On Friday, buy nothing

buy-nothing-day-poster-2007_small.jpgThe decorations have been going up since Halloween. The commercials started two weeks ago. And the annual buying frenzy has already started.

Aren’t you already sick of Christmas?

Then participate in the annual Buy Nothing Day, in which you pledge not to choke the freeways, waste resources, go into debt and deal with a lot of screaming Christmas shoppers just so you can load your friends and family down with a lot of shiny, useless crap. Again.

Instead, participate in the Credit Card Cut-Up… the Zombie Walk… the Whirl-Mart… and other fun activities. Particpation is free.

And if you don’t feel quite that radical, you can still make a gesture — read Bill McKibbin’s classic 1997 Mother Jones essay
The Hundred Dollar Christmas
(title strangely truncated on the MJ site for some reason) or go to the website for the movement that article started, Hundred Dollar Holiday.

Yes, it’s all a bit of NPR-flavored earnestness — Vermontlichkeit, to use a word coined in an April 2007 review by Lance Morrow of a McKibbin book — but a little personal protest makes everyone feel better. Hundredth monkey, tipping point and all that, what?

Update: SF Chronicle coverage

7 Comments so far

  1. seany (unregistered) on November 22nd, 2007 @ 9:39 am

    Is it okay if I go get a beer? If the answer is no, then forget it, I won’t be observing "Buy Nothing Day".

  2. sf_mark (unregistered) on November 23rd, 2007 @ 9:23 am

    And here’s another anti-consumerist thing you can do to assuage your guilt: go to GreenDimes.com and have 90% of your junk mail stopped. All those fucking catalogs and pleas for money, gone! And they’ll plant trees for you at the same time. Huffington Post article from Nov. 7.

  3. seany (unregistered) on November 23rd, 2007 @ 6:21 pm

    Does GreenDimes.com work any better than the DMA’s Mail Preference Service? I’ve used the latter for about ten years and it’s pretty solid. The only hiccups I’ve seen with the MPS are when you purchase a new property.

  4. Sanjiv (unregistered) on November 24th, 2007 @ 10:21 am

    GreenDimes here,

    Thanks for the mention. We f’n appreciate it :^).
    DMA only covers some of the junk. We go after a bunch others plus we have a catalog screener where you can opt out our database of over 3,000 catalogs.

  5. seany (unregistered) on November 24th, 2007 @ 8:03 pm

    Thanks for the explanation. I’ll consider GreenDimes.com. Is there any way I can get the previous property owner’s catalogs turned off? The MPS is tied to the addresse’s name.

  6. Tironius (unregistered) on November 25th, 2007 @ 12:12 am

    Hmm, it must have also been "Ignore Ridiculous Posters Day."

  7. The Ugly American (unregistered) on November 26th, 2007 @ 12:32 pm

    Hmm, it must have also been "Ignore Ridiculous Posters Day."


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