28 November 2008

buy NOTHING day: Saturday, 29 November.

by: Lloyd Alter, Toronto on 11.20.07

With all the hype about Thanksgiving, one can lose track of Buy Nothing Day, Friday in the States and Saturday in the rest of the world. "Timed to coincide with one of the busiest shopping days on the US retail calendar, as well as the unofficial start of the international holiday-shopping season, Buy Nothing Day has taken many shapes, from relaxed family outings, to free, non-commercial street parties, to politically charged public protests. Anyone can take part provided they spend a day without spending."

While everyone else is chasing the sales on Black Friday, You could relax and, well, buy nothing. As Kalle says on the Buy Nothing site:

"Driving hybrid cars and limiting industrial emissions is great‚ but they are band–aid solutions if we don’t address the core problem: we have to consume less. This is the message of Buy Nothing Day."

Others worry about the message. My first reaction was "nice idea, if you don't work in a shop." We have noted earlier that we like promoting eco-retailers and designers who need customers, not boycotts. Two years ago we discussed it here and repeat a few ideas:

Warren: 'Buy Nothing Day' is about rampant consumption of over packaged, blister wrapped rubbish. We should not be one dimensional about this.

Which is better for the planet?
A. for one day nobody buys anything (next day they hop in the car and head off to the mall as normal) or
B. Everybody buys a bicycle on that day.

Lloyd: we expand the message: Buy Nothing Day(ngerous to the planet)

- buy local- buy something from a thift store - unwrapped, pre-loved
- buy a subscription to CSA organic produce box
- buy membership to a car share network
- buy local
- buy organic, recycled, non toxic, reused, durable, functional
- buy carbon credits for the family's travel for the past or upcoming year
- buy solar panels
- buy a composting toilet

Erin: Black Friday is also an important day for our eco-gift maker friends. The holidays is the time when they get to show their stuff and make the money they need to get through another year of competing in this crazy Walmarket. We have put a lot of energy into the gift guide and so have the awesome vendors who sent us stuff to help promote eco-friendly holidays to the press. I think they deserve our support this time of year, with gift guides and other promotion that we can offer.Buy Nothing Day

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Thanks for all you do!
Live your values. Love your country.
And, remember: TOGETHER, We can make a DIFFERENCE!

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