Will You Buy Nothing Today?

by: EJ on 11/29/2013
Posted in: Activism

November 29th, 2014, is international Buy Nothing Day.  Originally promoted by “culture jammers” and the Canadian-based magazine Adbusters, Buy Nothing Day has been happening for over 20 years.  Held on the Friday after American Thanksgiving, the purpose of Buy Nothing Day is to encourage people to rethink consumer habits. 

On today's Adbuster's blog, the originators of this idea say, "Until we challenge the entrenched values of capitalism – that the economy must always keep growing, that consumer wants must always be satisfied, that immediate gratification is imperative – we’re not going able to fix the gigantic psycho-financial-eco crisis of our times."

In 1996, New Society Publishers published a ground breaking book, Our Ecological Footprint: Reducing Human Impact on the Earth by Mathis Wackernagel and William Rees.  In it, the authors present an internationally-acclaimed tool for measuring and visualizing the resources required to sustain our households, communities, regions and nations.  Since the book's publication, the Global Footprint Network has become an international organization which last year received one of the world's premier environmental awards, the Blue Planet Prize.  More importantly, the words "ecological footprint" have entered our common lexicon.  

North Americans have an over-sized ecological footprint -  50% greater than the average European.  These are not resource-poor people in developing countries, these are people living a lifestyle we would consider comparable to ours - only they use 50% less resources to do it. 

Does Buy Nothing Day really do anything to address this situation?  We could cut our consumption by 1/365 of what we normally buy - unless of course we go out tomorrow and buy double.  Buy Nothing Day is a chance to reflect on the consumption habits of our society and to set the stage for taking further action.  For example, the workers at Walmart have chosen this day to speak out about their levels of pay.

This video was posted today on the RT Network

 

Whatever you choose to do today, please consider at the very least buying nothing and letting others know why you have chosen this day to take a stand for planet earth. 

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