Wednesday, November 16, 2005

QUICK GREEN: Buy Nothing and Save!

Here's a quick greenie idea: Buy Nothing.

In the United States, the Friday after Thanksgiving is a traditional shopping orgy -- and so it has been adopted by a group of folks calling themselves "culture jammers" as Buy Nothing Day.

This year, Buy Nothing Day is November 25, and is recognized internationally.

Now there is always a lot of talk about buying green -- green processes, green ingredients -- but it is always talk of buying. Consuming green is far better than the alternative. But in the end it is consuming, using resources. Remember the old saying "reduce, reuse, recycle?" This is the "reduce" part of the equation. Sort of a "conservation of shopping."

We Americans, even greenie Americans, use more resources than almost anybody. For an example, try one of several ecological footprint websites:

Best Foot Forward
and More . These footprinters are aproximations, but point out the consumption issue.

In the end then, on Thursday, November 25 practice one day of lowered consumption. Just one day. You can do that, right?

Buy Nothing Day


lauren said...

While the first "R" is the most potent, it also seems like the hardest for most people to put into practice. It's relatively painless to drop your empty water bottle into the blue recycling box at the office (that is, if you are in a place that accepts plastics for recyclying or an office that has collection bins...), but it's a bit harder to decide not to buy that bottle of water in the first place. And that's just a bottle of water! It's going to take a change in our collective mindset or maybe just a simple awakening to our everyday actions. New American Dream is a good site about this stuff.

By the way, I hope you don't mind that I have added your blog to my roll. I love your simple, solutions-oriented posts!

Roger, Gone Green said...

Thanks Lauren!

I am always pleased if someone finds something useful here, so Blog Roll away! (Sooner or later I will need to update my list of links to add all the good stuff I have discovered in the blogosphere. Sigh.)

Meanwhile, I will simply restate here something I said in a comment on another green blog, Green Thinkers:

In my volunteer work on my city's Transportation Commission, and as co-founder of Pasadena Walks! I have found that the Stone Soup approach works very well.

Get a person to make one easy change and pretty soon they are interested in one more, and one more, until an entire life has been rededicated to not living at the expense of the earth, but as part of it.

Praise for positive steps does more than castigation for not going further.

My approach here is "One Little Change," which, I hope will help people make another and another -- and raise awareness of issues like consumption.

NeoHuman said...

I'm ok with consumption as long as it is sustainable not excessive and that you are doing it in a way that helps socially as well, like the Fair Trade movement.

So I don't like the idea of a Buy Nothing Day I'd rather see a Don't Consume Instead Donate Day or a Consume With A Conscience Day-support a 3rd world Fair Trade business.

your son said...

i think buying things is ok but... i also see how it is bad.i see what you mean. also who came up with buy nothing day in some ways for me it is bad and good. the bad is that i dont get cool things like yu-gi-oh cards (the good is that we will have more moeny later on so i can get better yu-gi-oh cards).... (he he he he). =)