Buy Nothing Day 2009 – Take a break from consumerism
You know that buzz that you get when you buy something shiny, brand new and completely unnecessary? Well apparently it feels even better to simply buy nothing! International Buy Nothing Day takes place on Saturday, November 28th this year for most of the world and November 27th for those in the United States because they have to be first in absolutely everything. The idea behind this massive effort to not spend is to take a break from the mass consumerism that fuels rampant capitalism, inequality, materialism and results in things like environmental ‘unsustainability’ and climate change. If it sounds a little too anarchist or communist, just think of it as a chill out day; like an eco-friendly Sabbath where we abstain from being wasteful and see if we can enjoy ourselves without spending. A social experiment in non-consumerism or a mass experiment in social activism – whatever floats your boat.
‘Buy Nothing Day highlights the environmental and ethical consequences of shopping. The developed countries – only 20% of the world population are consuming over 80% of the earth’s natural resources, causing a disproportionate level of environmental damage and an unfair distribution of wealth.’
The anti-consumerist activist group Adbusters is a little more radical in their thinking and interpretation of Buy Nothing Day – but then they would be, wouldn’t they?
‘We want you to not only stop buying for 24 hours, but to shut off your lights, televisions and other nonessential appliances. We want you to park your car, turn off your phones and log off of your computer for the day. We’re calling for a Ramadan-like fast. From sunrise to sunset we’ll abstain en masse, not only from holiday shopping, but from all the temptations of our five-planet lifestyles.’
Five-planet lifestyles? I’ll have to look into that one. I’m not promising I won’t eat anything I haven’t already bought, but I promise not to buy anything new. After all, I want to enjoy my Buy Nothing Day and I’ve got a cake in the fridge that isn’t getting any fresher. I’m an incurable hedonist, what can I say?
Check out adbuster’s Buy Nothing Day site for more info, free downloads and cool photos promoting Buy Nothing Day from around the world.
By Graham Land