I discovered Buy Nothing Day when I was 17 or 18, when I realized that reading Adbusters was about more than looking like a hipster. I don’t buy Adbusters anymore, because I can’t afford them (its a freaking expensive magazine for being an anti consumerism publication!) and I don’t have time to read them (and their consistent use of little, messy fonts – a personal pet peeve of mine), but I’m still a loyal supporter of Buy Nothing Day, an event they sponsor every year.
Buy Nothing Day is the anti consumerism movement’s response to Black Friday (the day after Thanksgiving, the biggest shopping day of the year). In some places, people actually hold demonstrations in shopping malls and other shopping hubs, but it seems like everyone in Denver is just as lazy as I am and no one ever wants to actually organize an event, they just want to show up and participate in one. The idea is to educate people about how massive consumerism is harmful to the environment, society and our personal physical and emotional health.
I think you’d have to be crazy to go out on Black Friday anyhow. I don’t like going into crowded stores, and those who do are practically rabid on the day after Thanksgiving. I am fond of my eyes, personally, and have no desire to risk getting them scratched out by an angry super shopper who’s been camping out on the side walk since she finished cleaning up Thanksgiving dinner the night before in a battle over the last 9.99 sweatshop manufactured sweater at Old Navy. No thank you! But apparently the majority of the population is crazy, because if not, then the day after Thanksgiving would not be the biggest shopping day of the year.
Obviously, participating in Buy Nothing Day was not a big change in my lifestyle. I pretty much have participated in it all my life, I just didn’t realize there was a name for it. I try to take it to the farthest extreme I can. I make sure that my gas tank is filled and that I’m stocked up on any personal care items I might need (diapers, toilet paper, etc.) the day before Thanksgiving. If I forget something, I do without that day. If at all possible, I try not to leave the house at all, although this year I am going to visit my grandmother in Boulder with my sister and our kids, and last year I was in the hospital delivering my son (which unfortunately resulted in my family members going out and buying things; flowers, It’s a Boy balloons, some fresh fruit for me to eat).
Maybe one day, if enough people participated in Buy Nothing Day, it might actually be safe to go out on Black Friday, but since I am now such a big supporter of Buy Nothing Day, I still won’t go out. To learn more about Buy Nothing Day, visit their website or look them up on Facebook (there’s a Buy Nothing Day group there, I am a member). I encourage all single moms, and everyone else, to participate in Buy Nothing Day by staying home and spending some quality time with your kids, or going out and participating in a demonstration. You can bring your kids along, an opportunity to both spend time with them, teach them about the anti consumerism movement, and about civil action. Its also an opportunity to meet new people. You can find an event in your area on the Adbusters Buy Nothing Day website.
Have fun, and Happy Buy Nothing Day!
(by the way, all the links in this post go to different blogs and pages about Buy Nothing Day)