Sunday, December 24, 2006

Buy Nothing

Even though I work in retail product design, I'm all for Buy Nothing Day. We're prompted at every turn to buy more, and it, in turn prompts massive consumer debt, pointless materialism, and environmental damage. Buy Nothing Day is the day after Thanksgiving, traditionally considered to be the biggest shopping day of the year: even though it's not the most socially-positive reason to participate, it's a perfectly good excuse to avoid the malls.

This year, Buy Nothing Day advocates are proposing Buy Nothing Christmas, a way to return meaning and add conscious consumption to the holiday. Buy Nothing Christmas does not necessarily advocate stiffing your loved ones on gifts, but it does suggest that homemade, fair trade, environmentally-sound, or reused/recycled gifts are more meaningful - both for the recipient and for the earth.

You can make your holiday substantially more relaxing by eschewing shopping on Christmas Eve and Boxing Day. Read, walk, talk, draw, compose a poem, write a history, play with your pets, meditate, pray, volunteer: all of these things are apt to make more memories than waiting in line at a store. Merry Christmas.

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