International Buy Nothing Day 2008

This Saturday, the 29th of November is not just my birthday, it’s (I)nternational Buy Nothing Day. I blogged about IBND last year, having only learnt about IBND a few weeks before I wrote about it. I have just read my post from last year and I really like it. I couldn’t remember what I had written, but after reading, that’s what I want to write again. So, go read that post, then come back to my thoughts below.

Although I didn’t remember what I wrote in the post last year, I do remember the day. I found it very difficult to not buy anything. There were two major problems. One was that my maid came that day and I didn’t have any food for her. It didn’t seem fair that she should go hungry because I was trying not to buy anything that day. Also, if I give her the money and she buys the food, isn’t that the same thing really? The second problem was that I had forgotten to get fuel, so when I started my car, I knew I was going to be spending a lot of money very shortly.

This year will also be interesting seeing as it is my birthday on Buy Nothing Day. I”m sure my friends will be delighted to use IBND as an excuse not to get me any gifts! I think that’s ok actually. I’ve realised that¬†gift giving is one of the major factors in over consumption. We get people things they don’t really need or want, a completely unnecessary purchase. Are people really grateful to receive things they don’t need or want? Is it necessary to give everyone a gift on every occasion? I don’t know what the etiquette is but it’s possible we ‘over gift’.

A while ago it was trendy to make a contribution to a charity as a gift to someone. I think that’s a great thing to do and we should consider that as an option when gifting in future. Would you give someone a card for their birthday with no gift attached? I think that is also a good option, a hand written card with personal thoughts about the person would carry lots of meaning. Tell someone that you love them, tell them what you love about them and how much they mean to you.

Since last year, we have been through quite a serious financial crisis and it’s amazing how people can suddenly do without many of the things they felt were not optional. Whether you do or don’t manage to buy nothing this IBND, at least take the time to stop and think. Do we really need to consume as much as we do?

There are some good links in my previous post, this is the main link for IBND:

http://www.adbusters.org/campaigns/bnd

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1 Response

  1. Andrew says:

    Hey Dax, good on ya for participating in buy nothing day. It is such a luxury to have the option and make the ‘effort’. It’s amazing to think that in our spoilt Western lifestyles we have to try hard to fight the onslaught of commercialism and the new religion of materialism for just one day. Craziness. Do we actually NEED more stuff or are we so bombarded by advertising that we have become convinced of such needs? For the day I too will try to meditate on all the things money CAN’T buy. Happy Birthday BTW…;-)