Photograph by Rachel Claire
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Buy Nothing Day takes place on Friday November 24th, it's a 24 hour detox from consumerism and an opportunity for you to tune into the impact we have on the environment through shopping.
People around the world will make a pact with themselves to take a break from consumption as a personal experiment or public statement, and the best thing is - IT'S FREE!!!
As consumers we need to question the products we buy and challenge the companies who produce them. We are beginning to witness true risks to the environment and developing countries overconsumption has.
Everyone should be doing their bit by taking simple proactive actions to solving the climate crisis and we believe Buy Nothing Day is a great place to start.
Participate by not participating! Literally, doing nothing is doing something! However, committing to consuming less is a big start to helping the environment too.
Recycling is great, but reducing is better! If we all take simple steps to cut down on what we consume then collectively we will change our attitude towards single use packaging, fast fashion and our throw away culture.
Photograph by Mumtahina Tanni
END THE ADDICTION TO SINGLE USE!
Let's face it, most food packaging is made up of single use plastics or cardboard. Even if the packaging sourced from recycled materials, we often forget about the carbon footprint involved in reclaiming these materials and the manufacturing process of creating a new product. Whilst food packaging offers protection and convenience, it shouldn't be at a cost to the environment. Over half of the single use packaging manufactured every year still ends up in landfill!
TAKE ACTION! Cut back on single use bottles, plastic cups, cutlery, ready meals and takeaway packaging. Re-usable coffee cups and water bottles are a great way to start.
In the UK it's estimated that 125,000 tonnes of plastic packaging are generated around Christmas time. Seasonal gifts with excessive packaging single use plastic being used for food and toy packaging among the worst offenders.
TAKE ACTION! Choose plastic free or packaging free gifts! Avoid wrapping paper with laminates, gold or silver foiling, coloured shapes and any type of glitter as none of these types of wrapping can be recycled.
KICK BAD FASHION HABITS!
Fashion is unfashionable when it comes to the environment. Fast fashion is cheap and designed to be disposable - in the UK approximately 300,000 tonnes of clothes are burned or sent to landfill each year.
Many consumers don't bother to look beyong the label and research fashion retailers ethical practices. A staggering 93% of fashion brands don’t pay workers a living wage.
TAKE ACTION! Avoid fast fashion and look beyond the label. Try upcycling, selling or donating clothes to a local charity.
Photograph by Kris Hsieh
Buy Nothing Day was started by Adbusters in the early 90's and has since grown into an international event celebrated in more the 50 countries. Its is a simple idea, which challenges consumer culture by asking us to switch off from shopping for a day. The day is celebrated as a holiday by some, a street party by others - anyone can take part provided they spend a day without spending!
The UK campaign and website was created in 2000 by Michael Smith a graphic designer who cares passionately about environmental and ethical ussues. The message has always been simple, ‘Shop Less, Live More’. Twenty one years on - the message couldn't be any simpler - WE NEED TO CONSUME LESS! Recycling is good - reducing is better!
There are serious issues linked to shopping, which expose the environmental and ethical consequences of consumerism. 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.
As consumers we need to question our culture of shopping. We all have different needs and ultimately we are all consumers and will never be able to escape culture altogether. But this shouldn’t stop us from questioning the products we buy or challenging the companies, who produce them. After all, what are the true risk consumerism poses to the environment and developing countries? The arguments are infinite - but there is no reason why we shouldn’t be looking for simple solutions now because one day we may be forced to change.
The issues connected with Buy Nothing Day are broad and deep, however, the campaign focuses on promoting ethical and responsible consumerism, recycling, re-using and ultimately cutting back on what we consume - its a big challenge!
People have become aware that large corporations are exploiting labour conditions in developing countries using up vital resources because they are cheap and there aren't the systems to protect workers or the environment like there are in the west. The gap between the rich and poor nations is growing in spite of the much-heralded benefits of globalisation, there are still 1.3 billion people world wide who live on less than $1 a day and a similar number of people do not have access to clean water.
Workers rights in developing countries are frequently violated, including payment of low wages and long working hours. The lives of workers may also be endangered by poor health and safety provision. Child labour is rife in developing countries, and forced labour still exists. Unfortunately most people don't think of these things while shopping.
Supporters of globalisation offer economic growth as a solution to world poverty. They propose that impoverished nations and individuals can eventually attain a standard of living similar to our own through the 'trickle down' of wealth. However, the current globalisation model is leading to an increase in world poverty and inequality.
Buy Nothing Day is non-confrontational, it’s not a protest. All we ask people to do is switch off from shopping, have a bit of fun, use their imagination and simply escape consumerism for a day. If people laugh at the ingenuity and genius of Buy Nothing Day, then we’ve got their attention and we're opening the door to change.
The slogan 'Shop £€$$ Live More' or 'Shop Less Live More' is protected by copyright. Reproducing this slogan on items for sale such as merchandise or using it for paid advertising purposes is in breach of copyright.