photo credit: Rishabh Varshney
I sat down to write this blog in hopes that I could communicate the essence of Bunz. How a Facebook group started by a hungry gal named Emily accidently started a revolution of sorts. How the simple act of people trading their stuff for other stuff – getting what they want for what they have – has brought together a city.
(The story goes – in summer 2013, Emily had pasta but no sauce. Her neighbor had sauce but no pasta. They traded a meals’ worth of each, and Bunz was born, and what a cute lil’baby its’ grown up to be. The app was born in January 2016 and now has over 65,000 users)
Although we often get lumped in with other “sharing economy” startups like Uber or Air BnB, we have a huge difference - we’re cashless. It’s our central motto: NO CASH IN THE ZONE. This leaves room for meaningful encounters, and a sense of community that grows so organically, as people in need meet other people in the same boat.
Need, of course, is relative. Some people need a dresser out of their house, or need a tennis racket. Some people need groceries and others need a new pair of boots for winter. Skates? Get them on Bunz. Houseplants? Bunz. A guitar? You guessed it.
But, I digress. As I was writing this, I also put up a post on behalf of a Bun that wanted to remain anonymous. She’s a single mom living on the poverty line, who can’t afford to put healthy meals on her family’s table. She’s feeding her kids at the expense of her own poor health. I put the word out and within hours she had a week’s worth of produce and proteins being delivered to her door, in exchange for nothing but the knowledge that this family’s needs were being taken care of. THAT is the essence of Bunz – helping people, knowing that you’ll get help too, when you need it.
Having the Bunz platform at the fingertips of millennials has been essential to downtown living survival. We’re seeing the same positive impact on people’s lives here in Montreal, and hope that will further grow in other similar cities. The platform allows people to easily post items, negotiate, meet up, and rate each other. Transparency, ease of use, and accountability help the trade economy safely thrive.
It makes sense on so many levels – it’s reframing the economy in a world where people are short on cash, but long on things. It’s good for the planet, too! Our reuse efforts in Toronto alone has diverted so much from landfills; the equivalent weight of two blue whales!
We’re just getting started. It’s going to get much bigger than just trading. Soon the app will allow you to look for jobs, homes, and even start a business for yourself where you can earn money doing what you’re good at, whatever that is.
Give Bunz a try – get things you want, for things you already have and don’t use. Services work too! Maybe you can help someone move, or paint their bedroom – and you can ask for groceries in return, or help in your window garden.
Bunz is helping. Bunz is sharing. Bunz is a revolution of communities coming together to help each other. Check out the revolution today at bunzlife.com/pop. We hope to see you soon.