Florida Atlantic University's first student-run news source.


Florida Atlantic University's first student-run news source.


Florida Atlantic University's first student-run news source.


Keeping away from holiday shopping madness

While so many people eagerly anticipate the day after Thanksgiving as the beginning of the “holiday shopping season,” I, along with millions of people across the globe, will spend nothing.

The reason is simple. Buy Nothing Day, which is celebrated in North America on Nov. 29, is a way for people to protest the consumer greed that permeates our way of life. Spending money and wasting resources has become commonplace in America, as a way to show off, offset depression, and even cure boredom.

Buy Nothing Day was started by the Media Foundation which publishes

Adbusters, a magazine devoted to informing people about “corporate disinformation, injustices in the global economy, and any industry that pollutes our physical or mental commons.”

The media has not covered Buy Nothing Day to a great extent, despite the fact that so many people participate. Adbusters has attempted to pay for television ads on the major networks, but were rejected. The only channel that will allow their ads is CNN.

This year, they are trying to raise $32,000 for a thirty-second ad during “Larry King Live.” The ad shows the earth overcome by a giant animated pig. A voice-over states, “the average North American consumes five times more than a Mexican, ten times more than a Chinese person, and thirty times more than a person from India. We are the most voracious consumers in the world – a world that could die because of the way we North Americans live. Give it a rest – Nov. 29 is Buy Nothing Day.

There are many reasons to participate in this event. Some people do it to exercise their consumer rights, and not just follow along quietly like a “shopping zombie.” Others hope to increase awareness about the abuse of natural resources.

Many people buy nothing because they feel that their religious beliefs are being exploited in order to make money. Some protest our president’s emphasis on “economic patriotism,” urging Americans to support the economy by putting themselves further into debt.

Personally, I agree with all of these reasons. Learning about Buy Nothing Day a year ago made me stop and think before I overspent throughout the rest of the holiday season. I prefer spending time with my family during the holidays, rather than wasting it scurrying through crowded malls. The gifts that I do give I try to buy from locally owned businesses rather than large chains.

If you choose to buy something on Buy Nothing Day, ask yourself these few questions first, designed to check for shop-till-you-drop mania and needless spending.

For more information on Buy Nothing Day go to www.adbusters.com.

-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, lubricate, 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 nonrenewable?-Is it man-made or recycled materials, and is it recyclable?-Is there anything that I already own that I could substitute for it?

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