Buy Nothing Day is Friday November 29. Here are some reasons to say no to consumerism and tips on how to resist the shopping compulsion. It's only 24 hours --- use the day to accessorize your consciousness.
ORIGINS OF BUY NOTHING DAY
It started in the early years of our organization. We were a bunch of burnt-out activists, burnt-out feminists, burnt-out environmentalists. We were really sick of the old politics. And we had this notion that culture was going to be the next battleground where the future would be won or lost. We brainstormed for months and months. Then one day, a young artist named Ted Dave walked into the office and said, 'I've got it, let's have Buy Nothing Day!'
Right from the start there was something magical about those three words. We put the campaign up on our Web site and it suddenly became an international event. Now activists think up all sorts of shenanigans. There are credit-card cut-ups in front of malls, people go to Wal-Mart and fill up their carts and leave them hanging around, and some culture jammers go and buy stuff and then bring it all back again.
I want this to be an eco-holiday that has millions of people around the world going on a consumer fast and thinking about their lives and the kind of culture they live in. I want everyone to take that personal plunge and go through the profound experience of finding how difficult it is to suppress the impulse to buy.
KALLE LASN, Adbusters Media Foundation
WHY TAKE A ONE-DAY CONSUMER HOLIDAY?
To spend some time pondering the sad fact that 25 per cent of the world's population consumes 80 per cent of the world's material resources and owns over 80 per cent of its wealth.
To prove to yourself that you can live for 24 hours without a cash transaction.
Number of countries where activists now participate in the day: 60
"There is enough on earth for everybody's need, but not for everybody's greed."
BUY NOTHING, DO SOMETHING
Collect signatures for a campaign
Write a letter to your MP
Get a book from the library
Drop off old clothes at a charity
Make a selection tape of your fave tunes and give it to a friend
Swap your junk for your friends' better junk
Learn to make something new, then teach someone else
Go to the park and talk to someone you don't really like at first sight
Make a Christmas present for a friend
Take a hot bath and think about how to create more in your life
Fill shopping bags with stuff, write "Buy Nothing Day" on them and walk around shopping malls
FORMULATE YOUR ANTI-SHOPPING LIST
Do I need it?
Could I borrow it instead?
How many do I already have?
Will I really use it?
How long will it last?
Am I able and willing to maintain, repair and clean it myself?
Will I have to dispose of it, and if so, how?
Are the resources that went into it renewable? Is it recyclable?
Is there anything I own or that I know how to make that I could substitute for it?
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