Black Friday is the day when people go gaga over shopping… but if you think everyone is in the shopping mood on this day, think again! There’s a growing moment aimed at buying nothing at all on this world’s biggest shopping holiday. So when millions of people are shopping like crazy, there are a few million other people around the world observing ‘Buy Nothing Day’.
About Buy Nothing Day
Buy Nothing Day (November 27) is an international holiday of protest—a global resistance against Black Friday to highlight and recognize the devastating impact of consumerism on our planet. The holiday encourages people to get turned off by all the commercialism and consumerism.
The day is observed by refraining oneself from shopping or buying any stuff for 24 hours. Anyone can be a part of this mission provided they spend 24-hours without shopping.
This detox campaign was dreamed up in Canada, encouraging people to turn Black Friday into the Buy Nothing Day. Today, it is supported by lots of people and organizations.
When is Buy Nothing Day celebrated?
Buy Nothing is celebrated annually on the same day of Black Friday or the Friday after Thanksgiving Day. It will be observed on 27 November.
The History of Buy Nothing Day
Buy Nothing Day was founded by artist Ted Dave in Vancouver, Canada. The first Buy Nothing Day was organized in September 1992 “as a day for society to look at the issue of overconsumption.”
In 1997, the holiday was moved to Friday after Thanksgiving, (the famous day on which Black Friday is also celebrated). The initial promoter of this “buy nothing day campaign” was a Canada-based non-profit, pro-environment organization called The Adbusters Foundation.
In 2000, Buy Nothing Day advertisements promoted by Adbusters were denied advertisement-time licenses by all television channels with the exception of CNN.
Soon, the campaigns had a meteoric rise and became under the limelight—all thanks to Adbusters and its originator, Kalle Lasn, for doing a great job in promoting Buy Nothing Day.
The holiday which was once merely known to a few is now celebrated by millions of people in 65 countries around the world. These countries include the United States (where it is celebrated in the majority), the United Kingdom, Japan, France, Norway, Austria, Germany, New Zealand, Israel, India, and the Netherlands.
How to celebrate Buy Nothing Day?
The supporters of Buy Nothing Day can express their protest to the consumer-based culture by celebrating the holiday in several ways like:
Boycott shopping for 24 hours. Obviously, the main objective of this holiday is to refrain from shopping or purchasing anything for 24 hours. Instead of shopping, you can spend time with your family or engage yourself in activities like book-reading at home, playing games, watching television, etc.
Take part in a Zombie walk. A common tradition associated with this holiday is joining hands with nearby people celebrating, and traveling to shopping malls. Participants “zombies” walk around shopping malls with a blank stare and purchase nothing. If anyone asks what you are doing, simply describe Buy Nothing Day.
Steer shopping carts in the mall, without making any purchases. Walk around a shopping mall with your empty trolley or add some items in the trolley and leave it to abandon without making any single purchase.
Enjoying a Buy Nothing Day picnic. Keep yourself away from the hustle and bustle of Black Friday shopping. Enjoy a relaxing holiday in the countryside or mountains, appreciating the God-gifted nature and the beauty it offers us, free of cost.
Help people with credit card cut-up. Encourage people to put an end to mounting debt with credit card cut-up. Those celebrating the holiday can stand in a shopping center with a pair of scissors and a poster that says help for people who want to prevent themselves from maxing out on their credit cards and putting an end to shopping addiction with one cut.
Taking part in Buy Nothing Day parade. Gather together all your friends and community members, interested in observing Buy Nothing Day. Organize a Buy Nothing Day march and peacefully parade to the streets or shopping centers. Bonus Tip: Carry Buy Nothing Day posters and banners with you. If possible, wear custom-printed tees with Buy Nothing Day slogans.
Raise awareness in the society. You have boycotted shopping on Black Friday because you understand the negative consequences of overconsumption. But not everyone is aware of this. Those millions of people who end up shopping today, what they are missing is they don’t quite understand the consequences of their consumption.
So take this holiday as a great way of raising awareness among people about the negative environment, social, and political consequences on overconsumption. Tip: Use the power of social media to make your voice heard by the masses.
What is the Purpose of Buy Nothing Day?
All the consumption is in some sense the mother of all our environmental problems, and Buy Nothing Day is here with the purpose of raising awareness among people about the negative consequences of overconsumption in society.
After the spiritual holiday of Thanksgiving, why is it that our culture is requiring us to go out the following Friday and max out on our credit cards and buy probably more than we need to buy?
The average North American consumes 5x more than a Mexican, 10x more than a Chinese person and 30x times more than a person from India.
Every single purchase that you make has some kind of impact on the planet. The rich one billion people of Americas are now consuming 86% of all the goods in a global marketplace leaving a lousy 14% for the rest of the 5 billion people on the planet and then we wonder why it has ecological, psychological and political consequences!
Overconsumption in the rich countries of the world is one of the root causes of terrorism. People buy things they would not usually because of the reduced prices for Black Friday. This huge inequity – 86% we consume and relieve only 14% for the rest of the 5 billion people on the planet – how do you think that makes them feel? Buy Nothing urges us to wake up to the hyperactive lifestyle that we people have built up here.
Is Buy Nothing Day: Good or Bad?
The Good (Pros)
- Buy Nothing Day campaign criticizes the consumer society and the needless wastes of the society.
- Americans are the most voracious consumers in the world, a world that could die because of the way they live – give it a rest on Buy Nothing Day. Right after World War II, Americans have consumed frugally and have increased their consumption by 300%. The average consumer today consumes 3x more than it was after WWII. Today, we have a lot more consumption, but still, our happiness has not gone up.
- It encourages people to spend wisely. Buy only what they need and can afford. Don’t be lured into impulse purchases. Avoid debt.
- Buy Nothing Day gives many Americans a day to just think about the legitimacy of the concept, “Money = Happiness,” and realize that happiness doesn’t always come from buying things. Happiness doesn’t have to revolve around the materialism unless you force it.
- Our modern-day society does put a lot of emphasis on material things. We worry too much about what the next big thing is, whether it has to do with television, technology, cell phones, or anything of that nature. Having a buy nothing day would help our society. It would help us remember what is important, for example, family, and it would take us away from technology for just a day, and it might just make a huge impact on our society.
- A “Buy Nothing Day” would be very useful for our society. It wouldn’t hurt stores much but raise awareness which over time would slowly decrease sales of unnecessary goods. This would, in the end, benefit our society greatly.
The Bad (Cons)
- Buy Nothing Day is to raise awareness about a country’s excessive consumerism. However, this event really misses the mark in that regard. Sure, for one day people might not buy anything, but that doesn’t mean they won’t spend the day relishing all the “stuff” they already have. A better solution would be a day promoting community service or outdoor activities. Things like that would help people rearrange their priorities. A Buy Nothing Day has the right general principle, but it seems to be fixing a symptom, not the sickness.
- Some people don’t understand the necessity for a BND in the first place. If someone is spending too much, quit spending! The fiscal responsibility of Americans or other rich country citizens today is totally individual; if you are a responsible consumer, you won’t live above your income, simple as that. Granted, there are occasions when excessive spending can become necessary, but for everyday things-have some self-control.
- Buy Nothing Day is fine with raising awareness against extreme-materialism and consumerism. But, in the end, a country’s economy is driven by these such things.
- Buy Nothing Day has a good premise behind it, but by only doing this once a year it will remain ineffectual. Most consumers don’t shop on a daily basis but go out on weekly trips. Cutting out one day, out of 365 will not stop mass consumerism.
- If people really want to stop buying things then they should be able to just stop buying things on their own. Some things you do have to buy when you go out to do things. If there was a Buy Nothing Day, everyone would use more money the day before so they wouldn’t have to buy anything the next day. Then isn’t the day would almost be pointless to have?
Buy Nothing Day Quotes
- Just when the last tree has passed on and the last stream been harmed and the last fish been caught will we understand we can’t eat money.
- Nature gives a free lunch, but only if we control our appetites.
- It used to be that people required items to survive. Presently items need people to survive.
- Credit buying is much similar to being drunk. The buzz happens quickly and gives you a lift… The hangover comes the following day.
- Since we don’t think about future generations, they will never forget us.
- Till now man has been fighting against Nature; starting now and into the foreseeable future he will be up against his own nature.
- The activist isn’t the man who says the river is dirty. The activist is the man who tidies up the river.
- America’s consumers and industry discard enough aluminum to modify the commercial air fleet every three months; enough iron and steel to persistently supply all automakers; enough glass to fill New York’s World Trade Center every two weeks.
- In a time of consumerism and realism, I traffic in the blue sky and hued air.
- What consumerism truly is, at its worst attracting people to purchase things that don’t really improve their lives.
- The corruption of the American soul is consumerism.
- I think a great deal of self-character and internal self-awareness is hampered by consumerism because we consider ourselves to be a reflection of the TV, instead of as a reflection of the people who are around us, genuinely.
- Earth gives enough to fulfill each man’s need, but not every man’s greed.
- But it is a chilly, dormant business when you go to the shops to purchase something, which does not speak to your life and ability, however a goldsmith’s.
Buy Nothing Day Statistics
Buy Nothing Day is gaining momentum with each passing year. Started in 1992, the holiday was an embarrassing failure for the originators. No, any television was ready to accept their advertisements, the public wasn’t motivated by their agenda, and the mission was unsuccessful.
This Black Friday Anti-Consumerism Protest holiday started to gain an ever-increasing strength in 2000 — all thanks to the efforts of Adbusters. Today, the stats for Buy Nothing Day are really impressive, as the traditions and customs of this holiday have traveled all the way from North America to 65+ other countries of the worth, including a shade of its teachings in India as well.
Who Participates in Buy Nothing Day?
People who understand the negative effects of consumerism on the planet are most likely to participate in Buy Nothing Day campaigns. Anyone can participate in this holiday, provided they spend 24-hrs without shopping and boycott Black Friday.
Buy Nothing Day Facts
- Buy Nothing Day, is also known as BND.
- The day was launched in 1992, as a protest against consumerism and the Black Friday shopping madness.
- It is celebrated on the same day of Black Friday, which means the Friday after Thanksgiving Day.
- BND is celebrated by mocking the Black Friday frenzy. The common celebratory traditions are zombie-walks, marches, credit card cut-up protests, and whirl-marts.
- The founder of Buy Nothing Day is artist Ted Dave.
- The promoter of this day is The Adbusters Foundation.
- Annually, around 1 million people from 65+ countries observe Buy Nothing Day.