It reminded me for some reason of my days at the YWCA hostel in Bombay,
a no frills (yet pretty fancy by local standards) boarding house
for working women. In the absence of running water during the day
(water was turned on for a couple of hours each morning and night),
we girls would scramble to fill every bucket in the bathroom with
water for an emergency that was surely around the corner. (Indians
don't use toilet paper, which is good, since we don't have very
many trees left to cut down these days.)
The curious thing is we probably ended up wasting a whole lot more
anyway, when whole buckets of cold water had to be emptied to make
way for hot water, when it was turned on. No showers either.
We had to bathe out of that damn bucket.
November 29 is International Buy Nothing Day, the day when we all,
if we choose, must make do without running water. Don't forget to
stock up. Let's make November 28 our MUST BUY SOMETHING OR DIE day
29 NOVEMBER: INTERNATIONAL BUY NOTHING DAY
Sint-Michielsgestel (The Netherlands), October 1996
Friday, November 29th will be this year's International Buy
Nothing Day: a day full of cheerful and peaceful actions and
activities to confront the shopping audience in the Western countries
with the consequences of over-consumption and the influence of
advertising on our daily lifes.
Buy Nothing Day will be celebrated in Canada,the United States,
England, Ireland, The Netherlands, Australia and New Zealand.
In the U.K. the day is called No Shop Day. In The Netherlands
Niet-Winkeldag will be held on Saturday, November 30th.
Why Buy Nothing Day?
25% of the world's population consumes 80% of the world's material
resources and owns over 80% of it wealth. Although this global elite
includes people in almost every country, it is mainly concentrated in
the Westernised, consumerist nations: the U.S., Canada, western Europe,
Saudi Arabia, Australia and Japan.
The vast majority of the world's citizens has to be
content with the resting 20% This leads towards hunger and poverty in
large parts of the world.
Buy Nothing Day is part of the worldwide anti-consumerism campaign,
started in 1992 in Canada, as a more or less personal statement on
consumerism, by Ted Dave. Since then Buy Nothing Day is spreading over
the world. There are groups now in Canada, U.S. England, Ireland, The
Netherlands, New Zealand and Australia, preparing public- and media
actions on Buy Nothing Day: November 29. You are invited to join them!
All kinds of actions
There is a large variety of actions: from creating shopping-
free zones in busy shopping areas by putting sofas, tables, carpets,
standard lamps etc., filled with people with their slippered feet
up. Variation on this theme: creating a 'marked off area' with
participants playing chess, repairing clothes, reading books, painting,
chatting, anything that isn't shopping.
In Canada the Media Foundation aired one of their TV un-
commercials during the CNN headline news, pointing out with the aid of
an animated pig the excesses of US consumption. This year the Media
Foundation wants to broadcast a similar ad in the capitals of all G7
nations along with a full page ad in the New York Times.
Next year Buy Nothing Day will be on Wednesday, September 24.