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Join environmental and social activists around the globe by celebrating Buy Nothing Day, a 24-hour moratorium on shopping that targets the 20 percent of us who consume 80 percent of the world’s resources.
Designed to make us aware of our consumption and its effects on our environment, Buy Nothing Day is observed in the U.S. on the day after Thanksgiving in direct response to the excesses of Black Friday, one of the biggest shopping days of the year.
To participate, simply spend a whole day without spending a dime. Or, if you’re up to a more public form of protest, plan an event to generate buzz. One year a group of participants wandered into stores wearing shirts that advertised 50 percent off everything inside, while another formed lines of non-shoppers pushing empty carts around the aisles at Wal-Mart.
Although the Buy Nothing Day protest only lasts a day, the hope is that by taking a day off from the usual spend-a-thon, participants will of develop a new awareness of their spending habits and as a result, consume less, consume local, and recycle more.
Spearheading the campaign is Kalle Lasn, a reformed ad man whose goal is “to create a culture in which it’s cool to consume less.”
Lasn is also editor of Adbusters, a not-for-profit, advertising-free magazine that addresses issues ranging from sustainable consumption to genetically modified foods. Although two-thirds of Adbusters’ 120,000 readers reside in the United States, its network of subscribers and activists spans 60 nations. In addition to Buy Nothing Day, Adbusters promotes several other social marketing campaigns, including Mental Detox Week, which invites the public to spend an entire week unplugged from their TVs, DVD players, iPods, and laptops—a seemingly simple, but surprisingly difficult proposition in our all-too-wired world.
For more on Adbusters and its campaigns, go to www.adbusters.org.