What is ‘Buy Nothing Day,’ anyway?

Day has been around since 1992, according to The Independent

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Stock image (Italo Melo/Pexels)

“Buy Nothing Day” -- ever heard of it?

A quick Google search pulls up the following:

“Buy Nothing Day is an international day of protest against consumerism. In North America, the United Kingdom, Finland and Sweden, (it’s) held the day after U.S. Thanksgiving, concurrent to Black Friday; elsewhere, it is held the following day, which is the last Saturday in November.”

Go a little bit deeper into your Google search results and you might see people referring to the day as the anti-Black Friday.

The day has been “observed,” if you will, since 1992, according to The Independent.

“Invented by Canadian artist Ted Dave, the concept was picked up by the left-wing Vancouver magazine Adbusters -- also behind the Occupy Wall Street protest of 2011 -- and was popularized in North America before spreading around the wider world as “a day for society to examine the issue of overconsumption” and the problems associated with consumer choices, not least the environmental impact of manufacturing,” the website says, in case you were looking for a more thorough explanation.

In a nutshell ...

Basically, it pushes back against the materialism that can sometimes be synonymous with the Christmas shopping season.

So, what if we did take a day to “buy nothing,” as the name suggests? (Or are you a die-hard Black Friday shopper who can’t imagine doing such a thing on one of the biggest consumer days of the year?)

Whether you’re actually taking a minute to contemplate the buy-nothing idea, or you’re shaking your head vigorously, consider that there might be some middle ground here.

Some other ideas

We found a related campaign online called Shift Your Shopping, which encourages people to forego Black Friday and instead make their holiday purchases at locally owned and independent businesses -- which sounds a lot like Small Business Saturday.

In the past, some bigger parks have offered free admission, as well, to encourage people to get outside.

So, had you heard of Buy Nothing Day previously? Would you consider it? Let us know! 👇

About the Author:

Michelle is the Managing Editor of Graham Media Group's Digital Content Team, which writes for all of the company's news websites.