On a typical school day, I am guaranteed to purchase at least one thing which would be coffee (normally Starbucks), but turn that typical day into a day downtown and up that one item to a minimum of five. Stick me in a mall and I will gladly waste my paycheck on clothing that will sit in my closet with my many other sweaters and jeans. Do I really need my starbucks or that extra sweater? Normally never. But do I want it? Absolutely! Over my years of working hard making my money, I have also worked hard at labeling myself as an ‘avid consumer’; most of the time I don’t even realize it anymore.
On Saturday November 29, 2008 people world wide are encouraged to participate in Buy Nothing Day. A day where people take a break from the typical consumer, and not partake in spending our money on mindless products which we only think we truly need. This day is day for social activists to protest our poor habits of over consumption, and to make us realize that buying into large corporations is pretty much a downfall of our society.
However, will one day make a difference? Buy Nothing Day sounds like a good plan, and an attempt at taking action, but really – one day? So you can’t buy that new purse on the 29th, but its okay to buy it next week, or even on the 30th. How about trying to downsize our over consumption in general, or even informing the public of exactly whose hands their money is in, and where else it could go? Perhaps the issue runs deeper than one day of anti-consumerism. One day may provoke thought, but maybe for just 24 hours, one day won’t change the minds of consumers world wide to forever change their spending habits.
I will try my best to participate in this years Buy Nothing Day, but I will also try my best to be a wiser consumer overall. I encourage others to participate, but also to research the deeper issues behind this protest. Adbusters.com is a great resource for videos and other information.