Nothing, Nada, Zilch

Nothing, Nada, Zilch

An interesting dichotomy that I face with running my business is this:  I sell products...and yet, I'm opposed to consumerism.  To be honest, it's a pretty weird situation that I find myself in.  And it's something that's in the back of my mind, especially as we get closer to the silly season.

For the past few weeks, Shopify (our website platform) has been counting down the days until Black Friday.  For those of you unfamiliar with Black Friday, it's on the day after Thanksgiving (for 2021, it's 26 November), and it's the biggest shopping day of the year, when stores slash their prices and encourage people to buy! buy! buy!  It started off as an American thing, but, like many American things, it is beginning to spread around the rest of the world, and it's catching on in New Zealand.

So, Shopify wants to offer me strategies for how to maximise sales on Black Friday...but I'm not really interested.

Yes, consumption is necessary - we have basic needs that need to be filled (sure, we could all go off and build huts in the bush and forage for berries and kawakawa, but, we've had a taste of modern culture now and, while I definitely think that we can reap huge benefits from reconnecting with nature, I don't see folks giving up their city apartments and lattes any time soon!).  However, we do have to come to terms with the reality that we live on a planet of finite resources and growing levels of pollution and we need to face the fact that our consumption is actually out of control.

Unfortunately, this is what Black Friday looks like for many people.

It isn't pretty.  And if you asked those people whether they thought they consumed too much, I'm guessing they'd be thinking something like this...
Thankfully though, a global movement has risen up in response to the madness.  Buy Nothing Day was started in 1992 by a Canadian artist and subsequently taken up by activist collective, Adbusters.  It is an international day of protest against over-consumption, celebrated on the same day as Black Friday.  Participants are encouraged to gather together in public spaces and take part in all manner of entertaining protest-type activities, from cutting up their credit cards, celebrating with a street party, or participating in a "whirl-mart" in which protesters silently wheel their shopping trolley around a shopping mall in a long conga line without making any purchases 😂.  Most importantly though, it is a day to buy nothing.
Here at EarthSavvy, our focus is providing resources to help people be conscious consumers.  Not just buying for the sake of satisfying short-term wants, but buying something functional that is going to help you lessen your impact on the planet.
So, although we go to a lot of effort to be a sustainable business and provide tools that help people reduce their waste, we will be temporarily closing our doors this Friday to show our support for Buy Nothing Day 💚.
We want to throw a spotlight on the problem that is our global over-consumption and encourage people to step away from the credit card.  And not just for a day.  As Adbusters points out, "Buy Nothing Day isn't just about changing your habits for one day" but "about starting a lasting lifestyle commitment to consuming less and producing less waste."
So, this Black Friday, there will be no spending frenzy...for us, it will be a day to reflect on the state of our planet, to consider how we can better care for Mother Nature and to encourage others to do the same...a day to buy nothing.

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  • Such a great idea, I’m actually going camping so I’ll buy nothing And enjoy the beautiful country l live in. #livingthedream #newzealand

    Kat on
  • Hallelujah!! I totally agree. I found out today WHY it’s called Black Friday… I mean people die. Why is life worth less than a bargain?!? Totally support you Kristy. I will be buying nothing tomorrow.

    Shireen on
  • As a culture, we need to regain perspective and your article will help to do that. Thank you.

    Julie on

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