Change Alley

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Buy Nothing Day

with 8 comments

Buy Nothing Day is almost upon us once again. On November 23rd in the US and Canada, the 24th for the rest of us, thousands of people around the world are planning to mark one of the busiest shopping days of the year by not spending any money.

You too can take a break from rampant consumerism and prove that a day without shopping won’t kill you. For more details see the UK BND site:

Everything we buy has an impact on our planet. Buy Nothing Day highlights the environmental and ethical consequences of consumerism. The developed countries – only 20% of the world population are consuming over 80% of the earth’s natural resources, causing a disproportionate level of environmental damage and unfair distribution of wealth.

As consumers we need to question the products we buy and challenge the companies who produce them. What are the true risks to the environment and developing countries? The argument is infinite – while it continues we should be looking for simple solutions – Buy Nothing Day is a good place to start.


This year, Buy Nothing Day will be biggest 24-hour moratorium against consumerism ever. People in around the UK will make a pact with themselves to take a break from shopping as a personal experiment or public statement and the best thing is – IT’S FREE!!!


Written by Pete Smith

November 21, 2007 at 4:18 pm

8 Responses

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  1. Damn it Pete! The big Debenhams sale is on this weekend!

    Seriously, wealth is so disproportionately distributed around the world and Western consumerism is causing gross disadvantages elsewhere and it’s only when we take a step back on days like this and observe our actions that we really see the inequalities.

    I’ll be sure to take a break from “rampant consumerism”. I know my hubby will be gratefully relieved. Lol.


    November 21, 2007 at 5:12 pm

  2. Sorry to spoil your fun at Debenhams earthpal 🙂
    It’s funny how times have changed for us. In olden times life was unremittingly hard (as it still is for biilions in developing countries), with the occasional feast day as a reward. Nowadays, it’s a mirror image, everyday life is a mad consumer merrygoround, with the light relief provided by the odd day of self-denial.

    Pete Smith

    November 21, 2007 at 5:38 pm

  3. I’m in total self denial anyway so I should breeze through the no-buy day. 🙂


    November 21, 2007 at 5:50 pm

  4. No worries Pete. I would have only broken my life-long pledge not to start Christmas shopping till December so it’s just as well.

    And yes, good observations there about the full circle we’ve taken. Most of us seem to have it all nowadays so nothing is a treat anymore.

    Slightly off-topic perhaps but it might be a bit relevant: I went to a wedding the other month and for the luncheon we were served sausage and mash and pudding and custard for dessert. The wedding family was quite wealthy but thought it would be fun and a bit different to have something working-class’ish. A bit patronising in my view but my point being that these days, most people have *been there, done that* and we’re ever searching for more – for novelty value and all that.

    Lol @ Matty. I think you should always stay in self-denial. We like you like that. 🙂


    November 21, 2007 at 6:37 pm

  5. “…for the luncheon we were served sausage and mash and pudding and custard for dessert.”

    Shades of Jeffrey Archer and his shepherd’s pie and champagne lunches 🙂
    They were probably trying to be ironic, sometimes that can teeter over into being patronising, even unintentionally.

    Pete Smith

    November 21, 2007 at 6:45 pm

  6. “total self denial”

    Is that when you tell people you’re not who you think you are?

    Pete Smith

    November 21, 2007 at 6:46 pm

  7. “total self denial”

    = when I refuse to join the Teletubbie revolution who maybe, actually, probably taking over the world … and will soon be feeding the world with Teletubbie toast.


    November 22, 2007 at 6:52 am

  8. > be fun and a bit different to have something working-class’ish.

    What was for entertainment; a staged pub brawl, complete with broken bottles and pool cues? I know where they can stick their cue … 🙂


    November 22, 2007 at 7:06 am

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