used in the lesson ideas for the Teaching Tip 'Buy Nothing
up the Questions & Answers about Buy Nothing Day
What is Buy Nothing Day all about?
2. Where did BND come from?
3. What's the point?
4. Who runs it?
5. Why is there two different dates/days?
6. But what will I achieve?
7. Do you want me to stop shopping altogether?
8. What is so bad about shopping?
9. What about the environment?
10. Is one day really going to make a difference?
11. Has the day been successful in previous years?
12. What can I do?
13. Other than that try to follow this check list before
you buy something.
It's not shopping in itself that's so harmful, it's what
we buy. The two areas that we need to concentrate on are
the environment and poverty. The rich western countries
- only 20% of the world population are consuming over
80% of the earth's natural resources, causing a disproportionate
level of environmental damage and unfair distribution
of wealth. We need to worry about the way our goods are
produced. Increasingly large companies use labour in developing
countries to produce goods because its cheap and there
aren't the systems to protect workers like there are in
It's incredibly challenging to last 24 hours without spending
any money these days. You'll feel detoxed from shopping
and realise how much it uses up your free time - especially
when there are 101 THINGS to do. For 24 hours you'll got
your life back - that's a big achievement! We want you
to make a commitment to consuming less, recycling more
and challenging corporations to clean up and be fair.
Modern consumerism might offer great choice, but this
shouldn't be at the cost of the environment or developing
It won't hurt to stop for one day and we don't expect
the UK to grind to a halt on November 29th 2003. Like
we said, we want to challenge people to think about the
effects of what they buy has on the environment and developing
Buy Nothing Day started in 1993 by the founders of Adbusters
and is now an international event celebrated in over 55
Literally, doing nothing is doing something! However,
check out the BND-UK web site then join your local campaigners
or start one up and support Buy Nothing day which is great
In Canada and USA Buy Nothing Day falls the Friday after
the American Thanks Giving Day. In Europe we hold our
celebration on the last Saturday in November. We're always
out shopping on Saturday, so it makes sense.
Absolutely, and it's getting bigger and better every year!
See the Adbusters.org home page for links to newspaper
articles and other resources and news from previous years.
You do - it's your day - so get involved! Tell all your
friends, put up posters and refuse to shop on November
29th 2003 in Europe or November 28th 2002 Canada/USA.
The BND-UK site is part of global network of campaigns
- see the links to the left for more BND sites around
Do I need it?
How many do I already have?
How much will I use it?
How long will it last?
Could I borrow it from a friend or family member?
Can I do without it?
Am I able to clean and/or maintain it myself?
Am I willing to?
Will I be able to repair it?
Have I researched it to get the best quality for
the best price?
How will I dispose of it when I'm done using it?
Are the resources that went into it renewable or
Is it made or recycled materials, and is it recyclable?
Is there anything that I already own that I could
substitute for it?
The raw materials and production methods that are used
to make so many of our goods have harmful side affects
such as toxic waste, destruction of wild life, and wasted
energy. The transport of goods internationally also contributes
to pollution especially when many can be produced nationally.
As consumers, we should question the products we buy and
the companies who produce them. The idea is to make people
stop and think about what and how much they buy effects
the environment and developing countries.
Buy Nothing Day isn't about changing your lifestyle for
just one day - it's a lasting relationship - maybe a life
changing experience! We aim to make Buy Nothing Day stick
in peoples minds so they think about the future and turn
their back on the throw away society we have become.
Buy Nothing Day (November 29th 2003 UK), is a simple idea,
which challenges consumer culture by asking us to switch
off from shopping for a day. Its a global stand off from
consumerism - celebrated as a holiday by some and street
party for others! Anyone can take part provided they spend
a day without spending!
to the matching
THINGS TO DO ON BUY NOTHING DAY...
Celebrate Buy Nothing Day!
2. Take up culture jamming.
3. Decorate your window box or front garden instead
of a Christmas Tree.
4. Make some noise or be quiet.
5. Hold a FREE concert.
6. Volunteer - contact your volunteer bureau for details.
7. Turn your mobile off and chill out.
8. Go to the top of a tall building and look at the
9. Play football (with the girls).
10. Walk to work - take a map and find a new route every
11. Collect signatures for a campaign.
12. Sing in the shower.
13. Paint your fridge or washing machine in a bright
14. Collect wild food: windfalls, blackberries, mushrooms.
16. Have a bath in candlelight.
17. Look at the Encyclopaedia Britannica website.
18. Learn to count to 10 in every language.
19. Grow your own beansprouts.
20. Play the guitar / piano / harmonica.
21. Make dressing up clothes out of your old clothes.
22. Henna your hair.
23. Collect scrap: toilet rolls, fabric offcuts, paper,
plastic, and take it to an adventure playground.
24. Arrange flowers.
25. Find out the names of all the plants in your local
26. Go out in the evening and look for bats.
27. Write a letter to your MP.
28. Take up jogging.
29. Finally take the toaster apart and try to mend it.
30. Have a picnic.
31. Take the things you bought last weekend back to
32. Plant some daffodil bulbs in waste ground and then
watch them come up in the spring.
33. Brew your own wine or beer.
34. Become a Samaritan.
35. Make your own postcards and put them in the racks
at your nearest museum or art gallery.
36. Write a letter to a friend in rhyming verse.
37. Think about sex and sexuality.
38. Join a cycling club.
39. Take up culture jamming.
40. Sit on the top deck of a bus and make up stories
about the people you see.
41. Collect jokes and tell them.
42. Cut a friend's hair, or plait it.
43. Think of a script outline for a film, then borrow
a camcorder and make it yourself.
44. Decorate a birthday cake.
45. Make your own furniture out of milkcrates, shopping
47. Create a dance routine with friends and then do
it at the bus stop.
48. Sit in the sun/walk in the rain.
49. Borrow a dog and take it for a walk.
50. Learn a poem.
51. Write a song.
52. Visit a friend.
53. Tell a joke.
54. Clean the kitchen.
55. Learn French.
57. Tell someone you love them.
58. Practise tai chi in public (e.g. in front of Starbucks
in order to spread the 'non-capitalistic' vibe...)
59. Exhibit all your unwanted goods and invite people
to come and swap their useless things with yours.
60. Help an old lady with the general household repair
or tidy up her garden for her.
61. Water your plants.
62. Go to the park and find someone who you don't really
like at first sight.
63. Talk to the person and try to find something nice
64. Take a picture of yourself with that person.
65. Wash all your unwanted clothes, iron them, and take
them to your local charity shop.
66. Go and get a library ticket if you haven't already
67. Borrow a book from the library - take an overdue
68. Read the/a book.
69. Feed the birds - tie a bag of peanuts under a tree.
70. Tell a story to the loved ones (e.g. friends, family
71. Listen to the radio.
72. Clean your windows (but be careful).
73. Say 'thank you' to your local binman/street sweeper.
74. Make a nice tape for a friend from your existing
75. Prepare special buy nothing day hamburgers out of
nothing. Hand them out to the public for free and tell
them that the burger is completely free of BSE.
76. Bring your empty glass bottles to the recycle bin.
77. Make, not buy, a birthday card and a present for
your partner or friend.
78. Write to your nan.
79. Polish every single shoe you can find in the house.
80. Make someone tickle you.
81. Rearrange your space.
82. Breathe more than your fair share of the air.
83. Pleasure yourself.
84. Ask your friends to perform a piece of theatre for
85. Assume you are wrong.
86. Make yourself happy.
87. Stop smoking.
88. Learn a magic trick.
89. Stay in bed.
90. Stay in bed with a friend.
91. Knit yourself a big woolly hat and matching scarf
to keep out those nasty winter chills, brrrrr.
92. Write poetry on used/reusable paper.
93. Make things like picture frames, jewellery boxes
out of ice lolly sticks etc.
94. Paint BND info onto shopping bags and carry lots
of them around empty.
95. Grow something.
96. Barter something.
97. Build (and fly!) a kite made of bin bags and other
odds and sods.
98. Tidy up your bedroom!
99. Evaluate the last 10 things that you bought and
evaluate their effectiveness (cost, enjoyment, etc).
100. Discuss your last 10 purchases with a family member
or friend - did they really bring you any happiness?
101. Celebrate Buy Nothing Day!
the Teaching Tip 'Buy Nothing Day 2003