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Buy Nothing Day

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I am probably in a minority but I find Black Friday very annoying and a royal waste of time.

For the past few years I chose to travel during the last week of November to escape the frenzy in this country around over consumption of food and goods. People in western countries veil their purchases under the name of 'holiday gifts' while in other countries and cultures which do not celebrate Christmas, it is a "celebration" of buying things for the sake of buying things. It fuels unnecessary consumption of goods, the environment takes a hit. Might I mention there are some non-consumer goods gift options available which might be good for the environment and also very practical. I have shared them at the end of this post.

Until few years back Black Friday was restricted to United States (and may be Canada?) but in the last decade this American phenomena has made its way around the globe. And now the level of consumption we have in the world is totally unsustainable. 

“The problem is the environmental impact of the production, transport and waste created by these products,” said Viola Wohlgemuth, a Greenpeace Germany campaigner focusing on over-consumption.

To my relief I recently learned about an alternative called - Buy Nothing Day - an international day of protest against consumerism. Buy Nothing Day was founded in Vancouver by artist Ted Dave. 

Even without knowing I have been participating in Buy Nothing Day for the last few years. While I would love to everyone to just change their behavior like an ON/OFF switch but I know that's not a realistic expectations. Hence, the below suggestions: 
  • paying for someone's insurance, 
  • making a contribution towards someone's education fund, 
  • investing in someone's name,
  • dinner at a favorite restaurant
  • an overnight retreat
  • concert or show tickets
  • Audiobooks
  • or even just giving good old hard cash. What's better than real money? Only, more money!

Last but not the least ...

Companies won’t change unless we do!

1) Plan ahead and consolidate orders so that everything arrives in fewer shipments;
2) Avoid expedited shipping (even if it’s free); 
3) Buy less stuff.

And that's that.

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12 comments

  1. Your approach towards Black Friday is quite impressive and it makes sense.I'm not a big fan of this day especially since I become even more savvy and I put every money I have towards important projects.

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  2. I kinda understand this, I wanted this bag for months and was hoping the price would go down on black friday but the price went up a week before today and now the price is back to the way it was before. So im keeping my money lol.

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  3. In someways I do agree with you, here in the UK this is slowly catching up but I find some of the companies do not really offer good discounts, so you need to make sure you are spending wisely.

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  4. I love the buy nothing day! Since morning, i've received about 200 black friday emails...Crazy!

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  5. I agree with the sentiment. However, don't you think that its possible to have this stance because most of us here are likely to be able to afford everything we need/want any time of the year too? There are people who wait the whole year for the savings from these sales, or finally able to get stuff that will make their family happy for holidays.

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  6. I agree. Strongly. Excessive consumption that's exhausting budgets and the environment needs to change.

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  7. I do not hide from you to save many of your blog posts that I find so enlightening that I read several times to improve myself and correct the shot.

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  8. Super interesting and informative. I definitely try to save as much as possible which helps me to not over consume... but yes... thi is a real problem for sure and appreciate you bringing light to it and love the idea of Buy Nothing Day :)

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  9. Loved the post Tanvi. you always have inspiring thoughts

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  10. And I thought I am the only one who finds BLACK-FRIDAY/Holiday special buying gift deals annoying! However, I do understand that some people save their money for these sales just to get some discounts on their fav products!

    Thanks,
    Everything Enchanting

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  11. Really interesting post. Never heard of Buy Nothing Day before but like the concept. I've bought nothing in the Black Friday Sales as trying not to buy just for the sake of a bargain.

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  12. I like the idea of buy nothign day, or even buy nothign week. I was listening to the radio this morning and it was talkig about Britons spending over £1 million today on Cyber Monday and I thought, not me! lol Mich x

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