tv Nightline ABC May 12, 2022 12:37am-1:06am PDT
♪ this is "nightline." >> tonight, free stuff. as inflation soars, americans are feeling the pain. >> i think gas prices are out of control. >> but some are saving thousands of dollars. >> the mirror's secondhand. the burp cloths are secondhand. the cloth diapers were gifted to me. >> it's uncountable, how much money i've saved. >> what's behind the so-called buy nothing movement that's taking off? >> we're essentially giving away items and then people can also ask for what they want or need. plus children of famine. our matt gutman on the ground in kenya where millions are facing starvation. the ground there scorched from the searing sun and lack of rain. >> in a good year, i would be
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thanks for joining us. i'm stephanie ramos. the latest inflation numbers from the government today only confirm what we all know. prices are skyrocketing nearly everywhere we shop. now a growing number of americans are joining an anti-consumerism movement called "buy nothing." we met some of them who showed us their tricks. >> the mirror's secondhand. the burp cloths are secondhand. the cloth diapers were gifted to me from someone on buy nothing. >> reporter: almost everything in this california home is proudly secondhand. >> spot and wrinkles here to make their tv debut. >> reporter: cat pays nothing for goods many of us go out and buy. >> bookshelf was gifted to us. >> reporter: helping cut down the cost of family life. >> all the clothes that the girls have, secondhand. >> reporter: much of it found on
her local online buy nothing group. >> there's no exchange of money. it's just giving from your own abundance to neighbors. >> reporter: cat is part of the growing gift economy, where members give and take anything from expensive items like furniture to food to dryer lint, which people use for their pet hamsters. no money changes hands. >> not 100% sure they're real wood, but that will do for the anniversary tradition, right? >> reporter: now with prices soaring, more people like cat and her family are looking for ways to soften the blow. >> these are really taking offer-where. because of the way that our world is right now and inflation. people are doing it for a lot of different reasons. the environmental reasons, the economic reasons. >> reporter: inflation has reached 40-year highs in recent months. today the consumer price index revealed prices were up 8.3% compared to a year ago.
tell us about where we are right now. >> we're in a situation right now where prices are starting to moderate. that's good news. we're starting to see prices move in the right direction. but the move is so incremental that most americans are not feeling any kind of relief. >> reporter: the impact of rising prices is widely felt. gas prices reached an all-time high today, hitting an average of $4.40 a gallon. >> i think gas prices are out of control, of course. >> very high. very unreasonable these days. >> reporter: and the cost of food also going up. the usda predicting that grocery prices will increase between 5% and 6% this year. families across the country are feeling the pinch. >> everything is sticker shock. meat, eggs, everything. >> reporter what sectors are you seeing that are the most impacted right now? >> this is broad-based inflation. if you just look at the latest month, airfares up 18.6%.
we also had a big jump in hotels. and also very high are rents. up now for the third straight month. it's a cross-section of things, and it is no longer just food and gasoline. >> how much more important is buy nothing in this economic climate? >> i think we're finding that by sharing more and sharing of our abundance, that we are able to not only save money, but that money isn't being squirrelled away and not spent in the economy. people are spending much more mindfully and thoughtfully. they're spending on education, on their kids. but on more sort of local options versus going to the big box stores. >> reporter: the buy nothing project was started outside of seattle in 2013. since then, it's grown to more than 5 million members who exchange goods in approximately 7,000 individual buy nothing communities. run through hyperlocal facebook groups. and now an app.
>> the main rules are that these are truly gift economies. there's no selling, there's no bar tearing, there's no trading. it is literally a gift economy where you are giving with no strings attached. and every gift has equal value. so you don't have to go to the store and buy anything. >> reporter: many say buy nothing has transformed the way they see the world. it seems like a place where you can really connect with your community, not just a place where you can get rid of the stuff that you don't want. >> yeah, i think that people find a magic in this way of sharing. you can be a giver or a receiver. and the community is looking on. >> reporter: kat's path to buy nothing began in 2019 when she challenged herself to not buy any new clothes for a year. >> i honestly didn't think that i could last two weeks. my husband didn't think i could
go through target and not bring home a shirt or something. >> reporter: instead of giving up, it changed her life. >> before, i was consuming so much more. so slowing down the rate of consumption and thinking first, do i even need this item in the first place? can i borrow this instead of buying it? can i use something i already have? or can i get it secondhand? >> reporter: she shares her tips on instagram where her account, the junkyard journals, has more than 16,000 followers. >> let's recycle this old car seat at target. >> reporter: buy nothing runs counter to a pillar of the american economy. consumer spending makes up almost 70% of the u.s. gdp. >> shopping was an addiction. i'd go to bed every night on my cell phone, scroll through amazon out of boredom, just shop, shop, shop. >> reporter: peter ronnigan says buy nothing changed his life. >> we are so programmed that happiness equals buying something new.
it was such an awakening, almost, knowing that i didn't need to do that, that i could find joy and happiness from giving just as much as getting. it's a fake fireplace. i got this for free. >> reporter: his new york city apartment is full of treasures he got for free. >> i got this for free on buy nothing. >> reporter: from furniture -- >> i got the frame for free as well as the mattress. someone was moving and didn't need it. >> reporter: to dog food. >> this woman whose dog passed away, she gave away two gigantic dogs. i got this mirror on buy nothing. this light. it's really taught me that it's not necessary to buy anything. >> reporter: since peter gets so many goods for free, inflation has less effect on him. >> i think not having to really pay attention to inflation that much, because everything's free, you know, it's its own economic system in a way. >> reporter: peter discovered buy nothing during the pandemic when his work as an esthetician
at a spa shut down. >> i didn't know how i was going to survive in manhattan. it was a tough time. and this community came together and showed love and showed comp compassion. >> reporter: the community stepped 1 he became a real estate agent and had to dress the part. >> i got an entire wardrobe for my real estate career. i didn't have many clothes. you know, you've got to look successful when you're in that industry. i got this from buy nothing. >> reporter: he says he's saved thousands of dollars. >> it's uncountable, how much money i've saved. >> reporter: now what started out of necessity has become a way of life. anything he needs or wants, he posted on buy nothing and someone will likely donate it. >> i got this for my little princess, sassy girl, so she can go up the bed. >> >> reporter: peter takes joy in giving back. >> i always keep this by the door. if i haven't used it in a few months, i give it away. >> you can't hide from higher prices. it's a great idea and a creative
idea to think that you can sort of live off the grid and avoid inflation. but there are some things you're not going to be able to share or gift or get for free. >> reporter: back in california -- >> i can't believe we're finally meeting. >> i know, it's great to meet you. >> reporter: kat hopes that the sky-high inflation will encourage people to live a little differently. >> there's so much that we have that we can share. and i think it's cool to see it becoming more mainstream. it gives me hope that we can shift more towards leaning on each other and using up what already exists. instead of just consuming more and more and more. >> bye! >> bye-bye! >> going to have to find my local group, what a neat idea. when we come back, our matt gutman journeys to kenya where a historic drought has forced millions to the brink of starvation. ruby's a1c is down with rybelsus®.
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♪ tonight, millions in the horn of africa are facing a grim future. a years'-long drought has destroyed crops and c ss and de their livelihoods and there's no end in sight to the massive humanitarian crisis. abc's matt gutman is in kenya for us tonight. >> reporter: it's hard work, extracting calories from what looks like a stone. >> all you eat all day is this? >> reporter: eastern africa is in the worst drought in decades. and this is the only food ikiru and these other children eat these days. ikiru says he doesn't know his
age, but he does know he's starving. famine is stalking the sun-blasted plains of kenya, ethiopia, and somalia. and according to aid groups, up to 20 million people like ikiru don't know if they'll eat today or tomorrow. a majority of them are herders. it's estimated that more than 3 million livestock have died over the past two years. the carcasses of cattle li littering roadways. many too weak to right to their feet. giraffe dying by the dozen. in 2020 and 2021, what little grazing there was was devoured by swarms of locusts. we traveled to northern kenya with the international rescue committee. where once-dependable grazing land has yielded to wastelands of sand and dry riverbeds. this is the kosapir river in northern kenya. 50,000 people depend on this
river. now in a good year, i would be underwater. but this is not a good year. this is the fourth consecutive failed rains, and the people here are growing desperate. over the past 20 years, droughts have doubled in kenya due to climate change, and the war in ukraine has only made things worse. driving up the price of food and fuel. here it's now up to $16 a gallon in a place where most people live on less than a dollar a day. we met these community leaders who took us to what had been sorghum fields. this used to be a farm? >> it is a farm. >> reporter: they once grew crops in this sand. but no rain means no crops. if there are no crops here now, what do people eat? >> nothing. >> reporter: then we spotted those kids, including ikiru, carrying heavy sacks filled with
rock-like fruit. there are now up to 22 million herders here in the horn of africa whose livestock provide dairy products and meat. i asked ikiru when he last ate something other than palm fruit. "the other night," he said, when one of their goats died of starvation. in the horn of africa children bear an enormous burden. they help herd livestock, forage for food, and fetch water. >> we're talking about close to 2 million children in the region which are severely, acutely malnourished. >> reporter: for these children, hunger is as constant as the merciless sun. there on the ground, mashing the previous day's haul of palm fruit, was their grandmother. this was to be dinner for the kids and the animals. how close is that to famine? to me when your only source of nourishment are these palm fruit, that just doesn't seem sustainable. >> it is not. >> there's no protein, there's
no fat, there's no nutrients. >> no. actually just empty calories to keep you going. >> there's going else to eat. >> reporter: nakaleso doesn't know much about the outside world. it's the realm beyond she now worries about are you does it feel to you that god has forgotten you? >> reporter: she tells us, "it feels like god has gone far away." ikiru takes me to try to find their remaining goats, but there was something else out there. when you hear thunder, does it make you hopeful? >> it feels very hopeful that the rain is now coming. >> reporter: this time the thunder brought a deluge. goats countering against the hut. the first time it rained in nearly two years. we soon realize the cruelty of these rains. sporadic and localized. and what little has fallen has come two months too late. >> we were hoping that this rain
will be good enough. but this rain also failing and being below average will actually result in catastrophic consequences for the population. >> reporter: a couple of hours west of there towards the sudanese border is the kakuma refugee camp. dr. celia monty runs the international rescue committee hospital there. she took us to what's called the stabilization ward. >> over the previous month we've had an increase in admissions. an average of 20 admissions a day. >> the kids are so small. they're so malnourished. i didn't even see them. they just look like bundles of blankets. once hunger turns into malnourishment, the fight back to health can take months. >> the child is 1 year 9 months and has been malnourished for about six months now. has been on the outpatient feeding, therapeutic feeding program. but with many more risk ones
over the past three days. >> reporter: this mother with twins, her sister helping her. they said they had fled here from congo. her twins, just 5 weeks old. they were barely even able to cry. but their mother could. her name is christine dennis. she told us she had five kids under 5. she'd run away from domestic violence and felt like now there were no options. >> kenya itself, the region has been in a drought for the past year. so even ourselves, we aren't able to support our population. >> reporter: even when they get help, sometimes these children don't make it. >> out of the 20-some kids in that room right now that we saw, three are not going to make it? statistically? >> statistically, yes. >> reporter: these deaths take a toll on those whose job it is, like dr. monthe, to keep those children alive. you do this because you feel like you can help, but i saw it. you got emotional just now with that mother.
does it affect you personally? >> yeah. >> reporter: two days after that big rain, we traveled back there. the villagers gathered to see what the commotion was about. right there was ikiru. his grandmother had just returned from fetching firewood. we sat on the ground under sun that seemed to boil the sand, the children nearby. i heard that one of your goats died because of the rain. what does that mean for her family, to go from 20 goats to eight? >> now the family, now they don't have anything to depend on, because initially they depend on those goats. and for now, now that they have lost, the family now will suffer. >> what happens when all of your animals die? almost matter of factually she tells us, children will die. maybe the rains will come.
maybe they won't. what's for sure, she said, is that they're not going anywhere. they'll be waiting, as they y, >> our thanks to matt. you can find information on how to help on our website, abcnews.com. up next, why these workers in las vegas are celebrating the 5,000 reasons why. before treating your chronic migraine— 15 or more headache days a month, each lasting 4 hours or more you're not the only one with questions about botox®. botox® prevents headaches in adults with chronic migraine before they even start—with about 10 minutes of treatment once every 3 months. so, ask your doctor if botox® is right for you, and if a sample is available. effects of botox® may spread hours to weeks after injection causing serious symptoms. alert your doctor right away, as difficulty swallowing, speaking, breathing, eye problems, or muscle weakness
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