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Buy Nothing Day


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Buy Nothing Day demonstration in San Francisco, November 2000Buy 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.[1] 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."[2] 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.[3] 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.[2]

Contents [hide]
1 Activities
2 Criticism
3 See also
4 References
5 External links

[edit] Activities
Various gatherings, shenanigans, and forms of protest have been used on Buy Nothing Day to draw attention to the problem of over-consumption:

Credit card cut up: Participants stand in a shopping mall, shopping center, or store with a pair of scissors and a poster that advertises help for people who want to put an end to mounting debt and extortionate interest rates with one simple cut.
Free, non-commercial street parties
Zombie Walk: Participant ‘zombies’ wander around shopping malls or other consumer havens with a blank stare and marvel at the expressionless faces of the shoppers (their fellow zombies). When asked what they are doing participants describe Buy Nothing Day and explain its foundational principles.
Whirl-mart: Participants silently steer their shopping carts around a shopping mall or store in a long, baffling conga line without putting anything in the carts or actually making any purchases.
Public protests
Wildcat General Strike: A strategy used for the 2009 Buy Nothing Day where participants not only do not buy anything for twenty-four hours but also keep their lights, televisions, computers and other non-essential appliances turned off, their cars parked, and their phones turned off or unplugged from sunrise to sunset.[1]
Buy Nothing Day hike: Rather than celebrating consumerism by shopping, participants celebrate the earth and nature.[4]
Buy Nothing Critical Mass: As the monthly Critical Mass bike ride often falls on this day or near, rides in some cities acknowledge and celebrate Buy Nothing Day.
Buy Nothing Day paddle along the San Francisco waterfront. This event is promoted by the Bay Area Sea Kayakers (www.bask.org) to kayak along the notoriously consumptive San Francisco waterfront. We paddle, we buy nothing, and we have fun.
The biggest Buy Nothing Day activities are the Winter Coat Exchanges that started in Rhode Island and now have locations in Rhode Island, Kentucky, Utah and Oregon in which coats are collected from anyone who wants to donate, and anyone who needs a winter coat is welcome to take one. (www.ProsperityForRI.org) has more information and flyers
Buy Nothing from ShopNothing.com, literally. [5]
[edit] Criticism
While critics of the day charge that Buy Nothing Day simply causes participants to buy the next day,[6] Adbusters states that it "isn't just about changing your habits for one day" but "about starting a lasting lifestyle commitment to consuming less and producing less waste."[2]

Buy Nothing Day has been criticized by some groups as a consumer-oriented empowerment activity that is insulting to those who simply cannot afford to buy anything at all, and that all successful boycotts in the past have been held until there was a gain, not planned for a single day. A group in Montreal promoted "Steal Something Day" as an alternative.[7] In their words, "The geniuses at Adbusters have managed to create the perfect feel-good, liberal, middle-class activist non-happening. A day when the more money you make, the more influence you have (like every other day). A day which, by definition, is insulting to the millions of people worldwide who are too poor or marginalized to be considered 'consumers'."

[edit] See also
Advent conspiracy
Black Friday
Buy Nothing Christmas
Culture jamming
Cyber Monday
Homo consumericus
The Story of Stuff (2007 film)
[edit] References
^ a b "Buy Nothing Day"Adbusters.org
^ a b c Buy Nothing Day 2006 press release
^ "Buy Nothing Day"The Guardian.co.uk
^ Buy Nothing Day hike announcement http://www.backtonatives.org/events.htm
^ A New Spin on Buy Nothing Day (aka Black Friday), TriplePundit.com, 26 November 2010
^ Why I Shop on Buy Nothing Day, TheTyee.ca, 24 November 2006
^ Steal Something Day http://www.urban75.org/archive/news088.html
[edit] External links
BND creator Ted Dave's official website

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