Today is Buy Nothing Day in North America. Here’s the Wickipedia entry on it if you are not familiar:
Buy Nothing Day (BND) is an international day of protest against consumerism observed by social activists. Typically celebrated the Friday after American Thanksgiving in North America and the following day internationally, in 2010 the dates are November 26 and 27 respectively. It was founded by Vancouver artist Ted Dave and subsequently promoted by Adbusters magazine, based in Canada.
The first Buy Nothing Day was organized in Vancouver in September 1992 “as a day for society to examine the issue of over-consumption.” In 1997, it was moved to the Friday after American Thanksgiving, also called “Black Friday”, which is one of the 10 busiest shopping days in the United States. Outside North America and Israel, Buy Nothing Day is the following Saturday. Adbusters was denied advertising time by almost all major television networks except for CNN, which was the only one to air their ads. Soon, campaigns started appearing in the United States, the United Kingdom, Israel, Austria, Germany, New Zealand, Japan, the Netherlands, France, and Norway. Participation now includes more than 65 nations.
In the past, I always heard that line about how we vote with our wallets and let the phrase pass out of my mind. Mostly I was too concerned with the work of thinking about a purchase interfering with my purchases. Why would I do that? I enjoyed new stuff and the idea of new stuff. Thinking about the working conditions in the factory my mediocre in quality Banana Republic wool coat was produced in was a total downer. So I would shove that thought right out of my head and continue scouring the sale rack.
Today is a day to vote with your wallet. Don’t open it. Brew yourself a coffee at home and skip that $5 latte on your way to work. If you are celebrating American Thankgsiving, spend the day with your loved ones and not at the stores.
It’s just one day of the year. Do it for whatever reason inspires you: to practice restraint or delayed gratification, so rare in our credit available world, or to take a small step in your personal journey towards a simpler life, or to demonstrate that you are not a sheep and that you will spend your hard earned dollars with purpose.
Happy US Thanksgiving to all my friends across the border and have a great weekend everyone.