Buy Nothing Day

This year, Buy Nothing Day will take place, November 29, 2013. It is an international, informal annual event dedicated to raising awareness of overconsumption.

North Americans have an over-size ecological footprint. Just think of the resources that go into making, shipping, packaging, advertising, selling, using, and disposing of all the things we buy.  Buy Nothing Day highlights the environmental, social, spiritual, economic, and political aspects of overconsumption, and asks what it is we really want and need.

Originally promoted by “culture jammers” and the Canadian-based magazine Adbusters, Buy Nothing Day (BND) popularizes a commitment to refrain from purchasing for one day – a full 24 hours – on the last Friday in November, which is generally the busiest shopping day of the year in North America.

It is a chance to reflect on the consumption habits of our society, and can also be an opportunity to take action. Some people stage public performances, host do-it-yourself workshops, or put up posters.  Others write letters to companies to ask them to alter wasteful practices. And some simply enjoy 24 hours of rest from relentless retail marketing.  Check out the teaching resources to share Buy Nothing Day with your classroom.

A related campaign — Buy Nothing Christmas – expands on the BND concept.  Originally started in Winnipeg, MB, the idea has been taken up as a new way to take a break from wasteful consumer culture and to reclaim enduring values in year-end holiday celebrations.