Thursday, 27 November 2014

Happy Buy Nothing Day!

Tomorrow is Black Friday, a day when the malls will be packed, the lines will be long, and the shoppers will be grumpy.

The day after American Thanksgiving marks one of the busiest shopping days of the year. If, like so many others, you’re tired of the push for endless consumption, you could celebrate Buy Nothing Day instead.

Just as you’d guess from its title, Buy Nothing Day is a day that encourages us to save our money and instead appreciate what we already have. Some people have begun to celebrate Buy Nothing Day in more visible ways, too: “Zombie Walks,” which are popping up everywhere, invite people to dress up as the living dead and to “wander around malls, marveling at the blank, comatose expressions on the faces of shoppers”; and in what’s known as the “Whirlmart” protest, anti-customers push empty carts around big-box stores without buying anything. (See Adbusters for more on these increasingly-popular traditions.)

And there are other alternatives to Black Friday and its new counterpart, Cyber Monday. 

Giving Tuesday is a new trend that asks us to spend a day giving to others. The organizers of Giving Tuesday describe the day as “a time to celebrate and encourage activities that support charities and non profits. Whether it’s making a donation, volunteering time, helping a neighbour or spreading the word, Giving Tuesday is a movement for everyone who wants to give something back.” You can read more about Giving Tuesday here 

Buying local is another option, and if you’re near Lambton College on Monday, December 1, you could stop by the Annual Haitian Art Sale (from 10-2:30 in A Hall). The work being sold is handcrafted in Haiti and brought to Canada by Lambton College students, and the proceeds return to the Haitian community. Students will also be selling Rayjon Fair Trade Organic Coffee, which funds Rayjon's work in Haiti, and Simbi hairbands, the proceeds from which fight cholera. 

Whatever your decision, the idea is to think before you buy.

Happy Buy Nothing Day and Happy Giving Tuesday!

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