Once upon a time, we used to buy what we needed.
Now that we have all we need, we buy for other reasons: to impress each other, to fill a void, to kill time. Buy Nothing Day is a simple idea: try not to shop for a day, and see how your view of our world changes.
Buy Nothing Day (BND) is an international day of protest against consumerism observed by social activists. Typically celebrated the Friday after American Thanksgiving in North America and the following day internationally, in 2009 the dates are November 27 and 28 respectively. It was founded by Vancouver artist Ted Dave and subsequently promoted by Adbusters magazine, based in Canada.
The first Buy Nothing Day was organized in Vancouver in September 1992 "as a day for society to examine the issue of over-consumption."In 1997, it was moved to the Friday after American Thanksgiving, also called "Black Friday", which is one of the 10 busiest shopping days in the United States. Outside North America and Israel, Buy Nothing Day is the following Saturday. Adbusters faced censorship from major television networks and CNN was the only one to air their ads. Soon, campaigns started appearing in United States, the United Kingdom, Israel, Austria, Germany, New Zealand, Japan, the Netherlands, France, and Norway. Participation now includes more than 65 nations.
To celebrate BND in Galway we are organising a street theatre from 1pm in Shop St. (an appropriately named street for the occasion!) and we'll be showing free films from 5pm in the Social Space (opposite An Taibhdhearc and near the back entrance to King's Head pub) with consumerist themes.
For the longer term we ask people to consider how and why they consume, whether what we buy is really necessary, whether we can simply repair the thing, buy it second hand, borrow it or just do without. Consider living more modestly and simply and to support local businesses.