Buy Nothing Day
Buy Nothing Day:
Celebrated strategically on the day after Thanksgiving day in America (Black Friday), Canada, and now extending to more than 65 nations as an international outcry against consumerism. It addresses many underlying social issues such as capitalism, compulsive buying disorder, corporate lobbying, hyper-consumerism, etc. It emerged in popularity with an intent to combat the shopping frenzy that is annually unleashed on the much commercialized Black Friday.
|2020||27th November||Friday||United States|
|2021||26th November||Friday||United States|
|2022||25th November||Friday||United States|
Why Buy Nothing Day?
The numerous Black Friday shopping brawls that go viral every year show us the extent to which people stoop so low to buy products. The consumers are not the only ones to blame; the slashed prices and offers play mind tricks on the hyped shoppers, tricking them into buying things that they don’t even need! Going for the best deal you can get is not wrong inherently, but when it turns into a shopaholic frenzy with a materialistic attitude, many lines are crossed.
The Black Friday sales, marked as the beginning of the Christmas shopping season, goes completely against the spirit of Christmas where people hoard things for themselves. These tendencies are just an outward expression of the underlying problems that plague our generation.
The Black Friday context aside, there has been a rise in hyperconsumerism of the privileged throughout the century with concurrent exploitation of natural resources, when we try to satisfy our greed rather than our needs. These so-called great deals tend to be just a mask for the cheap goods made by underpaid, exploited workers.
Adbusters, a company pivotal in the promotion of the Buy Nothing Day, states that “The day “isn’t just about changing your habits for one day” but “about starting a lasting lifestyle commitment to consuming less and producing less waste.”
The effectiveness of a one-day shopping sabbatical is questionable, even those who observe this day end up buying more, the following day.
However, the Buy Nothing Day is certainly a reminder to be responsible for our consumption. It starkly points to the need for ethical consumption; being mindful of our choices that impact the people and the environment. It is a window of possibilities to ignite a lifestyle-change, to examine ourselves, our actions, and intentions.
It is the call for a cultural change, where materialism has corrupted our minds, and possessions have become the most valued attribute in society.
How Can We Observe Buy Nothing Day?
- Celebrate the life of an introvert!
Stay in your cozy homes and spend some quality time reading books or engaging in your favorite hobby, while the rest of the land fights nail and tooth over some 10 dollar socks.
- Conduct non-commercial street parties.
- Borrow the Zombie stare: Walk around like Zombies in the shopping malls or other consumer rendezvous with a blank stare. When you are questioned, describe the Buy Nothing Day.
- Whirl-Mart: Whirl your product-free shopping carts around a mall or store without purchasing anything.
- Wildcat General Strike: Avoid shopping for twenty-four hours and keep all your appliances turned off. Give a break to your cars and phones.
- Buy Nothing Day Hike: Enjoy nature and its wonders by going for an adventurous hike.
- Buy Nothing and Critical Mass: The monthly Critical Mass bicycle ride is celebrated along with the Buy Nothing Day
- The Buy Nothing Coat Exchange: Coats are collected from donors and exchanged or donated.
- Shift Your Shopping: It encourages people to make their holiday purchases at locally owned and independent businesses.
- Share your event by using the #BuyNothingDay & #BND hashtags!
Interesting Facts About Buy Nothing Day:
- In 2000, advertisements by Adbusters promoting Buy Nothing Day were denied by almost all major television networks.
- Some dealers discourage shopping on Buy Nothing day by closing down the stores!
- The National Park Service of America has a social media campaign promoting the idea of spending your day in the parks with your family and friends with the hashtag #OptOutside
- The Coat exchange began in Rhode Island and was coupled with the Buy Nothing Day. Greg Gerritt, an expert in environmental studies, who was a consumerism and global warming activist, came up with this innovative idea 20 years ago.
History Of Buy Nothing Day:
Buy Nothing Day started in the year 1993 in Vancouver, Canada by an artist Ted Dave. It was moved to the Friday after Americain Thanksgiving in 1997, to address the issue of overconsumption. The Canadian-based anti-corporate, non-profit, pro-environment magazine Adbusters founded by Kalle Lasn, played a major role in organizing and promoting Buy Nothing Day. Soon, campaigns started in the United States, France, Israel, Austria, Germany, Japan, New Zealand, the Netherlands, France, Norway, and Sweden and became a worldwide phenomenon.