February 2, 2019

Buying Nothing

This is not a gift for Mother Earth.

This is definitely not what I mean when I say, "buy nothing". 

As a matter of fact, this particular item (found in a dollar store, I think) highlights everything that is wrong with buying stuff just for the sake of buying stuff.

- it's certifiable crap 

- it contains pernicious plastic packaging 

- it takes advantage of people that think they HAVE TO buy people things, even when the recipient has already expressed a lack of desire for anything 

- it might be "fun", but the not-so-fun impact of purchase will extend far past the point of use (which will be measured in seconds, minutes, or at the most until the recipient gets close to the garbage/recycling at home

- it co-opts anti-consumer language for it's own use. If "Less is More", than not buying this gag gift would be even less, which would be even more, which is better. 

Buying nothing means buying nothing. No product, no service, and sorry, no self-gratifying shopping experience that makes the giver feel like they are doing something good. In this case, like so many others, they are not.

Only in a consumer society would it make sense to buy someone you care about a package of waste, pollution, environmental degradation, and a bit of very expensive air.

Is the air inside even clean?

If someone says they want nothing, do them a solid and buy them nothing.

Nothing. No thing. 

Give them a hug. No, don't buy them a huggy body sized pillow. Just give a hug. 

All you need are arms. 

Now you are buying nothing, and it will feel good for both of you.


  1. That is a so wise and funny.

    1. In a world that is increasingly unfunny, the antidote is more funny. Let's laugh. And dance. And sing.

  2. Anonymous2/02/2019

    Your third point about people feeling they have to buy even when the other person says "I want nothing" has been a real problem with my boyfriend's family at Christmas. There are fewer gifts, so hopefully they are finally getting the message that we really want and need nothing - we just want to spend time with them. -- Mary

    1. It is difficult for a lot of people to believe that someone wouldn't want something. What?

      But there is always food. I think food is a great thing to share with each other. Everyone eats.

  3. So much truth here.
    Recently someone told me they need to stop spending so much money. This person is "spoiled rotten" to the core. She has been indulged all her adult life. Claims she is pro environment yet the way she lives and all the luxurious crap she buys and surrounds herself with tells another story. All indications are that she has NO INTENTION of doing without crap. Though she sort of admires my ability to live with a whole lot less.
    She loves to spend money, seems to get a power charge out of it and is quite crafty at convincing herself that she "needs" so many things that I've lived just fine without for many years.
    She asked me how I save money on food shopping. She got a pen and paper and starting writing down my food shopping route and what items I bought where. A couple of my stops are to purchase in bulk, partly because it's cheaper, but mostly because I like not paying for environmentally harmful packaging.
    The questions she asked told me clearly she doesn't get it. She doesn't get not buying things. I got really frustarated. Finally I said, this is a lifestyle. Living more simply and not buying crap is a lifestyle. Then I started listing many things about the way I live. I said this isn't skipping your daily $8 special coffee concoction at the coffee house a few days a week. It's about living differently. It's not about finding cheaper coffee or food or crap, it's about not wanting crap at all. Her eyes literally glazed over and the color seemed to drain out of her face. I knew I was wasting my time. She has no intention of not buying crap. No one I know does. I often feel like a lone wolf. This blog and the community here is my refuge. A place of truth and encouragement, a community that gets it. Glad you are here. Thank you.

  4. Anonymous2/04/2019

    You are not alone, Terri! I, too, get a dose of sanity and serenity when I visit this wonderful site. We need reminders regularly due to the fact that we are bombarded by the myth of more at every turn. I, too, am so grateful for this community and that I am a part of it. :) -Erin

  5. Terri. Big hug. You are not alone. We are here. I love this blog and come here whenever I feel like I’m losing the battle of so much consumerism. We just hired a girl at my work who totally doesn’t understand that I don’t want gifts for Christmas and birthdays. Reading this post this morning has given me an idea. I don’t want to hurt this girl’s feelings but I really want her to stop with the extravagant gift giving. I’m going to make a donation to our Humane Society in her name for her birthday in a few weeks. She is an animal lover. I hope it’s not too subtle. I hope she gets it. Thanks so much, Gregg for all the insight. Always.


Comments will be printed after moderation to eliminate spam. We are proudly a no buying, no selling website.

We enjoy reading all comments, and respond when time permits.

If you put a name to your comment we can all recognize you for your contribution.

Thank you for visiting and commenting.