Buy Nothing Day in Ottawa


Yup, it’s that time of year again. The time of year when marketers everywhere strive to outdo each other in raising consumerism to a religion. Remind yourself that you don’t need to consume to feel good about yourself and that there are better ways to show you care about your loved ones than through purchasing mass produced consumer goods. Join me and thousands of others in celebrating Buy Nothing Day.

Buy Nothing Day was started many years ago by AdBusters, a Vancouver-based not-for-profit organization.  The picture above is one of their creations.  You can download it and other posters for Buy Nothing Day from AdBuster’s site.

Buy Nothing Day is a 24 hour action/celebration in which you “participate by not participating” in the pre–holiday orgy of consumption. In North America during the 24 hours of Friday December 23rd do not buy anything.

Yes it’s hard, inconvenient, and many of the purchases you didn’t make on Friday will simply be made in the following days. To be honest, I often fail to completely abstain on Buy Nothing Days. But the exercise of becoming conscious of my spending patterns, of actively being mindful of how embroiled I am in the destructive economy of the Over-developed World, is an invaluable one. One that carries over into the days after Buy Nothing Day.

The action/celebrations going on in Ottawa for Buy Nothing Day that I know about are as follows:

Local business Octopus Books is celebrating Buy Nothing Day by staying closed on Friday Nov. 23rd. They are also hosting a Facebook Event for Buy Nothing Day.

Fullcircles (formerly Freecycle Ottawa) is encouraging people to regift unwanted gifts on Buy Nothing Day.

On Saturday November 24th, there is going to be a protest against mass consumerism at the Rideau Centre starting at 1pm.

If anyone knows of any other Ottawa businesses staying closed to honour Buy Nothing Day, or other actions being planned in Ottawa please post a comment.

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