From trash to treasures Facebook page allows users to "buy nothi - CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8

From trash to treasures Facebook page allows users to "buy nothing" in their community

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SAN DIEGO (NEWS 8) - The goal of the Buy Nothing Project is that nothing goes to waste. From leftover food to cleaning out your closet, someone's trash can become someone else's treasure using a Facebook page.  

The Buy Nothing pages are separated by neighborhood, so it's a hyper-local way to share that's not just about getting free stuff, but also about building community.

"The food goes quickly," said Megan Hubbard Carter, a Buy Nothing Ocean Beach user.

The Buy Nothing group began in 2013, in Washington state. It has sprouted into other groups in 20 nations for a combined half-a-million members. 

Ocean Beach was the first group in San Diego County. Currently there are now 60 groups in San Diego. 

"I have a breastfeeding pillow - I can't count how many women have used this pillow - and it continues to circulate," said Buy Nothing Rancho Bernardo administrator Cherri Christiansen.

Users say other items on Buy Nothing have included a washer, kids items and clothes.

"Hopefully the people who gave us our shirts are watching," said Megan Hubbard Carter.

The junk users want to toss, someone else on the page wants to catch.

"What's really fun is when you post something that you are just done with and somebody else is so excited," said Sunny Brady, Buy Nothing North Park Administrator. "[You wonder] 'Why are they so excited about my garbage?' And it makes you feel good."

The hyper-local "gifting," found through the Buy Nothing Project on Facebook, has a motto: Give freely and share creatively. Users are asked to keep it civil and keep it legal with no buying, selling, trading or bartering.

"Buy Nothing is really about connecting with that person and you get to know where that item came from," said Cherri.

Some call it quirky or wacky but users can outfit their home, seed their own garden and more.

Buy Nothing allows users to post items they want to get rid of or "gift" to residents in the user's neighborhood. Users can also ask for items and services. 

"I have someone coming next week and they are going to install my free library for free and I am so excited too," said Sunny.

The group started in 2013 in Washington state and has sprouted more than a half a million groups across the world. Ocean Beach was the first group in the county - growing to more than 60 in San Diego.

Users say it's not just about reducing waste and getting free stuff - it's the conduit to the connection.

These connections build community; there have even been Buy Nothing weddings.

Kimm McLaughlin's neighborhood came together when her daughter passed away and she wanted angels and butterflies to decorate her room.

"It melts my heart and I love it," said Kimm. "I love all that helped me out. It was a beautiful thing."

So before you throw away, donate, dump in the alley or buy online - think about building local connections.

"We always need something," said Sunny. "We are always out buying something and it's so much better than person-to-person and meet new people and get new stuff."

To join your neighborhood Buy Nothing search for your area. You can only join one and it must be in your community, so you can give where you live or if you want to start one visit: www.Facebook.Com/buynothingproject.

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