Adbusters Media Foundation

Adbusters Media Foundation

November 13, 2007 15:05 ET

Adbusters Media Foundation: Buy Nothing Day Is Coming-No Purchase Necessary

VANCOUVER, BRITISH COLUMBIA--(Marketwire - Nov. 13, 2007) -

(November 23 in the USA and Canada, November 24 Internationally)

STOP SHOPPING TO GO GREEN: This November, environmentalists, social activists and concerned citizens in as many as 65 countries will hit the streets for a 24-hour consumer fast in celebration of the 15th annual Buy Nothing Day, a global cultural phenomenon that originated in Vancouver, Canada.

Featured in recent years by the likes of CNN, MSNBC, Wired, the BBC, USA Today, The Age and the CBC, the international event has been gaining mainstream momentum as the climate crisis drives average people to seek out greener alternatives to unrestrained consumption.

Timed to coincide with one of the busiest shopping days on the US retail calendar, as well as the unofficial start of the international holiday-shopping season, Buy Nothing Day has taken many shapes, from relaxed family outings, to free, non-commercial street parties, to politically charged public protests. Anyone can take part provided they spend a day without spending.

In past years, street activists have proven particularly imaginative in their celebrations, bringing zombie marches, credit-card cut-ups, and shopaholic clinics to malls and public squares in an effort to expose the environmental and social consequences of First World over-consumption.

Kalle Lasn is the co-founder of the Adbusters Media Foundation, the organization responsible for launching Buy Nothing Day as a yearly, global event. He explains that while most participants used to see the day simply as an escape from the marketing mind games and frantic consumerism that have come to characterize modern life, the focus has since shifted in light of the new political mood surrounding climate change.

"So much emphasis," he notes, "has been placed on buying carbon offsets and compact fluorescent lightbulbs and hybrid cars that we are losing sight of the core cause of our environmental problems: we consume far too much."

"Buy Nothing Day isn't just about changing your routine for one day. It's about starting a lasting lifestyle commitment. With over six billion people on the planet, it is the responsibility of the most affluent - the upper 20% that consumes 80% of the world's resources - to set out on a new path."

Editor's Notes:

(1) For more information on Adbusters and Buy Nothing Day, visit Adbusters.org.

(2) Buy Nothing Day facts:

- The first BND was launched by Adbusters in Vancouver in September 1992, based on an idea by artist Ted Dave, as a day for society to examine the issue of over-consumption.

- In 1997, it was moved to the Friday after American Thanksgiving - "Black Friday" - which is the one of the nation's busiest shopping days. Outside of North America, BND is usually celebrated on the following Saturday.

- Despite controversies, Adbusters managed to advertise BND on CNN, but many other major TV networks have declined to air the commercials.

- Though the decentralized nature of the event makes it difficult to pin down participation numbers, thousands of activists have held public events in over 65 nations, including most US states, Canada, the UK, Israel, Germany, New Zealand, Australia, Mexico, Brazil, Japan, Taiwan, the Netherlands, Norway and India.

(3) Shopping and consumption facts:

- Per capita consumption in the U.S. has risen 45 per cent in the last 20 years.

- Although people today are, on average, four-and-a-half times richer than our great-grandparents were at the turn of the century, Americans report feeling "significantly less well off" than in 1958.

- A recent article in New Scientist featured research suggesting that the more consumer goods you have the more you think you need to make you happy. Happiness through consumption is always out of reach (New Scientist, 4th October 2003, Vol.180, Issue 2415, p44. Available online after registering at www.newscientist.co.uk).

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