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BUY NOTHING DAY, BUY SHMOTHING DAY

One Realization: “Buy Nothing” day, as an urbanite, is virtually impossible.

I realized that yesterday – July 4th – I bought absolutely nothing. Nothing online, not a coffee, snack, groceries, nada. My first thought was to give myself a figurative pat on the back, but then my second thought brought me back to reality.

I bought nothing because I didn’t leave the house (working on a crazy deadline), ate whatever I had in my fridge for lunch (read: two frozen yogurt bars), and then my good friend Jill bought and brought me both a latte and dinner. Then we hung out at my apartment, then I went to bed.

Even if I had a little vegetable plot, herbs potted on my window sill and a sewing machine, loom and my own personal sheep, it wouldn’t be nearly – not even remotely close – to possible. A “Buy Nothing” day or week basically means buying more in the days leading up, or getting other people to buy things for you. Period.

“Buy Nothing Day” is a farce. I don’t think it addresses any of the real issues – gross consumerism, debt, consumer pollution. It doesn’t even teach good habits. I think the North American “Buy Nothing Day” (Nov. 25, 2011 this year) should be replaced with a “Buy local/Buy used Day”. We as urbanites can’t realistically stop buying – but maybe we can create good habits about how and where we shop.

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