Friday, 27 November 2009

Buy Nothing Day in the UK

Yes, we know. Buy Nothing Day was started in North America as a responsible and forward-thinking answer to the problems of rampant consumerism, the worst example being "Black Friday", the shopping orgy that is held the day after US Thanksgiving. The HQ and brain trust behind the campaing is Adbusters, an organization based in Vancouver, BC.

But on so many levels, the UK approach resonates more strongly with Canadians, I'd venture to say. For one thing, it's held on the last Saturday of November, when the 'shopping days before Xmas' count-down becomes frenzied and incessant.

Here's one social marketing that the UK genius folks have developed.

More inspired
anti-shopping YouTubes here.

From the UK Buy Nothing Day website:
Everything we buy has an impact on the environment. Buy Nothing Day highlights the environmental and ethical consequences of shopping. 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 an unfair distribution of wealth.

And voluntary responsible consumer simplicity can continue every day of the year if you keep the following in mind.

Ask yourself these simple questions:

Do I need it? How many do I already have? How much will I use it? How long will it last? Could I borrow it from a friend or family member? Am I able to clean and/or maintain it myself? Will I be able to repair it? Am I willing to? Have I researched it to get the best quality for the best price? How will I dispose of it when I'm done using it? Are the resources that went into it renewable or nonrenewable? Is it made from recycled materials, and is it recyclable?

If not shopping today disrupts your schedule and standing in solidarity with the campaign would mean that you're deprived of ciggies, your kitty of litter or your children of milk, pick another way to be a conscientious consumer.

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