Buy Nothing Day

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Buy Nothing Day demonstration in San Francisco, November 2000

Buy Nothing Day (BND) is an international day of protest against consumerism. In North America, Buy Nothing Day is held the Friday after U.S. Thanksgiving (November 29, 2013; November 28, 2014; November 27, 2015; November 25, 2016); elsewhere, it is held the following day, which is the last Saturday in November.[1][2] Buy Nothing Day was founded in Vancouver by artist Ted Dave[3] and subsequently promoted by Adbusters magazine,[4] based in Canada.

The first Buy Nothing Day was organized in Canada in September 1992 "as a day for society to examine the issue of over-consumption."[5][citation not found] In 1997, it was moved to the Friday after American Thanksgiving, also called "Black Friday", which is one of the ten busiest shopping days in the United States. In 2000, advertisements by Adbusters promoting Buy Nothing Day were denied advertising time by almost all major television networks except for CNN.[1] Soon, campaigns started appearing in the United States, the United Kingdom, Israel, Austria, Germany, New Zealand, Japan, the Netherlands, France, and Norway. Participation now includes more than 65 nations.[5][citation not found]


Various gatherings and forms of protest have been used on Buy Nothing Day to draw attention to the problem of over-consumption:


While critics of the day charge that Buy Nothing Day simply causes participants to buy the next day,[7] Adbusters states that it "isn't just about changing your habits for one day" but "about starting a lasting lifestyle commitment to consuming less and producing less waste."[5][citation not found]

Other campaigns, such as Shift Your Shopping, attempt to redirect spending away from corporate chains and online giants toward locally owned, community-based businesses as a means to combat consumerism. Even some independent business advocates, such as the American Independent Business Alliance, recognize "Black Friday" frenzy does little for independent businesses and instead encourage people to consider giving gifts but not necessarily "things."[8]


Adbusters has recently renamed the event Occupy Xmas,[9][not in citation given] a reference to the Occupy Movement. Buy Nothing Day was first joined with Adbuster's Buy Nothing Christmas campaign. Shortly there after, Lauren Bercovitch, the production manager at Adbusters Media Foundation publicly embraced the principles of Occupy Xmas, advocating "something as simple as buying locally—going out and putting money into your local economy—or making your Christmas presents".[10] Previously, the central message of Occupy X-mas and Occupy Christmas differed in that Occupy X-Mas called for a "buy nothing Christmas"[11] and Occupy Christmas called for support of local economy, artists and craftspeople in holiday shopping. The union of these ideologies calls for a Buy Nothing Day to kick off a season of supporting local economy and family.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b "Buy Nothing Day"The
  2. ^ a b "Buy Nothing Day"
  3. ^ Crook, Barbara. "Can you say bye to buying 1 day a year?" The Vancouver Sun. September 25, 1992.
  4. ^ Click Here to Buy Nothing. Joanna Glasner. Wired, Nov 22, 2000.
  5. ^ a b c Buy Nothing Day 2006 press release
  6. ^ Buy Nothing Day hike announcement
  7. ^ Why I Shop on Buy Nothing Day,, 24 November 2006
  8. ^ "Great Gifts Don't Have to Be "Stuff"". American Independent Business Alliance. Retrieved 23 November 2012. 
  9. ^ Occupy Xmas
  10. ^ An interview with Lauren Bercovitch
  11. ^ Buy Nothing Christmas

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