November 24, 2015

Buy Nothing Day 2015

Only three more days to one of my favourite days of the year - Buy Nothing Day. Celebrated since 1992, this day, like this blog, invites people to join a growing crowd that is learning to live better with less consumption. It is no mistake that BND coincides with the craziest consumer frenzy of the year - Black Friday.

BND is the antidote to BF. It is a good place to begin the rest of your low consumption life. The beginning of an awareness of our impact on the people and planet around us when we consume more than we need.

Most of my days are buy nothing days. Some call it the "NBA lifestyle", and I am honoured. But I love having a whole day dedicated to learning to live with less. Never mind that the other 364 days of the year are dedicated consumption days - that is changing.

Just like more and more of us are refusing to support endless war and violence,  increasing numbers are voluntarily choosing not to support the war on the environment and violence caused by overconsumption. Such a choice makes all the difference.

"You cannot get through a single day without having an impact on the world around you," Jane Goodall said. "What you do makes a difference, and you have to decide what kind of difference you want to make."

What kind of difference do you want to make?

If there were ever a time in our history to be making a stand, now is that time. We have to decide what it is we stand for, and what kind of difference we want to make during our short time on this planet. And we have to decide now because time is running out.

This Friday, I hope many and more will choose to participate in BND, make a commitment to changing their shopping habits, and change the world in the process. It may be the best decision you ever make for yourself, the human family, and the planet.

Click here to read my recent post suggesting "Alternatives To Black Friday". Or feel like dressing up? Get together with a group of friends and stage a zombie non-shopping event in your local mall to raise awareness. Anti-consumerism can be fun!


  1. I'm in. It gets to the point that it is hard to listen to consumer talk. Advertisers, people who buy one more of something they have too many of, They even sound weary of themselves.

    1. I do agree that most people are burning out on the crazy consumerism. It must get boring (and expensive) after a while.

  2. I work in a warehouse owned by one of the biggest electronic retailers in Scandinavia and they have been pushing the concept of Black friday really hard here. And people are buying like crazy. We even ship to Greenland and the Faeroe islands! Seeing all these things in this gigantic place makes me feel sick in the soul but I keep on celebrating Buy Nothing day as often as I can. And look for another job...

    1. Global BF creep. Thanks for fighting it in Scandinavia. Right livelihood is important.

  3. The first time I skipped Black Friday was when I lived on my own after I finished college. Money was tight so, I walked to a local park. Even though everyone had the day off, I was alone. It was wonderful. I walked past lines of cars stuck in traffic by the mall. I called some relatives to catch up. It was sooo quiet and I didn't miss the chaos inside the stores.

    1. Beautiful. Being a contrarian has its benefits.

  4. Advertisers have been going on about black friday for days already. In my nearest town they light the big Chistmas tree on thursday and start black friday then. The whole consept makes me sad and frustrated. No sign of this country burning out on consumerism yet I fear, far from it. I am joining in with Buy Nothing Friday. Ditch consumerism and save the planet. Pam, in Scandinavia.

  5. I'm in too. No buying anything on BF for me. Might even keep my lights turned off so I'm not buying as much electricity either! If I bundle up, I can go all day without heat!

    This will fit nicely with my "Clearing Friday" declaration. See Gregg's post linked above "Alternatives to Black Friday" comments for details on what Clearing Friday means to me.

    I think this coalition on NBA could declare a day each month where we don't buy anything! Yet there are many days most of us don't buy anything already. Cheers!

    Living with less a little bit each day, Terri

  6. Black Friday reminds me of lemmings jumping off a cliff!! Frenzied consumers buying rubbish they dont need because they don't want to miss out on "a great deal".

    Here in the UK most sales are a scam anyway (when you read the small print you find the item has been for sale at the higher price for just 1 month at 1 store in order to meet advertising rules).

    And anyway I'd much rather spend an extra hour in bed!!!

  7. BF is just a few years old in my country, and I think I heard of BND and NBA before I heard of BF, so I never participated in the frenzy. It makes me sick to think of all the suffering behind this kind of consumerism: child labor, laborers being treated like slaves, the various impacts on environment, the suffering of animals for fur and meat... It was easy to turn my back at this day.

    But a person posted on FB, how she understood if poor people where using this sale to get some sort of items they needed, say a vacuum cleaner or refrigerator, a warm coat or boots for their child. It made me think, how I have a choice in this. I can make a choice to make a statement this day and I won't suffer from it. But some people might not have this same choice.

    I have been poor most of my life. I grew up in a poor household, but never realised as a child. I remember black-white TV, no vecations outside of the country, no branded clothes... I was poor as a student, as unimployed and so I still live as if I'm poor: thinking hard on every purchase, not buying things I don't need, but I'm not poor. I have a job and the money that comes with it, so I have a choice, I have priviledge. And even though I think by fighting endless pointless consumerism we fight poverty on a global scale, I can't let that FB comment go. How can I judge people from this privilidged position, when I have no idea of their story, their life?

    I'm not questioning the choice to not buy stuff, no matter how priviledged, it's my choice. I'm not saying anyone should indulge in this day of consumerism at all, and I still find it horrible. I still believe consumerism have to end, and the end of it will benifit us all, on a global scale. But how to tackle this issue?

    Thanks for a good blog

  8. I feel like our national pastime must be shopping in the US. There are so many stores and shopping centers. And whenever someone is bored that is where they go instead of the library, the park, to play ball, or take a walk. :/

  9. Terese, I get sick thinking about all the suffering consumerism causes too. Your comments made me think. I feel grateful for what I have.

    I heard on NPR that Minnesota had a free park day. The entrance fees at all Minnesota state parks was FREE on Black Friday. They interviewed a park ranger who said the woods were full of hikers! What a great idea!

    Also heard that retail store REI that sells outdoor equipment was closed on Black Friday. They put notes on their doors saying REI was Opting Out ....meaning not opening on Black Friday and choosing to go outdoors! Pretty cool I thought!


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