Celebrate Buy Nothing Day (no purchase necessary)

Photo: www.adbusters.org

Are you tired of the holiday hype already? Why not try a buying-fast? Join environmentalists and concerned citizens from over 65 countries for the annual Buy Nothing Day.

Are you tired of the holiday hype already? Why not try a buying-fast? Join environmentalists and concerned citizens from over 65 countries for the annual Buy Nothing Day.

Celebrated on November 23 in the USA and Canada and on November 24 internationally, this is a day to just stop shopping.

"The average American family is paying off their Christmas debt in May," Reverend Billy and the Church of Stop Shopping.
Overdrawn on the plastic
Debt load for the average family is reaching an all time high. About one in 20 American households owes $8,000 or more on credit cards. More than 36 percent of those who owe more than $10,000 on their cards have household incomes under $50,000. Canadians are not far behind. Between 1999 and 2005, the median debt load for Canadian families rose 38 percent and loans in the form of lines of credit more than doubled.

We are taking on levels of debt that would appall over parents or grandparents. But, we can't seem to stop shopping.

Stop shoppingBuy Nothing Day is a response to mindless over-consumption. Launched in 1992 by Vancouver's Adbusters, the day was inspired by the artist and media activist, Ted Dave. In 1997 it was moved to Black Friday -- the Friday after Thanksgiving, which is now the busiest shopping day in the U.S. Originally named because of the heavy traffic, it now refers to the beginning of the period in which retailers are in the black and turning a profit.

Can't get no satisfaction
"Retail therapy is a misnomer. More consumption often means less satisfaction. A report published in the New Scientist in 2003 indicates that the more consumer goods you have the more you think you need. But happiness through consumption is always out of reach. Shopping is like any other addiction. It's never going to work and it's going to a lot of damage as well," said Paul Cooper, campaign manager at Adbusters. One obsession to avoid
It's not secret that our compulsive shopping leads us to buy things we don't need. But it can take on alarming proportions as witnessed by the creator of Hello Kitty Hell, one man's response to the many bizarre products offered by Sanrio.

"I see it from both sides -- not only the stuff that my wife buys, but also all the stuff that she sells and it is truly amazing the crap that people are willing to buy and how much they are wiling to pay for it. I think it has to do with several issues -- searching for happiness, being exclusive (as in rare items) while also being identified as part of a group. Whatever the particular reasons, there is no doubt that we all buy way more than we need to," creator of Hello Kitty Hell website.

Celebrate Buy Nothing Day in anyway you choose. If you need to shop then at least buy local. Take the day to reflect on your spending habits because in the end consuming less means helping the environment.