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PFJ 2021 ~ Buy nothing today

Have you ever bought something that you didn’t really need? Most of us have. More than once. Advertising has turned many people into constant, careless consumers, because we have fallen hard for the message that we deserve to get whatever we can afford, allowing us to overconsume without giving a second thought to the consequences of our collective behavior.

To protest overconsumption, Canadian artist Ted Dave started Buy Nothing Day in 1992. Are you familiar with it? It’s the day after Thanksgiving (yes, Black Friday), which is now observed by people in more than 60 countries.

In 2013, a Facebook-based movement called the Buy Nothing Project was started, with the goal of getting people in communities all around the USA to give or get used items they no longer need, instead of selling/throwing them away or buying them new. If you are on Facebook, look for one in your neighborhood!

And there are several other free-exchange platforms, like Freecycle or craigslist, that help the environment by diverting items from landfills and curbing overconsumption.

So, our challenge for you today is: Buy nothing! Can you do that one day a year? How about one day a month? One day a week? If you can’t, that’s fine. Life is complicated. But we encourage you to at least examine the reasons that lead you to buy things, and to consider what the future of the items you buy is once their usefulness is over. You may not come up with easy or definitive answers but, if you start questioning your consumption habits, you will have taken a big step towards resisting a system that has been designed to help you trash the environment.

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