Buy Nothing Public Library

Welcome to our Buy Nothing Public Library!

In our ongoing effort to provide open source materials for anyone endeavoring to build a local gift economy in their community, we’re building our own public library of resources, a curated collection of links for your needs.

Each one of these resources is written by someone who has thought deeply about the Buy Nothing experience or about gift economies in general and we see them as helpful guiding lights for anyone on a Buy Nothing journey toward equitable sharing.

Each author of these works maintains their own documents and edits them as they see fit. Some have Creative Commons licenses so you can use them within your own gift economy and/or share them widely with those in your circle who want to learn more about the mindset of abundance and inclusion we’re all working hard to seed.

If you have a question about any of these resources or how to use these tools to create or improve your Buy Nothing community, or if you have a resource you’d like to submit for possible inclusion in the Buy Nothing Public Library, you can reach the team of Volunteer Buy Nothing Librarians by visiting our Support Center.

Buy Nothing Groups on Social Media

The Equity Team’s Community Agreement: This is the agreement we all enter into when we join a Buy Nothing Facebook group. Our deepest gratitude goes to the Buy Nothing Equity Team for crafting this foundational document.

Buy Nothing Project Open Source Attribution & Inclusion: This page contains information to help you license and use the Buy Nothing Project Creative Commons License documents in ways that respect copyright law.

Determining Buy Nothing Group Footprints: Helpful information about how to determine your group’s footprint.

Buy Nothing Group Naming Conventions: Suggested naming conventions that will aid in ease of finding groups on the Buy Nothing Project worldwide online list of gift economies

Getting Your Buy Nothing Group Started: Some great tips on kickstarting your new Buy Nothing group into action.

As Your Group Gains Momentum: This document is designed to answer some questions about things that may happen as you’re living your life as a Buy Nothing group admin.  

Growth Options: In this document we provide you with information about the most commonly-used approaches to accommodate community growth, and their pros and cons. 

Sprouting FAQs: These questions and answers are offered as a resource for Buy Nothing groups going through the Sprouting process.

Sprout Process: A roadmap for navigating the sprouting process.

Various Sprout Posts: Sample posts to utilize throughout the sprouting process

Safety And Physical Accessibility

A Buy Nothing Participant Asks Her Community How To Make Their Gift Economy a Safer and More Inclusive Place for All, A Post by Laurel Lea

Social Justice & Equity

Dear Equity Team: Please have a look at the latest insights provided by the Buy Nothing Project Equity Team. Their website will be updated over time with new questions (from you!) and writings by Equity Team members and special contributors. This amazing resource is here just for you!

Buy Nothing Project Racial Justice Resources: We maintain a reading list for that is available for all of us and we welcome any additions you’d like to suggest. Please send your recommendations to

White Flight Notes: A longtime Buy Nothing volunteer shares their observations about white flight in neighborhood groups.

Including Our Neighbors Experiencing Housing Crises in Our Gifting Communities: “Creating an equitable gifting community that includes all of our neighbors will be possible when we choose to expand our viewpoint by learning about our neighbors with unconventional housing.”

Uncomfortable Conversations
Feeling Uncomfortable And Why It’s Okay, by Jennifer Lansdowne: There is one gift that your participation in the Buy Nothing Project may bring you, whether you want it or not: The gift of feeling uncomfortable.

Buy Nothing Project Co-Founders’ Creations:

What to Share During a Pandemic – a poster for online sharing or printing.

Pandemic Survival Resources Template – a community mutual aid template that will help during any community disaster or emergency. Available as a Google Doc and a PDF.

Buy Nothing Reuse Store – Your Local Zero Waste Roadmap – Reduce, Reuse, Recycle: We all know the 3 Rs, and some have more impact than others. Our personal favorite is: “Refuse,” meaning literally don’t buy it in the first place. After that, Reducing and Reusing is at the top of the list. This worksheet is a template that will help you to keep the materials that are in your community right there, and out of the landfill. Items can be reused by others who truly want them. This template is US-centric, if you’d like to create one that is more geared toward your country, we’d be happy to help you share it with the world via our Buy Nothing Public Library.

Community Freesources Template – This template holds a list of organizations, resources, and groups set up for the community that provide items and services for free. Some international Buy Nothing Project resources are already listed, just add your own local info. 

Neighborhood Buddy System Template – This is a template form and spreadsheet your community can use to unite people in need of gifts of self with people who can provide these gifts. This is especially useful during times like, for example, a global pandemic, but it can be useful anytime to bring your community together to care for each other.

Comfort & Love, a crowd-sourced cookbook – This is a collection of family favorite comfort food recipes from Buy Nothing-ers around the world.