The day after Thanksgiving’s Black Friday to most Americans — who’ll hit the malls and shopping centers to shop for the holidays, taking the retail industry out of the red and into a profitable black. But for many environmentalists, anti-consumerists, and Adbusters fans, that Friday’s known as Buy Nothing Day
— a 24-hour fast from consumer culture.
A day-long moratorium won’t make up for binge shopping all the other days of the year, of course, but the intent of Buy Nothing Day’s to get people thinking about their general shopping habits — or protesting them, if they’re already unhappy with runaway capitalism that leads to waste, pollution, and stressful holidays.
This year, the organizers at Adbusters are calling not just for a break from shopping, but a “Wildcat General Strike” that’ll get even more attention:
We want you to not only stop buying for 24 hours, but to shut off your lights, televisions and other nonessential appliances. We want you to park your car, turn off your phones and log off of your computer for the day.
We’re calling for a Ramadan-like fast. From sunrise to sunset we’ll abstain en masse, not only from holiday shopping, but from all the temptations of our five-planet lifestyles.
Think of it as a Buy Nothing Day plus Earth Hour
plus World Carfree Day
, all in one — then get excited for the big green challenge! Among the challenges: How will activists use the recommended #bnd09 hashtag when they’ve turned all their electronics off? Hmmm….. A mysteriours eco-challenge….
Can’t turn off everything? Neither can I, because I do have to work that day, which means turning on my computer. But I do really plan to keep my car parked, my wallet undisturbed, and my TV black on Nov. 27. And if I get in the habit of doing those things more often the rest of the year, I’ll be doing a lot of good for the planet — and my bank account — and my general stress levels….