Buy Nothing Day 2019

Read this, then take the plunge!


A larger and larger proportion of humanity is born with an innate compulsion, a sort of all-consuming addiction. The dopamine rush of not having, but wanting, and then acquiring stuff is today more powerful, and more commonly and deeply embedded than ever before. No wish of ours is beyond our fingertips, no fantasy beyond purchasing. Money is the great facilitator of dreams. The only limits are those of our credit cards. And those limits are being pushed to reckless and destructive ends. Look at the developing world, the natural world, the man-made world. See if I’m wrong.


Malaise has never been more common among the world’s richest nations. The withdrawals experienced by those addicted to consumption can be severe and crippling. Like a chemical dependence, the release of the high comes, with frequent indulgence, at an ever-greater price. What satisfies one day is not half enough for the next. Toys, gadgets, and trifles; treats and turn-ons; ideologies, philosophies, and attitudes; ten-step programs, twelve-step programs, and self-help programs; tie-ins, add-ons, and extras; balms and ointments, drugs and therapies — all can be bought, for a price. All are consumerist solutions for consumerist problems.


It’s a self-enforcing cycle. Through advertisement and the collusion of powerful interests, this cycle and its associated attitudes have embedded themselves into the very fabric of our lives.

No one is beyond the tentacular reach of internet-based communications. Not now, not for a moment, not ever. The free-market dreams of onetime capitalist visionaries have been far surpassed: now for the first time, every second is a viable opportunity to sell or be sold something.


Now more than ever it’s time to break this cycle.

It begins with a very personal challenge.

On Friday November 29, take the Buy Nothing plunge! Find out what it feels like to stop consuming for just one day. Discover how incredibly hard it is . . . how deeply ingrained and compulsive your buying habits are.

Live, for that entire day, without dead time. Learn some self-discipline. Rekindle your sense of wonder.


Then march forward into the holiday season and the coming Year of the Rat.

For the wild,

The Blackspot Collective

Here are some ways you can get socially active on Buy Nothing Day:

Credit Card Cut-Ups

Set up a table in your local shopping mall—all you need is a pair of scissors and a sign, offering passers-by a simple service: freedom from extortionate interest rates and mounting debt with a single considerate cut.

Zombie Walk

Follow the logic of capitalist consumption to its inevitable, cannibalistic conclusion: wander the malls as the walking dead.


Congregate a crew of friends and drive your empty shopping carts around in a long, inexplicable conga line. Without ever buying anything, of course.

Plaster your local shopping mall with them. Pin them up in your neighborhood. Email them to your friends, family, co-workers, and classmates. Tell the world to buy NOTHING this November 29th!

And finally after it’s all over . . .

Swoop into December with a renewed #BuyNothingXmas holiday spirit.

buy nothing day santa

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Come with us for a journey of a lifetime.

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