Buy Nothing Day 2007

Yesterday was the big day in the US. As you may know most Americans wake up from Thanksgiving dinner, after having devoured 272 million turkeys, 640 million pounds of cranberry and 1.6 billion pounds of sweet potatoes (1), with an even wilder appetite to consume. The sociological answer to this may be quite straight forward: strong incentives such as big storefront SALE signs all over the place. November 23 is the start point of the christmas shopping season, where half of all sales in the US are logged.

I personally witnessed the herds of consumers flocking to the streets to satisfy their insatiable holiday shopping spree… literally it was impossible to walk amidst the huge bunch of shopping bags carried by their shoppers.

The Buy Nothing Day celebration aims to add a small drop of consciousness to this ocean of collective insanity, by doing a symbolic pledge against pervasive consumerism. The initiative has generated important debate… from MTV’s radical refusal to sell airtime for the campaign commercials to more moderate standpoints as the British proposal to promote Smart Buying, instead of Buy Nothing. Nevertheless, the issue at stake is the same… we are predating the world in an unsustainable way. And some countries are contributing to this more than others.

Video by: Adbusters

For the satisfaction of all cultural jammers that are passing on these bold messages… the Buy Nothing Day campaign was referred to, by the New York Times,as a “fresh advertising pitch…”

As for me, I did my part… First, I didn’t buy anything yesterday and I am willing to extend my pledge for today (I have to confess that this is not very hard for me, especially nowadays in a self-induced sabbatical where money becomes a very valuable asset for buying spare time!!). I also promoted the campaign through Facebook, kind of as an experiment to see how many people could be interested. I was impressed that I had quite a good response from my friends, who supported the cause, bringing me to the #1 position in the recruiters’ hall of fame (9 people)! Thanks to all of you believers. 🙂

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