Annual Buy Nothing Day

So you have cupboards full of things you don’t use and you’re heading into the crazy period of the year when you get yourself into debt (or spend far more than you plan) on gifts that, let’s be honest, may not be that valued by the recipient, no matter how well intended.  Many of us shop without much thought to the consequences of our actions.

If this sounds familar, I urge you to participate in Buy Nothing Day on November 26th (USA) 27th (Internationally). From Wikipedia:

Buy Nothing Day (BND) is an international day of protest against consumerism observed by social activists. Typically celebrated the Friday after American Thanksgiving in North America and the following day internationally, in 2010 the dates are November 26 and 27 respectively.[1] It was founded by Vancouver artist Ted Dave and subsequently promoted by Adbusters magazine, based in Canada.

The first Buy Nothing Day was organized in Vancouver in September 1992 “as a day for society to examine the issue of over-consumption.”[2] In 1997, it was moved to the Friday after American Thanksgiving, also called “Black Friday”, which is one of the 10 busiest shopping days in the United States. Outside North America and Israel, Buy Nothing Day is the following Saturday. Adbusters was denied advertising time by almost all major television networks except for CNN, which was the only one to air their ads.[3] Soon, campaigns started appearing in the United States, the United Kingdom, Israel, Austria, Germany, New Zealand, Japan, the Netherlands, France, and Norway. Participation now includes more than 65 nations.[2]


What do you think- will Buy Nothing Day will make a difference in your life?

3 responses to “Annual Buy Nothing Day

  1. I could write pages on this, and go off on lots of tangents, but I won’t :-).

    Since psychologists or similar have been brought in to re-arrange shop layouts, we tend to buy more on impulse, because its there. The pretty Christmas decoration in aisle 12 alongside the packets of pasta. The kitchen whisk in aisle 2 near the canned vegetables, and of course the drinks and chocolate bars at the checkout.

    How often have you gone into a shop to buy one thing, and you come out with six? How much of it did you really need?

    I am guilty of it too, but its interesting the way business can get us to buy what we don’t need.

    • I have started having “Buy Nothing Days” on a regular basis and they certainly work. Can often mamage a couple a week. For example I have a Lunchtime Pilates class every Monday at my workplace – therefore no shopping, no spending. It has become a bit of a game sometimes to see how little I can spend (without being ridiculous about it). The pay off for all this no spending is 2 months next year holidaying in the UK!

  2. Bronwyn – that’s brilliant! I love your reward of saving money towards your fantastic 2 months on hols… nice one!

    And Robin, I hear you. I too am guilty of popping into the supermarket for one thing and not even taking a bag and coming out with two armfuls. It takes conscious effort to take a list and stick to it. Although I have no problem with shopping other than the groceries – I can’t stand shopping! Particularly clothes shopping!

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