Buy Nothing Day Essay: Is It Good For Your Wallet?


Buy Nothing Day EssayUp till this now, more than 65 different nations take part in this day. What is it exactly and why people are being so fond of celebrating it? Let’s find out in this Buy Nothing Day essay. We will travel back to 1992 and discover how and why it’s been created. After that, we will search for the reasons why everyone should join the celebration. If you think that you can’t write an essay like this one, maybe you’re right, but don’t you worry! Professional custom writing services can do it for you quickly and effectively.

The origins

Buy Nothing Day for the first time was launched in September 1992 in Vancouver, Canada by artist and a social activist called Ted Dave. He proclaimed this day as a protest against consumerism and a way for a society to tackle the problem of over-consumption. From 1997 it has started to take place after Thanksgiving, on a Friday, famously known as “Black Friday” – perhaps, the most popular and busy day for shopping due to major promotional sales in the United States, whereas other countries celebrate it on Saturday. It was hugely promoted by a Canadian magazine called Adbusters. In 2000, some of their ads were refused their advertising time by almost every big television channel, with an exception of CNN, but, in the very near future, advertisements for Buy Nothing Day began happening not only in Canada and the United States, but also in Israel, Norway, Germany, France, the United Kingdom, Austria, Japan, New Zealand, the Netherlands and Sweden. The ads, created by Adbusters, were not against shopping per se or against Christmas, as it happens in the beginning of Christmas shopping season, but to help consumers to reconsider their habits of spending and how they can affect our environment.


To help drawing the attention to the consumerism, its problems and issues, there have been created a lot of different events as forms of protest all over the world. Some of them include:

  1. Coat exchanges in some states of America. People donate coats and anybody, who has a desire to possess a coat, is free to take it.
  2. Streets parties, which are free of charge.
  3. In San Francisco people paddle along the waterfront.
  4. A monthly bicycle ride, named as The Critical Mass, a lot of the time happens on this day or near it, which gives a way for rides in some cities to endorse and celebrate it.
  5. Some people cut their credit cards in shopping malls or stores, showing in this manner that everyone can end a rising debt and burglarious interest rates just with a simple act of cutting their credit card.
  6. Others took a different approach and decided to celebrate nature, instead of protesting against buying, by taking a hike, looking at Buy Nothing Day as a day that not only promote less consuming, but also more recycling.
  7. Participants pretend to be zombies and wonder around big shopping malls with a blank stare or get a shopping cart and steer them around without actually putting anything in.
  8. People protest publicly taking part in sit-in – a form of protest where participants occupy an area and sit there.
  9. Firstly appeared in 2009, a protest called Wildcat General Strike, during which the members, who take part in the activity, not only don’t buy anything on Buy Nothing Day, but they’re also turn off their phones, televisions, computers and lights.


Buy Nothing Day has received some criticism. The critics say that this day doesn’t change anything, because people would buy the day after it. Others complain that there are certain necessities, like food, that people have to buy. There are also those who claim that Buy Nothing Day is harmful for local businesses and that it’s economically unreasonable.

What you can do

There are many reasons why people decided to celebrate Buy Nothing Day instead of going mad on Black Friday. Looking at those crazy sales that appear on Black Friday, hearing people ecstatically screaming “I got this shirt 50% off!” only makes me think that you can get a 100% off just by staying at home and enjoying your time with your loved ones. Moreover, it’s been said that the ‘special deals’ that you see on Black Friday are no better and sometimes even worse that the ones you can get in the couple days before and after Christmas.

If you have a slight obsession with hunting for sales or just shopping in general, but you want to commit to staying away from it, here’s few thing that you can do on But Nothing Day or, in fact, any other day, instead of shopping. I can imagine, your wallet will be grateful, even if it’s just for a short period of time.

  1. Become an outdoorsy person, if you’re not already, and get outside! Take a walk with your dog, go for a run or play football with friends. Fresh air and nature surroundings are good not only for your body but for you mind and soul as well.
  2. Find water. If you’re feeling that stress is starting to get you, find a water source. Whether it’s a river, lake, fountain or waterfall, water is proven to have great calming abilities and it will also help you to reset your brain.
  3. Cook. Is there any cool recipe that you’ve always wanted to try? Now is the perfect time for it. There’s nothing better than a homemade meal, no matter if it’s only for you or for your whole family.
  4. Meditate. Meditation has a lot of benefits, besides, when, if not during the holiday season we’re swimming in a stress pool? This makes it the perfect time to take a deep breath in, a deep breath out and relax.
  5. Have a party. Call out your friends and gather together for a costume party or invite all of your family members for a game of charades. You can make this memorable for all of you.
  6. Plan a trip. It will occupy your busy mind and help you to have something to look forward to.
  7. Do nothing. Take a bath, read a book, watch your favorite TV series that you keep missing. Dedicate this whole day to yourself, it will help you to truly unwind and relax.

In my eyes, Buy Nothing Day certainly has a noble cause, but I think the word ‘celebrate’ has been used very loosely here. It looks more like a challenge for people who want to buy presents for Christmas. On the one hand, Buy Nothing Day has a great idea behind it, although, on the other hand, would one day be enough to stop consumerism? So, I guess, the question is – can you remodel the world just by buying nothing?

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