What’s Better than Black Friday? #BuyNothingDay

by | Nov 25, 2020

If the idea of camping out on a sidewalk to set yourself up to get hurt or possibly killed on Black Friday gives you more heartburn than sweet ancient Aunt Sarah’s weird pistachio-marshmallow salad concoction at Thanksgiving dinner, how about celebrating #BuyNothingDay by choosing to #OptOutside instead?

Most of us are already familiar with the #OptOutside initiative, created by REI in 2015, and certainly everyone knows what Black Friday is (if not the provenance of its name). But until yesterday, I had never heard of ‘Buy Nothing Day,’ an international protest against our rampant consumerism, and it’s been around for almost 30 years. That fact in itself is telling: my email inbox right now is almost entirely repetitive ads for TEH BIGGEST BLACK FRIDAY SAVINGS EVAAAAH, but the one from Mountain Rose Herbs with the subject, ‘Buy Nothing Day: A Stand Against Throw-Away Culture’ is the only one I was intrigued enough to actually open.

Frankly, the fact that more of us are familiar with #OptOutside than #BuyNothingDay is itself a commentary on the significant and ongoing impact of corporate media and advertising campaigns on our collective consumer-driven psyche. REI has a ton of money to throw at making #OptOutside a trending hashtag and household phrase, whereas Adbusters, who has been culture-jamming since the 1980s in a digital style reminiscent of Abbey’s Monkey Wrench Gang, relies solely on reader contributions and donations (like SupportPublicLands), and therefore has much less spare cash to flood popular media with #BuyNothingDay campaigns. Even when they did have a little coin to spend on ads, they could find next to no one willing to run them.

Social commentary aside, I can’t think of a better way to celebrate the true spirit of THANKSGIVING than to express gratitude for what I already have, rather than buying more. And for those of us who love and are grateful for OUR public lands, spending time in them is the perfect reprieve from the frenzied consumption-driven madness that otherwise tends to mark the holiday season.

Need Ideas?

I found plenty of inspiration on this great list from REI, and maybe you will too!  However, if weather or other circumstances prevent you from being able to #OptOutside on Friday, this article offers nine other ways to spend the day in a more intentional way.

Please.. #RecreateResponsibly!

The Recreate Responsibly coalition now has a winter edition of their tips designed to help you enjoy your outdoor & pow time safely. These graphics are available for anyone to use – grab yours and a social media toolkit here.

Of course, a huge part of recreating responsibly is to #LeaveNoTrace. As more people venture into the outdoors for some relief from pandemic-driven cabin fever, LNT is more important than ever.

Do you know the 7 Principles?

Next time you’re stuck indoors and you want to flex your LNT prowess a bit more, the Leave No Trace Center for Outdoor Ethics offers a free online awareness course with a certificate of completion, and with the free PEAK Online program, you can even get the kids involved, and they can earn a certificate too!

However you choose to spend your Friday, I wish you happiness, health, and all the best.. I am grateful for YOU!

<a href="https://www.supportpubliclands.com/author/superclassy/" target="_self">Michelle Markel</a>

Michelle Markel

When not hiking a ridiculously long trail or exploring some of our almost 840 million acres of public lands from her van / house, Michelle can typically be found in someone's basement or shed feverishly working on this website.

in other news..