5 Reasons to Celebrate Buy Nothing Day

Why celebrate Buy Nothing Day?

  1. If everyone in the world consumed as much as the average American, we would need 5 planet Earths. It's time to downshift.
  2. Thanksgiving is about appreciating and enjoying the blessings in your life - not about leaving your family right after dinner to go shopping.
  3. Standing around in the middle of the night in a parking lot is a pretty silly idea, if you think about it.
  4. No matter how amazing the sales are, you'll save more money by not shopping at all.
  5. The stress, rush, and hype are not worth it. How many days before the novelty of a shiny new iThing wears off? Isn't it time we focused our attention on things that are meaningful and long lasting (hint: family, friendships, community) — and don't drain our wallets?

All around the world, people will be celebrating Buy Nothing Day to take a stand against rampant consumerism and reclaim the holidays. What will you be doing on November 29?

For more about Buy Nothing Day, check out the Adbusters campaign.

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Maybe we could add a sub-title: Upcycle Something Day. Find something in your home that you can repair, spiff up, turn into something else, create a new use for, or so on. There are so many great ideas online for such DIY projects.

Posted by Pat Pierce at November 15, 2012 at 5:47pm

I think this is a great idea to show that the average person is meaningfull. Without the working class consumer, there would be nothing. I hope the US begins to realize they cant keeping sqeezing the middle class and keep helping the top and bottom.This is similar to the idea to not buy gas on one day, which would lose the oil companies huge amounts of money just in one day.
 I wouldn’t want it to hurt local buisness owners by doing this. Maybe we could tell them just to take the day off.

I think this should be done in professional sports one year. Have no one buy tickets on a certain date and see what happens. I love going to sports games but i just cant afford it. There is something wrong when the military is being paid 1% of someone playing a childs game. And They still have the rmindset to complain about money problems and contract issues.

Posted by Nick Kubaska at March 28, 2012 at 10:44am

I think this is a great thing! Just this past Thanksgiving season, i heard from multiple people that worked at stores such as Target, WalMart, and various stores in the mall that they were being forced to literally LEAVE their family at the dinner table and go into work as early as 8 pm on Thanksgiving night. This was outrageous to me. What happened to the meaning of holidays? Is it really that important to get your cheap Christmas gifts an entire month ahead of time? I have noticed that most people who go out shopping on Black Friday are buying things such as cheap televisions or DVD players for THEMSELVES! This completely squashes the minuscule aspect of “holiday spirit” and giving that is connected to this day. People are being trampled and even killed trying to get into a store to buy something for half price! It’s just not worth it to me.

Posted by Emily at March 15, 2012 at 12:03pm

I don’t get it. This wouldn’t do anything at all.

Reminds me of a group I saw on Facebook: “Hey guys let’s all not buy gas for a day and then they will lower the price of gas.”

Posted by Bob Waterson at March 15, 2012 at 2:00am

On buy-nothing-day my 4 year old daughter and I rewired and fixed up an old broken power wheels car we bought for 7 dollars at a flea market a few days prior. With a new nontoxic paint job, upgraded roller bearing wheels (also homemade) and some electrical upgrades with parts taken from a defective rechargeable Dewalt hand drill , it was time to challenge the kid down the street to a drag race. This kid had been teasing other children about how his power wheels Cadillac was the best because it is the most expensive. (About $ 380). He also refused to let anyone drive it.
The stage was set. With the smell of turkey mixed with ozone from the electric motor lingering in the air. It was time to determine which would prevail money, or knowledge. The new Cadillac verses the homemade Flee Market – Dewalt Wheels. Pretty much everyone up to grade 5 that lives on our street had gathered to witness the event.
When the 3rd grader that was chosen to act as the Christmas tree ( a light signal used in drag racing to signal race conditions) shouted GO! She was gone. The torque was phenomenal! When she arrived at the finish line about 30 meters away, the Cadillac was just crossing the midway point. I ran to the finish line with the crowd in tow, passing the Cadillac on the way.
When I arrived I was greeted by a huge smile, teary eyes (from the wind of course) and a huge thank you Papa hug.
The Skepticism in the crowd was replaced with astonishment. All the kids wanted to try out the new “Turbo Wheels” as the Christmas Tree 3rd grader called it . My daughter allowed all to test drive the car but, not before she took about 10 minutes to explain the technical aspects of the modifications we made to all present . She even made several references to Ohms Law and how the roller bearings reduce friction. It was the best buy-nothing-day ever!
Buy Less, Build More, Spend Less, Educate More!

Posted by Charles Allen at November 27, 2011 at 9:45am

I love this.

The economy was okay back when stores didn’t open at unholy hours and have massive “deals” on things that are grossly marked up.

If we spent our money buying the few domestic products we need in stead of the tons and tons of stuff we don’t need that is imported to feed our greed, we’d be spending the same amount of money, better boosting our economy, and employing our folks at home.

Time to vote with our dollars.

Posted by Katy at November 25, 2011 at 6:15am

Want to save money? Shop goodwill, and pawn shops and craigslist or barter. Anyghing you want can be found there, including diamond rings and flat screen TV’s at way better prices than anything Wal-Mart offers, New is not better.

Posted by Jennifer at November 22, 2011 at 4:15pm

I agree whole heartedly!

Posted by Karen Coffey at November 22, 2011 at 2:07pm

If we bought one really good pair of American made shoes, just as an example, instead of the 10 or more pairs made overseas, we could afford to pay more for that one pair and employ people in our own country. That’s the way I see it.

Posted by Sophia Walker at November 22, 2011 at 1:59pm

Chris, Thanks for your comment. We (along with a lot of top-notch economists worldwide) have definitely thought through the consequences of shifting from an economy based on relentless consumer spending and GDP growth to one focused on truly meeting people’s needs. Check out our website for more on this topic:

Posted by New Dream at November 22, 2011 at 12:44pm

I have enough stuff and buying more stuff for other people is not the way that I show that I love them.

Posted by Mary MacGabhann at November 22, 2011 at 1:43am

Gearing up for International Buy Nothing Day. Here’s my agenda:
Get up at a leisurely hour
Make a nice breakfast with my family
spend time in my jammies
walk together
free time
We covered IBN last year on GGN:

Posted by Lea Cullen Boyer at November 21, 2011 at 10:59pm

When people don’t buy things, the economy suffers. When the economy suffers, people lose their jobs. When people lose their jobs, families and communities fall apart. Have you ever considered that maybe your message of “don’t buy anything in order to promote family and community” might be a little counterproductive in the long run?

Posted by Chris at November 21, 2011 at 7:13am


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