Buy Nothing Day – a protest against consumerism..

Saturday 1444 – 24th November 2o12

I know it’s only Friday but I wanted to let you know about this now , if you don’t already, so you’d have time to think about it and take part if you wanted to ,as Saturday 24th November is Buy Nothing Day in the Uk and in many other countries.

 In America, as you can see by the great bar code logo to the left it is today which is known as Black Friday, the day after Thanksgiving which signals the start of the spend, spend, spend run up to Christmas.

Here’s a little extract from Wikipedia about how Buy Nothing Day started –

The first Buy Nothing Day was organized in Mexico in September 1992 “as a day for society to examine the issue of over-consumption.” In 1997, it was moved to the Friday after American Thanksgiving, also called “Black Friday”, which is one of the ten busiest shopping days in the United States. In 2000, advertisements by Adbusters promoting Buy Nothing Day were denied advertising time by almost all major television networks except for CNN. 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. “

For the 2009 Buy Nothing Day participants not only did not buy anything for twenty-four hours but also kept their lights, televisions, computers and other non-essential appliances turned off, their cars parked, and their phones turned off or unplugged from sunrise to sunset and how cool was that !! 

“So Lock up your wallets and purses, cut up your credit cards and dump the love of your life – shopping.”

Of course this isn’t just about one day because obviously you could just buy everything as normal the day after Buy Nothing day, for me it’s about highlighting the pointlessness of keep buying, buying, buying things we don’t need.  Consumerism uses up monstrous amounts of the worlds natural resources and once many of them are gone that’s it.. they cannot be replaced.

I think I may have mentioned this before but I will again anyway. I have worked with many people who were close to death and I never heard one say “I wish I had done more shopping”, most just wanted someone they loved to be with them not some object. Possessions alone cannot make anyone truly happy

This day is also about considering where a product originates from before you buy it. If you live in the Uk do you really need to buy potatoes that come from Cyprus or apples from New Zealand?  Probably not..  trying to buy local supports your local economy and helps to save the environment by reducing what’s known as food miles.. Of course it’s likely to be a whole lot fresher too.

Food for thought 😉

 Saturday Girl signing off now. Have a healthy, peaceful and less consumerist week!  


You can find my photography blog Photomania here I hope you’ll pop over and take a look if you haven’t already



31 comments on “Buy Nothing Day – a protest against consumerism..

  1. Alex Jones says:

    One of the best ways to protest against consumerism is to practice only buying what is needed every day than just focus on one day consumer holiday.

  2. I have a rule which I try to abide by – ‘Never allow yourself to be sold anything.’ – it’s okay for me to go and buy something, but to come home with something I didn’t know I needed/wanted? Where could my brain be?

    Also, a though came to me the other day when reading about another technological development – it would only lead to ‘more coloured beads for the natives’.

  3. Rachael says:

    I lead a sheltered life, or don’t watch the right TV. I didn’t know folks got into fights over this stuff! How ghastly! As always, there is another side to things. Our local family-owned retailers are struggling so much, it seems like a new one goes out of business every week. This year, for example, has seen the demise of the little Mirror shop that has been in our village since forever and was owned and run by a charming elderly couple. I miss their presence in the community. So I am afraid I went to the little Portuguese coffee shop round the corner on Friday and bought a coffee and croissant. I may be sentimental, and I am not going to change the world this way, but I was glad to do it nonetheless. However, I do agree that we all have far too much stuff.

  4. Stuart says:

    Sorry Helen…..
    I had no beer!
    Life without beer is not something I can countenance…..
    I bought beer……..
    However I do agree in principle so bought nothing else and toasted buy nothing day with a glass of stout…..Am I forgiven?

  5. Ah, you’re leaning on an open door here Helen. Maybe it’s as you get older you feel the need to aquire less. Unfortunately I had to purchase a bus ticket yesterday, otherwise it would’ve been a no spend day.

  6. Mark Goodwin says:

    Great post. Actually, I wasn’t exactly sure what Black Friday was. I remember Black Wednesday a number of years back when the Footsie took a major hit! However, thanks to you I now know. And, like a good follower I followed your advice and didn’t spend a penny! Then the postman arrived with a parcel containing £50 worth of inks for the printers :’-( Ah! But I thought I paid for these several days ago so they don’t count. 🙂

  7. Michelle says:

    I’m going to spam myself right back now because there’s no better that describes today than George Carlin:

  8. Phillip says:

    Dear Helen, Would you like to place a bet on whether humans are able to rise to the challenge of ‘Global Climate Change’? It looks pretty grim from here. I think that it was last year that ‘The Greeter’ in a WalMart was actually trampled to death when the doors opened. Serious. I am all for ‘Buy Nothing Day’. You might Google the ‘Reverend Billy’, he is of a denomination that exists to spoof our greedy consumer society and to try and make a dent in stupidity.

    Sincerely, Phillip

    PS I am sad that humans are doing so poorly on the huge issues that may rise, mature and kill most of the life on earth. I am especially sad that it is happening so quickly and that I selfishly want to run away! I don’t think that there will be any safe place to go. Even the rich will have to eat that last can of tuna and then????

    • Helen Cherry says:

      Thanks for commenting Phillip and welcome to my blog, I hope you’ll drop by again..
      I did indeed google the Rev Billy and have added him to my likes on Facebook.. 🙂 Thank you for telling me about him..
      I often feel like runnign away too Phillip so i completely understand !

  9. Great post! I’ll be working, not spending though still somewhat nauseated by all the gimmie.

  10. carolyntgray says:

    I was going to re-blog this… however like the “book sellers” , we are slightly involved in retail and have some friends who are selling at a craft fair on Saturday! Bit unfair to suggest no-one buys anything as I want to go to the fair! However, I shall include in my blog some mentions of buying less, which is certainly what we are doing this Christmas time. I couldn’t believe how many people yesterday were excited about “getting the Christmas shopping done!” like a huge task has been achieved, not exactly world peace or feeding the homeless is it? (from UK)

    • Helen Cherry says:

      See my comment below in answer to Scilla’s post, Carolyn and thanks so much for commenting.. welcome to my blog. This day is to highlight the change there needs to be from “must have” to condiering whther you really need something…

  11. artboy68 says:

    Fantastic post. I no longer look forward to any of the traditional holidays as they are all seemingly becoming the same; buy, buy and buy some more- because that’s what you’re supposed to do, right? Thank you for this.

  12. tunnelmental says:

    you go girl….fully support this. love and peace are my weapons.

  13. scillagrace says:

    Consumerism is a veritable bus going off a cliff…where will it end? In a bunch of trash floating up onto the beaches. Steve and I run a small book business, though, so we are involved in the retail world. We take used books from library sales, thrift stores, yard sales, etc., clean them up, list them internationally and ship them off to new readers. It’s basically a recycling business. We do list on Amazon (but not exclusively), but we don’t have a sweatshop exploiting slave labor (if you don’t count the two of us!). I like the idea of considering the source of your entertainment/information/comfort…is it electronic? does it take battery power or electricity? is it healthy? I feel that our product supports a conscientious lifestyle. The only questionable part is shipping. Transporting recycled books uses energy. How to be responsible there? Still working on that….

    • Helen Cherry says:

      Scilla…you can’t stop using altogether and heavens I didn’t want you to start feeling guilty because you are shipping books for others to delight over! This is about buying/using less rather than buying nothing.. you do more than your bit for this planet already.. I am not sainted!! I use fuel to go on holiday ( though I support Tree Aid to mitigate against this a bit, I buy bananas which are shipped from goodness knows where.. I throw food away because I forget it’s there in the back of the cupboard sometimes.. !! we all have to live and spend money to give ourselves joy sometimes, it’s just about being thoughtful which you most definitely are!

  14. totsymae1011 says:

    I’m with you on this. It’s just stuff. Stuff folk usually get rid of at yard sales because they didn’t need it anymore. Or maybe not in the first place.

    I watched Black Friday on the news from my den and it was awful, not to mention so utterly stupid. Folk were physically fighting over stuff. Again, what they would eventually sell for a lot less at a yard sale.

    • Helen Cherry says:

      I watched some of it online too TM .. people getting into fist fights over a pay as you go mobile phone.. I felt immensely sad that people seem to think owning things is what’s important in life..

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