What Is Buy Nothing Day and Why You Should Care

Buy Nothing Day© Juan Moyano / Canva

What is Buy Nothing Day? It’s a question you may be asking yourself today. After all, it’s hard to miss the hordes of people crowding the stores, or the commercials that seem to be on non-stop. Buy Nothing Day is a day of protest against consumerism, and it falls on the day after Thanksgiving in the United States. It was founded by Canadian artist Ted Dave in 1992.

A Guide to National Buy Nothing Day

As the holidays approach, it’s important to remember the true meaning of Thanksgiving and Christmas: spending time with loved ones and being grateful for what we have. That’s why, in 1992, Canadian artist Ted Dave founded National Buy Nothing Day. Held annually on the Friday after Thanksgiving, National Buy Nothing Day is a day of protest against consumerism. The idea is to encourage a mindful and environmentally friendly attitude toward post-feast purchasing.

In recent years, Black Friday has become synonymous with crazy crowds, long lines, and unbelievable deals. As Black Friday became embedded in American culture, Canadian artist Ted Dave found the drastic shift from a day meant for gratitude to a day meant for chaos and greed to be quite off-putting. So, he decided to do something about it.

Dave founded National Buy Nothing Day in an effort to mediate the exorbitant amounts of waste and auxiliary spending that can often occur in the weeks surrounding Thanksgiving and Christmas. Americans practice National Buy Nothing Day in an effort to combat the commercialization of these holidays and refocus on what’s really important: family, friends, and community.

Here in Chester County, there are plenty of ways to celebrate National Buy Nothing Day. Here are just a few ideas:

  1. Have a potluck feast with friends or neighbors instead of going out to eat.
  2. Go for a nature walk or hike instead of hitting the malls.
  3. Make homemade gifts instead of buying them from stores.
  4. Volunteer at a local soup kitchen or food pantry.
  5. Spend time with loved ones instead of shopping for them.
  6. Donate clothes or toys you no longer need instead of discarding them.
  7. Encourage others to do the same!
  8. Take time to reflect on all the things you’re grateful for.
  9. Kick back, relax, and enjoy a stress-free day.
  10. And most importantly…have fun!

This year, make a pledge to yourself and your community to consume mindfully during the holiday season. Take National Buy Nothing Day as an opportunity to appreciate all the good things in your life and spread some holiday cheer without breaking the bank—or your back!

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