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Buy Nothing Day in 40 countries

Detailed description of the Good Practice

Each year at the start of Advent - in the last week of November - an international Buy Nothing Day is arranged. The idea was launched in 1992 by the Canadian Adbusters group, and has since been adopted in over 40 countries on all continents. In fact, over 60 countries are now represented in the international network of contacts. In many of them the day is an occasion for a wide range of activities. Beyond appealing to people not to buy anything on that particular day of the year, their message is generally that people should buy less, or buy more environmentally friendly and ethically traded products, during the other 364.

In Norway, Buy Nothing Day 2002 was arranged in Oslo and Bergen, by The Future in Our Hands, the youth group Changemaker, the Environmental Home Guard and the Norwegian Adbusters network. In Oslo there is a tradition of offering passers-by on Egertorget, close to the main shopping streets and to Parliament, alternatives such as street theatre performances, trampolines, massage for stressed shoulders, gingerbread and Fairtrade coffee.

In Sweden there were activities in about a dozen cities. In Stockholm, department stores and malls were visited by Santas with sleighs drawn not by reindeer, but by people in sheeps' clothing, all downburdened by plastic bags full of things they had bought. In Lund, one Santa protested against the sacks of gifts that were now getting so heavy that his bak was breaking, while another received "first aid" from demonstrators dressed as nurses, after collapsing from stress.

In Denmark, the day has been used during the past few years not just to protest against overconsumption in general, but to focus on a selection of particularly environmentally dangerous products, which campaigners ask people to boycott for all 365 days.

A Gallup poll in the US two weeks after Buy Nothing Day 2000 showed that a lot of people can identify with the message: -85 % of those asked felt that Christmas had become too commercilaised

sustainable consumption

Objectives of the Good Practice

the message is generally that people should buy less, or buy more environmentally friendly and ethically traded products, during the other 364.

Participants of the Good Practice

Municipalities

Target group of the Good Practice

citizens

Available files

Contact details

Adbusters - Buy Nothing Day
WEB-address http://www.adbusters.org/campaigns/bnd/
Name Framtiden i våre hender (The Future in Our Hands)
Address Pb. 4743 Sofienberg, N-0506 Oslo
Telephone +47-22 20 10 45
Telefax +47-22 20 47 88
E-mail carin.leffler@fivh.no
www.fivh.no

Data sources and references

Stiftelsen Idebanken http://idebanken.no/english/Goodexamples/hoved.html (Accessed April, 10, 2009)