When is Buy Nothing Day?
This year it is being observed in the U.S. Friday, November 29. In 1992, Vancouver artist Ted Dave started Buy Nothing Day, which was promoted by the Canada-based magazine Adbusters, a not-for-profit, reader-supported publication concerned about the physical and cultural environment. In 1997, it was moved to Black Friday in America, the 10th busiest shopping day in the U.S.
How is the day observed?
Activists urge consumers to cease making purchases of any kind for 24 hours, but it’s much more than just a day. The hope of those behind this campaign is that individuals who detox from consuming for an entire day will find the exercise freeing, adopting a more frugal, “shop less, live more” attitude in their lives. Because every purchase we make has an impact on the environment, Buy Nothing Day promotes businesses that are friendly to the environment and also those that treat workers fairly, too.
Why was Buy Nothing Day started?
The overall premise of the day is to consume less and recycle more. According to the site www.buynothingday.co.uk, the developed counties of the world comprise only 20 percent of the world’s population, yet they are consuming over 80 percent of the earth’s natural resources. The result? An unequal level of environmental damage and an unfair distribution of wealth are obvious. The campaign supports shopping locally and supporting small, usually family-owned, businesses. They are not in favor of businesses that employ cheap labor, those that don’t treat workers fairly or wasteful companies that are not environmentally friendly.
How can you participate in Buy Nothing Day?
1. Plan a swap with friends. Exchange unused or gently used items. Everyone acquires something “new” in a manner that’s environmentally friendly.
2. Have a potluck dinner. Instead of eating out, encourage friends and family to bring a dish of their choice, a less expensive way to enjoy a meal together.
3. Organize a local event. Interested in spreading the word about Buy Nothing Day to your community? A fun-filled family event can make a great impact.
4. Make a pact to adopt a frugal lifestyle. Use the experience gathered from Buy Nothing Day to find ways to adopt a more frugal, mindful way of life.
According to Merriam-Webster dictionary, the meaning of frugal includes: being careful about spending money and using money and supplies in a very careful way.
Tips for being frugal:
- Refrain from using shopping and consuming as a hobby.
- Think through each purchase rather than buying on impulse.
- Start shopping sales, clearance racks or second-hand stores when purchasing is necessary.
- Encourage a frugal mindset with your family. Make saving and spending less a practice for everyone to take part in.
Where can you learn more?
Visit www.buynothingday.co.uk for more ideas on observing the day as well as information on how to join the campaign.