These conversations have worth, Mr. Kruggel mentioned, even when nobody is persuaded. “People connect across race, sexual identity, gender, class and geography,” he mentioned, which might be an efficient expertise for volunteers and voters alike.
Ms. Weighill mentioned she had been remodeled by lots of the conversations she had had on points starting from public security to racial equality, significantly these that started off “emotionally charged,” as with the North Carolina voter. “Once people realize you’re not there to argue, they let their guard down,” she mentioned. “You really end up hearing each other.” DAVID DODGE
‘Buy Nothing,’ and Give a Lot
On a quiet night time in December, Joanne McClain opened the door to her condo and positioned six plastic containers with neighbors’ names on them into the hallway. Each held a slice of almond-flour cake with pear, pistachio and rose. Ms. McClain had obtained 9 kilos of pistachios from her dad, and had tried a brand new recipe. It got here out amazingly effectively, however there was no method she might eat a complete cake, she mentioned: “I just had an abundance of ingredients and wanted to share.”
The cake turned a “give” on Ms. McClain’s native “Ask, Borrow, Give” group — half of a bigger motion, referred to as Buy Nothing, that connects folks providing free stuff to their neighbors as a method to reduce waste via repurposing. For many, it’s higher to give garments, home goods and even undesirable meals to neighbors than to ship them to donation facilities, which may solely resell a fraction of what they get. The major rule is that the whole lot should be given free: no shopping for, promoting, buying and selling or bartering.
The Buy Nothing Project is a world community of native gifting teams that started when two buddies residing on Bainbridge Island in Washington created an experimental hyperlocal reward economic system in 2013. The motion now has greater than 4 million members in 44 international locations round the world and has grown by a 3rd over the previous 12 months, mentioned Liesl Clark, one among the founders.
“It’s not so much about buying nothing,” she famous, “as it is about throwing nothing away.”
The mission will quickly introduce an app that may assist join givers and seekers in anyplace, not simply communities with organized Buy Nothing Facebook teams. “If you’re going to throw it away, why not give it a second life?” Ms. Clark mentioned.
The listing of offers on one native Santa Monica, Calif., group diversified broadly. Mushy bananas for banana bread. A play date with a potbellied pig. Potted succulents. Someone to discuss to. Winter gear for a 2-year-old. Feta cheese, mistakenly bought after a member of the family requested for “fitted sheets.” Lemons and bay leaves from a neighbor’s yard.