Stories from the NFCCA Newsletter, the “Northwood News”

Northwood News ♦ December 2020

‘Buy Nothing Four Corners’ Reuses, Recycles

By Ed Levy

Buy Nothing Four Corners is a hyper-local organization that is part of a worldwide network operating in 30 countries with over 1.2 million members.  Each local group is founded on the principles of “Give.  Ask.  Gratitude.”

The Buy Nothing movement was started in 2013 by two women who lived on Bainbridge Island near Seattle.  They wanted to follow the popular motto to “reduce, reuse, recycle.”  Members reduce their excess possessions by gifting them to neighbors who will reuse them.

Local members post items they want to give away on the group’s Facebook site.  The Four Corners group has 598 members in its Facebook group.  This group’s boundaries include people who live north of the Beltway, south of Arcola Avenue, west of Northwest Branch, and east of University Blvd.  People who wish to join the group but live outside these boundaries won’t be disappointed as there are several other groups surrounding our area including those in South and Southeast Silver Spring.

Local members post items they want to give away on the group’s Facebook site [].  They can also post items they wish to receive.  Donors are asked to let their offerings “simmer” for about 24 hours so a larger number of people can see what’s on offer.  If there are multiple interested parties, donors are encouraged to randomly choose the ultimate recipient.

The group is not a barter organization as neither giving nor asking transactions are dependent on any other action by either party to the exchange.  Members are encouraged to feel gratitude for the cooperative arrangement between them and their neighbors.

Community building has been more difficult in the age of COVID, which has limited the face-to-face exchange of items.  Members are more likely to leave the items on the neighbors’ porch and wave from a distance as they walk away.

Available items range from baby clothes to cookware to food items.  One of the most memorable transactions involved a young woman who had lost a unique baseball cap given to her by her now-deceased father.  An identical cap was located on the local Buy Nothing network, leading to abundant gratitude from the young woman.   ■

   © 2020 NFCCA  [Source:]