Shop Less, Live More

Thursday, November 27, 2008


Written by Scott Gilbert

The Guelph community is gearing up once again for the annual Buy Nothing Day celebration. It's a Guelph favourite that in past years has seen hundreds of participants and featured everything from music, crafts and film to free food and stuff swap tables where participants are welcomed to “take what you need, leave what you can."

This year the full-day event will happen largely in the University Centre and "aims to raise awareness about how consumers can have a positive environmental and social impact by simply buying less."

The event is being hosted by Guelph Students for Environmental Change, with the help of other campus and community groups.

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  1. Posted by: George on Nov 27, 2008 @ 3:28pm

    Why don’t you cite this quote in the article, I would be interested to know where it comes from...

    "aims to raise awareness about how consumers can have a positive environmental and social impact by simply buying less."

    The thing is “consumers buying less” actually have a NEGATIVE social and economic impact on us. Especially these days with the economy falling apart and consumers are losing confidence in the market, the last thing we should be doing is encouraging consumers to buy even less.

    It’s cyclical, the less consumers buy the less companies earn, the less they are able to pay to suppliers and the less suppliers can buy from manufacturers. Then jobs are lost. When people lose their jobs they buy even less…and around we go! Equally, the less consumers buy, less taxes are earned and government funded programs (universities are included) suffer. A strong GDP and economy isn’t the result of people hoarding their money in savings accounts and under their mattresses, it’s about money being spent and flowing through the economy.

    What fool thinks it has a positive social impact? Unless you think people losing jobs and a GDP deflating is a good thing!


  2. Posted by: lol on Nov 27, 2008 @ 4:09pm

    george--> word lol

    10 people not buying anything for one day is like saying, ok the lakes are drying up so lets dump a couple liters in it ...yay!


    another stupid movement in my opinion...unless someone can further explain/clarify the cause...
    in the meantime, i need to do groceries :)

  3. Posted by: Chris on Nov 28, 2008 @ 12:53am

    I bought stuff on the 27th, AND went to the casino. I think 'buy nothing day' is just an excuse for people with no money to feel good about not being able to buy anything.

  4. Posted by: Jammin' on Nov 28, 2008 @ 10:47am

    I purposely save all my big purchases for Day Nothing Day, I like to think it balances everything out.

  5. Posted by: itshardtopost on Nov 28, 2008 @ 3:39pm

    I picked up a copy of Call of Duty: World at War for the Xbox 360 on Buy Nothing Day, highly recommend! Though I wish I spent more money that day.

  6. Posted by: Jammin' on Nov 28, 2008 @ 6:17pm

    I bought a great new Columbia winter jacket, on sale for $250!

  7. Posted by: lulz on Nov 29, 2008 @ 3:07pm

    oops? was it buy nothing day? my girlfriend and I had a steak dinners last night

  8. Posted by: silvie on Dec 3, 2008 @ 12:12pm

    I think it is healthy to criticize movements. I am glad people take the time to think about issues.

    but I feel it is very disrespectful to ridicule people that voluntarily spend the time organizing an event to encourage discussion on consumerism. their intent is not to simply curb consumption for one day of the year only.

    this day gives us the chance for people to consider the evolution of our economy and the goods it produces. for example, our products are now based on the concept of short term use. this is suppose to encourage growth by endless consumption. products used to be made to last, and their commununities, still thrived, and still earned incomes.

  9. Posted by: silvie on Dec 3, 2008 @ 12:13pm

    this will come with a price, peak oil is definitely looming. Alberta's tar sands have been quoted as the largest environmental degradation of the world. This economy will collapse.

    first and foremost, the economy we are currently keeping afloat is not a locally, sustainable economy.

  10. Posted by: silvie on Dec 3, 2008 @ 12:14pm

    it is outrageous Chris that you state BN Day is "for people with no money to feel good about not being able to buy anything." You should reinspect why it is that you have the privilege of spending money. Your privilege exists because we exploit, unjustly, and many times, illegally, internationally.

  11. Posted by: silvie on Dec 3, 2008 @ 12:14pm

    Chris,you give the impression of being proud to spend money. There is no value in that and only a perseverance of structural oppression engrained in your comments.

  12. Posted by: itshardtopost on Dec 4, 2008 @ 4:19pm

    After hearing it so many times, and always misused, the word oppression has lost all meaning to me.

  13. Posted by: silvie on Dec 5, 2008 @ 3:20pm

    I agree. like any word, humans give it meaning. we might all have different meanings for it, perceive a word differently.

    why don't you define what oppression means to you?

  14. Posted by: silvie on Dec 5, 2008 @ 3:20pm

    but explain to me how purchasing, for example, gold earrings is not supporting an industry that is ignoring indigenous struggles against these large extractive corporations (ex: el salvador, guatemala) which undermine local democracies (some towns in guatemala had a 99% vote against canadian mining companies entering their land) and ultimately are oppressive in nature.

  15. Posted by: silvie on Dec 5, 2008 @ 3:26pm

    I am not saying that I personally I am feeling oppressed by someone denigrating a person for not having money to buy things.

    but oppression inherintely exists in structures where there is a gap between the rich and the poor. meaning, who has access to what. also it begs the question why should a person that has money deserve certain services over another.

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