What Have You Bought Today?-Buy Nothing Day Hits the UC

Friday, November 24, 2006

Written by May Warren

What have you bought today? Organizers of Guelph’s Buy Nothing Day 2006, are challenging you to go a day without spending money. The occasion is celebrated worldwide and always falls on the day after American Thanksgiving, traditionally the biggest shopping day of the year. It was originally organized by the anti-consumerism magazine Adbusters and is designed to promote awareness and reflection about our spending habits.

On Friday the UC was taken over with Buy Nothing Day events organized by concerned students and community members. “We have sewing workshops, free haircuts and garbage sculpture making ,as well as a lot of free food and free coffee,” says Shari Raheb, one of the organizers. She reports that one of the day’s feature attractions was a massive stuff swap.

“It’s about taking what you need and leaving what you don’t,” Raheb continued, adding that they also have a stuff swap at the end of the year. “It’s great because otherwise a lot of this stuff would end up in a landfill,” she explains. Goods up for grabs at the stuff swap included old clothes, textbooks, novels and even a few appliances.

Buy Nothing Day 2006 celebrations also included a performance form the Contemporary Music Ensemble, an on campus group that featured music played with shopping carts.

The efforts of Guelph’s Buy Nothing Day were also extended off campus. Raheb reports that this year a group will visit the newly opened Wallmart store to encourage shoppers to look into buying locally. “It’s not just about buying nothing, it’s about buying smart, and raising awareness about consumerism, “ adds Raheb.

“It’s a time to reflect on our consumerism and see how little you can live with,” explains Ismail Hirji, another organizer of the event.
Both Raheb and Hirji say they have had a lot of positive response from students who have dropped by to sample some of the free delicacies up for grabs. “Most people are hanging around and finding out what its all about,” says Raheb, “it’s a pretty chilled atmosphere.”

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