Saturday, November 29, 2008

‘Buy Nothing Day’ - Absurd, Empty, Symbolic Salve

Surely you've heard of Buy Nothing Day, the consumption protest conceived of by Adbusters, a glossy waste of paper dedicated to making you spend $8.00 an issue to feel really guilty. But like so many American-made protests, 'Buy Nothing Day' is just a symbolic substitute for real attitude change about consumption.

Instead, how about all agree that we consume too much, buy too much, waste too much, and dedicate ourselves to a Buy Smart Year. In a buy smart year we might decide, for example, to put off the purchase of a new MacBook till the second generation comes out—not only saving a chunk-o-change, but extending the life of a existing product and allowing us to avoid the notoriously buggy first generation of Apple-anything.

In a buy smart year, we'll decide to save up a bunch of necessary purchases and buy them all on Black Friday. Why would we do that? Well for one thing, Black Friday is when you get the mad discounts. So get out there and save yourself a bit of cash while at the same time saving gas by doing all your shopping on one trip.

In a buy smart year, we'll buy just one box of Ziploc freezer bags and make it last the whole year. We'll turn 'pizza night' into 'make something from whatever is in the fridge night'. We'll stop worrying so much about gas mileage and buy a used car instead of a new car. We'll commit to walking to every destination that is within a mile of our homes. buying smart for a whole year, we'll permanently change our habits and attitudes about consumption and make an empty gesture like 'Buy Nothing Day' irrelevant.


No comments: