DadaKopf Registered User

Buy Nothing Day (November 24th UK), is a simple idea, which challenges consumer culture by asking us to switch off from shopping for a day.
Consumer culture is absurd, we buy out of comfort, to feel good and to impress each other. BND is a global stand off from such desires - celebrated as a holiday by some, a street party by others - anyone can take part provided they spend a day without spending!

Buy Nothing Day also exposes the environmental and ethical consequences of consumerism. The rich western 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.

Buy Nothing Day isn't about changing your lifestyle for just one day - it's a lasting relationship - maybe a life changing experience! We want you to make a commitment to consuming less, recycling more and challenging corporations to clean up and be fair. Modern consumerism might offer great choice, but this shouldn't be at the cost of the environment or developing countries.

Basically it's a great way for people to realise how much consumerism has become an inescapable part of everyday life, through trying to avoid it, we become more aware fo how it affects us - and it's only for a day!

Anyone here willing to take part on the 24th November?

SantaHoe Registered User

For me - every day is buy nothing day!
Being broke is cool, really.

azezil Hosted Moderator

No I don't agree with that at all! ... by buying stuff we increase demand, which in turn makes jobs, which employ people, who earn money, who pay taxes, which benifits the economy n thus the general population.

So no way man, keep ur hippy, touchy feely stuff to yourself, I'm a capitalist n proud of it!

JustHalf Registered User

I'm helping to organise one in Maynooth.

Puck 2838

I buy things either because I want to or because I need to.

I will buy things for whatever reason I want. Right now I don't buy too many things just to make myself feel good because I'm broke, but if I want to then I will and there's nothing wrong with that.

It may also surprise you to know that I don't get food for free and I'm not going hungry for any little project.


You goddam heathen communists

we buy out of comfort, to feel good and to impress each other

What's actually wrong with that? OK the impressing each other bit may be a bit sad, but I see nothing wrong with buying things to make my life more comfortable or enjoyable?

Shiminay Moderator

I dunno, all these Anti-Capitalism things that have been going on in recent months - it annoys me greatly.

I go out and work hard and get paid. It's MY fluckin' money and I'll do what I want with it!

The ideas behind BND are a good one, but in all honesty, it's a little far fetched! Asking people to help support this by deliberatly causing shops and business to have a bad day's sales is too much - what did the shop owners ever do to deserve that? They're only trying to make a living like the rest of us and at least they're doing it honestly (*ahem* I'm sure most of them are).

However, as a mark of my support, I shall watch what I buy and keep it to bare essentials because I do think we spend a little too much (I know I do).


Excellent, less of the great unwashed (literally) in queues on November 24th. I shall set it aside for Christmas shopping, I think!

Bucon Registered User

Almost as good an idea as the Internet Blackout thingy

Blitzkrieger Registered User

rofl - nice one Shinji

I haven't bought a game in almost a year so hopefully Civ3 will be out on the 24th Excellent op for Xmas shoping too

Somehow I don't think many people will take a blind bit of notice tho :shrug: (yes I know it's not a smiley)

Bob the Unlucky Octopus Registered User

Although no one is probably going to give two shakes of a mongoose's tail, ideas like this are the brainchilds of idiots imho. I'd go as far as to say it's a noble, but dangerous idea, with no grasp of the practical economic realities we live in. Consumption isn't just the basis for a market economy, but in a sense for *all* economies. Less consumer spending potentially results in a downward confidence spiral, generally a bad day out, even for those strange "anarchists" organizing themselves into groups to support it

On an ideological level, I agree with CT- what is wrong with the availability of consumer goods? Price dictated by the free market allows for choice, competition and availability of everything from basic essentials, to luxury goods, which is I assume, where this protest is directed. The hilarity of the situation is, I could do my shopping on the previous day, spending like the greedy capitalist pig I am, and yet still adhere to the no-shopping day.

Now, on to the assertion that 20% of the global population consume 80% of global resources- to put things in perspective, human beings comprise less than a thousandth of the nitrogen cycle, and play a part in roughly a millionth (5 millionths if you count global warming) of oxygen and dioxide byproduct cycling. Now that isn't a lot- the world bovine population contributes more. Not to say that we shouldn't take the environment into consideration, this is where NGOs put pressure on governments to find a balance between productivity and sustainability of scarce natural resources. These "greedy 20%", while consuming a great part of global resources, are actually the only governments even considering the use of alternative sources of energy. Millions of dollars of R&D and actual investment goes into these technologies every year in California alone.

As for the idea that globalization and MNCs affect the developing world, well, that's where market protection, and sensible trading cooperation comes in. If developing countries' governments want to "sell their souls" to prosperity and consumerism to the detriment of their own people, then it is they who must reform, and they who need to look inward- not the MNCs or governments selling to them. This is a basic principle of free-market economics- if the product isn't harmful, and people purchase it, don't blame the guy who's selling it.

If I were to buy products that I knew would cause long-term destruction of the social fabric in my nation, I certainly wouldn't protest to the guy selling said products. I would merely refuse to buy them. However, the idea that I should stop spending merely because other nations' governments haven't a clue how economic development proceeds within the boundaries of a sensible international trade partnership, is a preposterous one. A well-defined multilateral trading arrangement that protects fledgling industries in a developing economy is the responsibility of those nations' governments, not of the free market agents making a quick buck on the back of corruption reaching to the highest levels of 3rd world government.

The developed world, on its part, must also make concessions- the renouncement of third world debt is one, the dismantling of ineffective conditional loans from the IMF and World Bank is another, aid should ideally be untied. It must be said, that the develped world has made far greater progress along these paths than the developing world has along its corresponding goals- which include the elimination of corruption, and the stabilization of international trade arrangements. Their power structures are simply to ridden with corruption, devoid of transparency, and void of public conscience to make the right decisions (for the most part).

The idea that the West is to blame for all these evils is a popular one in several decolonized nations, some of them have a case. But most are simply providing an excuse for "their own way of doing things" which is often to the public detriment in their societies. Blaming the corporate world for political ills is an ultra-simplified view of the so-called "evil" of globalization. The same globalization that brought about international law, the United Nations, GATT/WTO and the same globalization that allows NGOs to operate on an international scale with the freedom to express their views. If the message of anti-consumerism includes anti-globalism in its policy line, I reject it utterly, and without reservation.


Hobbes Registered User

If you do go ahead with this buy nothing day then some poor kids working in a sweat shop are going to get paid!


Originally posted by Hobbes
If you do go ahead with this buy nothing day then some poor kids working in a sweat shop are going to get paid!

hang on, don't you mean "are not going to get paid" ?

Anyway as for the original notion its good to see people
reacting against this sort of anti-globalisation touchy-feely claptrap, which is mainly a bunch of rich western kids playing politics, ha! they'll learn...


Blitzkrieger Registered User

Well said Bob.

tbh I think the whole BND is going to fizzle. I spoke to a number of people today and they knew nothing about it, and frankly didn't give a toss. Probably be relegate to the "And finally..." section if it makes the news.

[aside]A freind of mine is doing a social sciences degree (or something like that ) and mention his philosophy lecturer was talking about how, because of America, it is now acceptable grammer to begin a sentence with "And"..........Whatever floats your boat [/aside]

Von Registered User

Nothing can be done to change the world until capitalism crumbles. Until then lefties should all go shopping to console themselves.

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