• Community Coat Exchange Partners

    Blue Sky Institute

    Crossroads Urban Center

    State of Utah Health Department Employee Wellness Council

    All Chay Restaurant
    Collection site
    1264 500 N, Salt Lake City, UT 84116

    Chapman Branch Library
    Collection site
    577 S 900 W, Salt Lake City, UT 84104

    Sugar Space Arts Warehouse
    Collection Site
    132 S 800 W, Salt Lake City

    New Hope Community Center
    Collection Site
    1102 W 400 North, SLC

    Utah Sierra Club
    Drop off/Collection site
    423 W 800 S A103, Salt Lake City, UT 84101

    Becoming a Community Partner is easy!
    Partners agree to:
    Promote the Community Coat Exchange with outreach materials (flyers and social media, websites, etc.) that include the Coat Exchange website address and contact information. Community partners also agree to endeavor to set up collection sites if possible.
    Contact coatexchange@blueskyinstitute.org to learn how to become a Community Partner!

  • The Community Coat Exchange is a project of Blue Sky Institute.

Sister Events


Buy Nothing Day is a concept first started by AdBusters to encourage conscious thought and resistance to consumerism on Black Friday, traditionally one of the biggest retail spending days of the year.

We encourage a different kind of exchange on Black Friday, cultivating community and caring. Those who can donate a coat on a hanger; those who need a coat are welcome to take one. Anyone needing a coat for themselves or their family is welcome, as well as anyone who would like to volunteer during the event.

The Coat Exchange occurs on November 26, 2010 at:

Louisville: The Green Building, 732 East Market Street


Contact: Ted Loebenberg, 401.952.6566


Radcliff: Colvin Community Center, 230 Freedom Way


Contact: Jeff Peden, 502.817.4706


Please check out our blog and join in:


The event will be hosted and coordinated by The Green Building, Ted Loebenberg (who has successfully conducted coat drives in his native Rhode Island and is excited with sharing the initiative with Louisville), and the Radcliff Rotary Club.


Euguene @ Bad Egg Books Infoshop, 112 E. 13th Ave Eugene, OR (541) 636-3570

Hosted by the Industrial Workers of the World (IWW)

Rhode Island

14th Annual Buy Nothing Day
Winter Coat Exchange

Friday, November 26th, 2010  10:00am – 2:00pm

If you have a coat to give, please drop it off.
If you need a coat, please pick one up.

State House lawn (directly across from Providence Place Mall)
• Greg Gerritt  331-0529, gerritt@mindspring.com
• Phil Edmonds  461-3683, philwhistle@gmail.com

* Rain/Snow site: Cathedral of Saint John, 271 N Main Street, Providence, RI

Other Coat Exchange Sites:

Blackstone Valley Visitors Center, 175 Main St. Pawtucket
• Arthur Pitt  724-8915, kingarthur02940@yahoo.com

Newport: St Paul’s Church, 12 Marlborough Street
• Maggie Bulmer  849-3537

Wakefield: St. Francis Church, 114 High Street 10:00am – NOON
• Tom Abbott  364-0778

Woonsocket: St. Ann’s Arts & Cultural Center, 84 Cumberland Street
• Wally Rathbun  Stannartsctr@aol.com


Buy Nothing Day 2010 essay

Buy Nothing Day 2010

Consumerism and growth seem to dominate policy thinking in the United States.  Politicians are obsessed with economic growth, or recently the lack thereof.  Everything except the military is at risk of being defunded if tax revenues do not rise.  Maybe it is just the priorities that are askew, both those raising economic growth above all other values and those funding the military before all other priorities.

I tend to think we are essentially at the end of economic growth.  The collapse of global ecosystems means that growth will be very hard to create, and what growth we do see will mostly be the result of financial manipulations rather than real economic development.  The housing bubble and the financial bubble were the direct result of a lack of productive places to put investment capital.  There are no new forests to cut, no new fisheries to exploit, no country that has not already been brought into the market economy.  Without new resources and consumers economic growth slows to a crawl.  The rich go crazy and invent new economic shenanigans to suck up more money, since the old and tried (tired) methods, no longer have juice in a world of airplanes, the internet, and 7 billion people.

Eventually we are going to have to reach a new equilibrium for our economy.  That new equilibrium will be underpinned by the understanding that we have to use less and share more.  We have to heal the ecosystems that feed and cloth us, and the only path to this requires us to end poverty rather than foster ever greater accumulations of wealth by the few.  Often I describe the way forward with this quote:  You can not heal ecosystems without ending poverty, you can not end poverty without healing ecosystems.

It is this dual mission that lies at the heart of my understanding of the Buy Nothing Day winter coat exchange.  Without a serious effort to end poverty we shall forever be caught up in the more game, the use of ever more, ever faster, until it completely runs out.  Without cultivating a serious ethic of healing the ecosystems of planet earth so that they can continue to support us we shall see an ever widening gap between rich and poor as resources are more and more reserved for the rich, driving the vicious circle that leads to wars for oil, massive oil spills in the Gulf of Mexico, the destruction of the forests that are the lungs of the world, and fishermen resorting to piracy to keep the industrial fishing fleets away from the areas they fish to feed their families.

It it important beyond what I can describe that the piracy in Somalia worked well enough that local fishermen are again able to catch fish and feed their families now that the industrial trawlers are  staying way.  Why did it take these extreme measures so that people can feed their families?  Must the rich take everything they can grab?

Instead of screaming I try to channel the instinct to heal the world into something productive.  Much of my time this year has been taken up seeking ways to collect up all the food scrap in Rhode Island so we can turn it into compost and use the compost to revitalize a local agriculture here focused on growing our own food.  The benefits of this are vast.  Reduced carbon emissions, healthier food, more local jobs.  Buy Nothing Day in Rhode Island works the same way.  A resource that is being squandered (in this case winter coats sitting in closets) can save landfill space, save on the emissions generated buy making and shipping coats, and place new resources in the hands of people who can most use them, without generating new dollars of funny money.

I am dedicating my work on BND this year to the people who live along the Gulf of Mexico.  The rush for oil has lead to massive pollution, the loss of livelihoods, the destruction of the foods that feed them.  A new economy, one based on using less and sharing more is the only way forward in the Gulf, and in Rhode Island.  Join us at a Buy Nothing Day winter coat exchange  in your neighborhood ( there are 5 sites in Rhode Island;  Providence, Pawtucket, South Kingstown, Newport, and Woonsocket) on November 26 and take that step towards a better Rhode Island.


Buy Nothing Day: A good cause for tough times

By IAN DONNIS |  November 25, 2008 |  Recommended By 2 People
During the 11 previous years in which Buy Nothing Day has been staged in Rhode Island, there have been economic downturns and times when the national economy was humming.

This time around, obviously, is an extreme example of the former, so there are lots of reasons to donate or pick up a winter coat when the annual post-Thanksgiving event is held this Friday, November 28, from 10 am to 2 pm at five sites: on the State House lawn (rain/snow site: St. Patrick’s School, 244 Smith St, Providence); the Blackstone Valley Visitors Center, 175 Main St, Pawtucket; St. Paul’s Church, 12 West Marlborough St, Newport: and St. Francis Church, 114 High St, Wakefield (10 am to noon); and St. Ann’s Arts and Culture Center in Woonsocket.

The Providence version of the international event began as a response to how Black Friday is typically “the busiest day in the American retail calendar and the unofficial start of the Christmas shopping season,” organizers note. As in years past, “thousands of activists and concerned citizens in 65 countries will take a 24-hour consumer detox as part of the annual Buy Nothing Day, a global phenomenon that originated in Vancouver, Canada.”

More than 60 local co-sponsors are involved this year, including community organizations, places of worship, and civic and environmental groups.

Via e-mail, organizer Greg Gerritt writes, “The Buy Nothing Day Winter Coat Exchange seems to be a bit more visible each year, and I am getting more calls and emails about the event than ever before. People are cleaning out their closets and volunteering, but there are also calls asking, ‘Where can I get a coat?’ We expect that even with gas prices falling temporarily there are going to be a lot of cold people this winter, and coats are going to be important.

“Beyond filling that immediate need — getting winter coats into the hands of those who need them — we note that issues of global warming, the collapse of the world’s fisheries, and the devastation of forests are reminding folks that we need to take better care of our planet, and that some of the economic problems we face this year are related to the ecological crisis that we also face,” Gerritt continues.

“Family farmers around the world are being forced off their land, irrigation water is disappearing. Wall Street and [big corporations] get bailouts while thousands of people in our communities lose their homes. All of us who put together the Buy Nothing Day Winter Coat Exchange wish we could go out of business. We wish poverty and ecological destruction no longer existed, that no one needed food pantries or winter coats, that the climate was not being destroyed, that RI was not threatened by rising sea levels.

For more info, contact Gerritt at Gerritt@mindspring.com or Phil Edmonds at philwhistle@juno.com

Rhode Island is number one, in unemployment that is.  And number one in the midst of a big recession, one that shows more and more the inequality in America, and the diminishment of resources on Earth.  Wall St gets bailed out, but on the streets it is going to be hard times this winter, no matter who is president.  Means that winter coats are going to be even more needed by those in our community with little.   Even with fuel prices dropping as the economy tanks, they are still pretty high, causing people to choose between heat or eat.  Warm coats may help.

I have attached a flyer from the Pawtucket event, it tells you where coats can be dropped off prior to the 28th.  I highly encourage people to bring coats the day of, especially in Providence the collection and distribution turns into a big street fair, but for those who can not make it on Nov 28th, they can be dropped off in Pawtucket throughout November.

Volunteers are needed at all 5 sites, and the flyer, also attached, has coordinator phone numbers for every site.  Call someone up and volunteer.  I know I can always use folks in Providence, and I am guessing that the first time Woonsocket site could use some help.  Greg Gerritt, Coordinator

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