Passive Resistance: Buy Nothing Day

Each year the tradition of International Buy Nothing Day seems to grow, and this year is no exception. Unfortunately, more attention to this movement may be greater this year because of the growing economic crisis. While it is difficult not to get caught up in the anxiety inducing news reports of the growing likelihood of us entering a depression, much less a recession, I think that this may be a good thing, an opportunity for more people to realize that our capitalist consumer economy as it exists now is not sustainable, and perhaps people will be more apt to change their ways. Buy Nothing Day is one of the trends growing in popularity that shows that people may indeed be looking for healthier economic alternatives.

When I hear news about a Wal-Mart employee getting trampled on Black Friday, or Evangelical Christians laying hands on the Wall Street Bull in a misguided and idolotrous petition to God to save our economy, I have to wonder how things got to these insane extremes.

As part of the movement towards building a more sustainable, environmentally friendly, and spiritually healthy economy, people around the world reclaiming Black Friday as International Buy Nothing Day. Last year, instead of drawing names and exchanging gifts, my family agreed to draw names and give gifts to charity in each other’s honor. And we are not alone.

Here are some of the many resources availble to support the International Buy Nothing Day movement (these may or may not be directly related to BND, but they are all in the same spirit):

After today’s tragic news about the Wal-Mart employee getting trampled, and the fact that people are still swarming at the malls, it is clear that people are slow to learn and we still have a long way to go. However, the growth each year of the BND tradition gives me hope that people can indeed change their ways.

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