “If you’d like to register a vehicle and participate in the Junk in Your Trunk event, just send a request to join the Carman Buy Nothing group, and we will add you to the Facebook event “Junk in Your Trunk”, where you will then be able to register your vehicle.”

Aside from tangible items, Aldie said people are welcome to offer baked goods, food, services and well as gifts of time, such as free babysitting.

There will also be a free barbecue and potluck for anyone attending the event. And since it’s a community potluck, all are welcome to bring a dish to share with others. A list of the food items confirmed are listed within the Facebook group.

Everything, including the food, items and services will be free for the taking.

“This is not geared towards those who may ‘need’ an item more than someone else,” explained Aldie. “All people are considered equals in the Buy Nothing Project. People will be free to browse, mingle, take, and offer items as they please.”

There are some prohibited items. Since the event is taking place in a public area, alcohol will not be permitted for consumption or for gifting to others.

Other items that are not permitted are any illegal paraphernalia, any firearms of any kind, prescription medication, drop-side cribs and expired car seats.

Aldie said the group was inspired in part by the community response to Carman-Dufferin’s recent flooding.

“We saw how Carman came together during the flooding to help one other out; that was truly a ‘Buy Nothing’ mentality,” she said. “It’s time to meet all those people, to thank those who may have helped you, to meet people, to enjoy a BBQ as well as a free yard sale, and to show any sceptics that Carman is filled with good people, where we help each other out without any expectation of gifts or money in return.

“We strive on positivity, kindness, community connections, and gratitude,” added Aldie. “The ‘free stuff’ is just a bonus.”

The event will take place on Saturday, May 20 at King’s Park in Carman, from 12:00 to 3:00 pm, weather permitting.