To what extent has it been since you went a day without making any purchases? How realistic is it to go without purchasing anything for a full day in this day and age? Those who advocate for “Buy Nothing Day” are of the opinion that it is.
In fact, they advocate for everyone to give it a shot. The original idea behind Buy Nothing Day was to send a message to the world that we don’t think the need to constantly acquire new possessions is serving society well.
Many people around the world observe Buy Nothing Day because of its significance. On this day, people all over the world will unite in opposition to consumerism. In North America, Sweden, Finland, and the United Kingdom, it is celebrated the day after the United States celebrates Thanksgiving.
In all other locations, it is held the following day. The point of Buy Nothing Day, whenever it is observed, is to highlight the problem of excessive consumption. It doesn’t matter if you have a personal interest in this topic or not; you can still learn more about it by doing research.
What Is Buy Nothing Day?
On November 25th, participants in the annual Buy Nothing Day are encouraged to take a break from their usual shopping habits in order to focus on the effects that their purchasing habits have on the planet.
The best part is that it’s completely free for people all over the world to make a pact with themselves to experiment with or publicly declare a break from consumption.
History Of Buy Nothing Day
As early as September of 1992, Canadian visual artist, Ted Dave established Buy Nothing Day, a day on which people are encouraged to not spend money. Black Friday, the day after Thanksgiving in the United States, is the day when the holiday is observed.
Today is set aside for people all over the world to reflect on their own personal consumption habits. Even though many nations began celebrating on the Friday after American Thanksgiving (now known as “Black Friday”), this trend didn’t really take off until 1997. Being held on one of the busiest shopping days of the year has significant symbolic significance.
Anyone familiar with what goes down in North America during Black Friday sales can attest to the fact that it’s high time we take a step back, examine our motives, and try to make sense of this annual frenzy.
There were immediate calls for a similar day of reflection in the United States, the United Kingdom, Israel, Austria, Germany, New Zealand, Japan, the Netherlands, France, and Norway after the success of the first Buy Nothing Day. At the present time, over 65 countries are members.
“It’s not just about changing your habits for one day,” Adbusters, the company that first promoted Ted Dave’s idea for Buy Nothing Day, says. “It’s about starting a lasting lifestyle commitment to consuming less and producing less waste.”
All over the world, many celebrations and ceremonies are held on this day. The Buy Nothing Coat Exchange, which started in Rhode Island about 20 years ago and has since spread to many other states, is just one such example. There are also Winter Coat Exchanges on this date in other states, such as Oregon, Utah, and Kentucky.
How To Observe Buy Nothing Day
Alternatively, you can try doing one of these things to celebrate the day.
- Cut up credit cards.
- Do a Whirl-mart – the act of disrupting others’ shopping by pushing your shopping cart around a store over and over while purchasing nothing.
- Organize a Christmas Zombie walk – a visual expression of the obsession consumers have with the Black Friday deal.
- Balance your checkbook.
- Read a book about counter-consumerism like the Empire of Things by Frank Trentmann.
- Clean out your closet.
- Donate or volunteer at a local food pantry.
How Do I Take Part?
Join in by not joining in! To put it plainly, inaction is action. But if you’re serious about helping the planet, cutting back on your consumption is a great place to start.
While it’s great to recycle, it’s even better to cut back. Together, we can alter our perspective on single-use packaging, fast fashion, and our throwaway culture by taking small, individual steps to reduce our individual consumption.
It’s a fact that most food is packaged in one-time-use plastics or cardboard. While it’s great that companies are increasingly turning to recycled materials for packaging,
consumers often fail to consider the energy expended during the recycling process or the energy used in the manufacturing of the final product. Safe and convenient food storage shouldn’t come at the expense of nature. Over half of the single-use packaging manufactured every year still ends up in landfill!
By doing so, one is prompted to examine their own spending habits. This aids buyers in resisting the temptation to overspend and in making more considered purchases. At the end of the day, it demonstrates that money can’t buy you happiness.