The Ultimate Christmas Gift? Buy Nothing

BuyNothingDay09Reverend Billy Talen writes in the Guardian:

[Today] is Buy Nothing Day in the United States. A group of people including myself will preach and sing at the front door of Macy’s department store in New York. We do this every year. We’ll be there at 5am, when shoppers who have been up all night wait in line rush the glass doors. This is the human comedy at its most sad, and it is an environmental “shopocalypse”.

Buy Nothing day is an old idea — that we should drop out of consumerism for 24 hours on Black Friday, the day when we are supposed to shop the most. The radical rechristening of the corporate Christmas took place back in the 90s, long before most of us equated consumerism with destruction of the Earth.

So kudos to the people at Adbusters for venturing forth with this. Nonetheless, Buy Nothing day is not enough, not for the emergency we face now. The American consumer’s carbon footprint is exponentially the most sinful of all, 20 times the average. Even if everyone took the fast, throwing a bit of icy water on shoppers for a single day is not nearly enough.

Read More in the Guardian, Also check out: Reverend Billy Talen’s website

5 Comments on "The Ultimate Christmas Gift? Buy Nothing"

  1. Actually, Dubai has a significantly larger carbon footprint per person — granted, there's a lot LESS of 'em too, but Americans don't quite have the biggest.

  2. Carbon is Good | Nov 28, 2009 at 7:04 am |

    I Love CO2

  3. tonyviner | Nov 28, 2009 at 11:11 am |

    Good idea in theory, but like Christianity or AIDS it won't work.

  4. Olive Christmas tree ornament can also be a great gift!

  5. The current economic system requires compulsory consumption to create jobs. Mass jobs requires mass consumption. If people don't consume all that is produced, there would be mass lay-offs. The result is that we are trading our health for jobs. And we are trading the source of life itself – the planet's health – for jobs.

    Immediate implementation of a universal (non-means tested) Guaranteed Livable Income in every country in the world is the only way out of the forced consumption trap.

    Also, as described in this article, economic foundations need to change in order to have any environmental progress.

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