On 24 and 25 november , the busiest days in the American retail calendar and the unofficial start of the international christmas shopping season, thousands of activists andconcerned citizens in 65 countries will take a 24-hour consumer detox as part of the 14th annual buy nothing day, a global phenomenon that originated in vancouver, canada.
From joining zombiemarches through malls to organising credit card cut-ups and shopaholic clinics, buy nothing day activist aim to chanllege themselves , their families and their friends to switch off from shopping andtune back into life for one day. Featured in recent years by the likes of CNN, wired , the BBC and the CBC, the global event is celebrated as a relaxed family holiday , as a noncommercial streetparty, or even as a politically charged public protest. Anyone can take part provided they spend a day without spending.
Reasons for participating in buy nothing day are as varied as the people whochoose to participate. Some see it as an escape from the marketing mind games and frantic consumer binge that has come to characterise the holiday season , and our culture in general. Others use itto expose the environmental and ethical consequences of over-consumption.
Two recent high-profile disaster warnings outline the sudden urgency of our dilemma. First of all , in october, a globalwarming report by economist sir nicholas stern predicted that climate change will lead to the most massive and most wide-ranging market failure the world has ever seen. Soon afterwards. a major studypublished in the journal science forecasted the near-total collapse of global fisheries within 40 years.
Kalle lasn co-founder of the adbusters media foundation which was responsible for turningbuy nothing day into an international annual event, said: "Our headlong plunge into ecological collapse requires a profound shift in the way we see things. Driving hybrid cars and limiting...