Celebrate Buy Nothing Day, Friday November 25, by ... buying nothing.
Several years ago, the mavericks at Adbusters came up with a cute idea to highlight the orgy of consumerism that starts after American Thanksgiving and leads right up to Christmas Eve (at 4:59 PM, when a fistfight breaks out over the last lazy susan on the shelf...).
Instead of participating in the carnage, citizens could register their opposition to consumerism by not buying anything for a day. Cleverly, they decided to call it Buy Nothing Day.
Even though Adbusters couldn't convince any TV networks to run their anti-ad, the idea took off. People in industrialized countries around the world participate.
It's even possible to find occasional mention of the event in the mainstream print media, in which some writers and editors still believe it's their job to educate citizens, not to entertain consumers.
Variations on a theme have emerged, including Buy Local Day (echoed by Jason Leach in his recent column, Scrooged), which recognizes that the problem is not buying stuff per se, but buying stuff from huge, globalized corporate entities that don't care about human rights or environmental protection.
In that vein, Raise the Hammer would like to interest you in these lovely Buy Nothing Day t-shirts and mugs, made by some very nice people in Malaysia who might have had to farm for a living if not for our sub-contractor's shiny, modern factory...
But seriously, see if you can go a whole day without buying anything. It's a lot harder than it sounds (and it sounds pretty hard).
If nothing else, it will help to raise your awareness of just how tightly we are woven into the economy and how important it is to be conscious of where and how you spend your money.
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