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Why I celebrated buy nothing day

Not to send a message to retailers. As lysana points out, retailers wouldn't notice a one-day dip in sales.

Not because it's the biggest shopping day of the year.
(If one is to implement holiday-traffic-avoidance measures in the SF Bay Area, one must, starting on November 1, cut out all travel between 3pm and 8pm and avoid all large stores or agglomerations of stores - anything that has a parking lot. Merely skipping driving to stores on "Black Friday" isn't going to make a difference to one's traffic-related stress level.)

Not as a boycott. A boycott is actually never buying something until the reason for the boycott goes away. It's not refraining from buying something for one day.

Not as a way of feeling superior to anyone.

Just as a way of thinking about my buying choices, and the buying habits of my culture in general, and the fact that I'm lucky and privileged enough to have enough food in the house and work that I can do at home so I didn't have to go out on Friday.


( 7 comments — Leave a comment )
Nov. 26th, 2005 10:39 am (UTC)
I'm lucky and privileged enough to have enough food in the house and work that I can do at home so I didn't have to go out on Friday.

Ayup. I bought nothing today. I went nowhere. But then we were hosting an open house today, too....
Nov. 26th, 2005 05:37 pm (UTC)
Nitpick: if even 30 or 40% of people took this particular boycott on this particular day seriously, retailers in fact would notice. This is a day whose sales predictions make the front page of the newspapers.

On the other hand, I like your reasons.
Nov. 26th, 2005 06:02 pm (UTC)
Thanks for the correction! I didn't know that.
Nov. 26th, 2005 07:10 pm (UTC)
I think it would have to be 30-40% of people who usually participate, not just 40% of the population. Because I'm pretty sure that the people who participate are a relatively small percentage of the population. My WAG is 20% of the total pop, but that's all it is.
Nov. 26th, 2005 06:10 pm (UTC)
*blink* *blink*

Oh yeah, buy nothing day. I guess I participated... or rather, I didn't purchase anything. I left the house, but only to go to the neighbor's as I was invited to dinner.

Come to think of it, I do have a birthday gift and a thank you gift to wrap up and mail today.
Nov. 27th, 2005 10:11 pm (UTC)
I didn't celebrate it. I saw a programme where a guy was talking about it and kept saying that he didn't think people shouldn't not buy, but that they should think about their habits and try cooking a meal at home instead of going out to McDonald's. A fine sentiment, except that we only shop for main ingredients if we're about to cook them, so although we do cook most of our meals at home, it still requires us to shop if we want to cook.

As an example (and just for fun), I just went downstairs and enumerated the contents of the fridge, subtracting the goods that I bought to make dinner tonight (which will get used up tonight):
  • cream of porcini mushrooms and white truffle
  • apricot spread
  • honey with ginger
  • Kahlua
  • Grand Marnier
  • ginger pear jam
  • ghee
  • sliced green olives
  • sliced jalapenos
  • creamy garlic vinaigrette dressing
  • garlic pickles
  • tabasco sauce
  • greek feta vinaigrette dressing
  • roasted red pepper vinaigrette dressing
  • dijon mustard
  • garlic mayonnaise
  • mayonnaise
  • "salsa" sauce
  • relish
  • hot and spicy "Guck" (a Lick's branded condiment for burgers)
  • sweet chili sauce
  • ketchup
  • hot and spicy ketchup
  • pancake syrup
  • ice wine (two kinds)
  • margarine
  • vegetable shortening
  • pizza sauce
  • small piece of a sweet orange pepper
  • half an onion
  • about 1/3 of a cup of diced green onion
  • white cranberry juice
  • strawberry jam
  • apple sauce
  • medium organic salsa
  • dill relish
  • cilantro cubes
  • ginger cubes
  • coffee
  • green beans
  • frozen banana slices

If I'd have really wanted to, I probably could have put together several meals from that. I didn't enumerate the dried goods, but although we don't have any bread, we do have rice. Probably some salsa or chili sauce mixed in with some rauce and the green beans sauteed a bit would be perfectly edible for me, and would have been a delightful meal in many parts of the world. I doubt that clawfoot would have touched it, though, and she was over on Friday. The point of the above is that we don't keep the sort of focal ingredients of most standard entrees on-hand unless we're about to cook them. Because we wanted to actually eat, we went out and got the groceries.
Nov. 27th, 2005 10:11 pm (UTC)
( 7 comments — Leave a comment )

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