This Friday, known as “Black Friday”, is normally the day when every retailer on the face of the planet puts some crap that none of us really need on sale…just to get us to buy some of it. People actually get up at the crack of dawn to go shopping – something I have never understood and never will. While I can understand some parents feel the need to get THE toy this holiday season, most of the stuff that retailers put on sale are things that are just newer versions of items you already own and do not need to replace. If your television already works, why buy a new one just because it is on sale? Anyway, the alternative to this mass consumerism day is “Buy Nothing Day“, which my wife and I have taken part in for a few years by purposely not buying anything. Sure, we still have to pick up a few presents for our families before Christmas, but we certainly don’t need to go out on Black Friday to get them. Besides, we do a lot (most, actually) of our shopping at Amazon.com (like Punny Money), which provides us a tax-free and shipping-charge free experience.
The official slogan of Buy Nothing Day is a “24 hour moratorium on consumer spending – participate by not participating”. Here is a quote from the founder that sums it up rather well:
Driving hybrid cars and limiting industrial emissions is great”š 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. – Kalle Lasn
While we spend the rest of the year trying to consume less and less, participating in Buy Nothing Day each year reminds us to keep up that effort through the holidays, when the drive to consume can be rather strong.