For those of you who don’t know, tomorrow is Buy Nothing Day (I think in the USA it might actually be today, but in Europe, it is tomorrow!)
I’m going to quote from their webpage, as it explains it far more eloquently than my ramblings could…
“Buy Nothing Day (November 24th 2012 UK), is a simple idea, which challenges consumer culture by asking us to switch off from shopping for a day. Its a global stand off from consumerism – celebrated as a holiday by some and street party for others! The rules are simple, for 24 hours you will detox from shopping and anyone can take part provided they spend a day without spending!”
The FAQ page goes into a bit more detail about why it is happening:
“It’s not shopping in itself that’s so harmful, it’s what we buy. The rich western countries – only 20% of the world population are consuming over 80% of the earth’s natural resources, causing a disproportionate level of environmental damage and unfair distribution of wealth. As consumers, we should question the products we buy and the companies who produce them.
The idea is to make people stop and think about what and how much they buy effects the environment and developing countries. Increasingly large companies use labour in developing countries to produce goods because its cheap and there aren’t the systems to protect workers like there are in the west.”
It also explains that this isn’t an anti-Christmas stance, and gives independant retailers some ideas of how they can take part:
“We support independent local shops and want people to shop locally. However, our high streets have been cloned by the big brands and the small shops are closing. We understand local shops act as a community hub and must be preserved. Use Buy Nothing Day to promote your local business! Do something that the big brands can’t do – hold a free food tasting day, organise a swap shop, or go fairtrade.”
Local businesses and independent traders are SOOO important to the community. I am planning a post about this very thing!
And what will it (or you) achieve?
“It’s incredibly challenging to last 24 hours without spending any money. You’ll feel detoxed from shopping and realise how much it uses up your free time. For 24 hours you’ll get your life back and that’s a big achievement! Buy Nothing Day is an opportunity for you to make a commitment to consuming less, recycling more and challenging corporations to clean up and be fair. Modern consumerism might offer great choice, but this shouldn’t be at the cost of the environment or developing countries.”
You could even spend the day making some pressies to give your nearest and dearest! (plenty of homemade present ideas coming soon!)
Is one day really going to make a difference?
“Buy Nothing Day isn’t about changing your lifestyle for just one day – it’s a lasting relationship – maybe a life changing experience! We aim to make Buy Nothing Day stick in your mind so you think about what you buy and the impact it has on the environment.”
So who’s with me?
One day, that’s all. It might not change the world, but we have to start somewhere. And we have to try.