Saturday, November 24, 2012

Black Friday

These are a series of facebook posts about Black Friday and an article in The Guardian on Buy Nothing Day.
Black Friday does not only happen at malls. The Y is having Black Friday specials, and my email is full of Black Friday offers from (for example) the Chicago Art Institute online shop.
I like the idea of consumer fasting. But Buy Nothing Day seems to be this coming Saturday, when I plan to go to the Farmers Market and buy bread, eggs and (I hope) apples and a butternut squash. This time of year, the Market is only open Saturday.
I am still thinking about Buy Nothing Day. Today (Black Friday) is the absolutely best day for it, since you are taking your life in your hands if you go shopping, though I guess formally Saturday is Buy Nothing day. The Guardian says the economy can't survive if we pull money out of it. Well, you can always give the money you would have spent on shopping to a good cause. If you donate to an organization helping the homeless, the organization will be able to buy more supplies and that will put money into the economy. For ordinary days buying locally and from small businesses is good, but I think days of buying nothing sound good for personal well being. I speak as one who absolutely loves shopping.
Turns out Friday is Buy Nothing Day in the US. Tomorrow is International Buy Nothing Day
I was reading more about buying nothing or (at least) less. The blogger Mathbabe suggests going through your closets and finding out what you already own. Many people -- possibly most Americans -- have more than they need already. This is certainly true for me. I have a handful of favorite things -- clothes, pens, bags and so on -- which I use all the time, and lots of things that stay in the closet or a drawer. I figure I could pull out some of the things I don't use and begin to use them, and that would have almost the same thrill as shopping. There are things that are not interchangeable -- books, CDs and DVDs. But these can be obtained from libraries or Netflix. Or -- since I do have some money -- I could buy a few things. But I don't have to keep the Mall of America in business.


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