EXTRA SALES ON ABSOLUTELY NOTHING: Replacing Black Friday with Buy Nothing Day has never been cheaper. Are you in?

Many people have heard of or participated in the concept about Black Friday, which this year is happening on this Friday the 29th November. Perhaps you have gained a few bruises or punches when standing in that ‘limited-number-of-flat-screen-very-special-deal-for-you’-line. Or maybe you are one of those who can recognize the feeling of stress and anxiety, during the week leading up to the Black Friday-weekend (yep it’s the whole weekend, some places it’s even a full on Black Week), where you are hounded with “YOU HAVE NEVER SEEN ANYTHING LIKE THIS”-offers, “Buy it before your neighbor”-calls or “Buy 7, but only pay for 5”-flirtatious pop-up ads.

It may be difficult to resist the temptation and not spend any money, when the offers sound too good to be true. We are challenging you to think about your consumption patterns. For example in the UK 70% of people have bought sale items on Black Friday that they’ve never used. Or in Denmark where the average person only wears 3 for every 10 items in their wardrobe. The numbers from the past few years show that there is an increase in unused and unwanted purchases. The environmental consequences are alarming, as the massive amount of online purchases lead to an increase in logistics activities, as well as increased waste levels from items which have been purchased for the price saving, and not for lifetime investment. Furthermore, one study from the Ellen Macarthur Foundation estimates that a truckload of textiles is wasted every second. 

We are going against the tides again this year, replacing Black Friday with Buy Nothing Day, in the hopes of inspiring you to think about your consumption – and the necessity of the things you buy. We KNOW it’s hard to say ‘No’, but we know YOU CAN DO IT. 

NOTE – Don’t read this if you aren’t doubting whether or not you will comply on Buy Nothing Day:
If you are doubting that you will or should go full in on Buy Nothing Day, you are always welcome to donate for charity instead. We welcome every single support we can get. Yes, we know we are advertising for ourselves, but we are a small, Danish non-profit-organisation with a HUGE agenda in minimizing plastic pollution in our oceans. We work towards a zero waste society; with sustainable plastic production, no unnecessary single-use plastic and establishing systems that favor reusable solutions. Buy Nothing Day is the perfect opportunity to talk about unnecessary over-consumption (of plastics).
Even though we are based in Denmark, we work globally through engaging civil society, heavy political work in EU, through our steering committee work in Break Free From Plastic – an international movement that a collaboration between more than 1600 international organisations, and finding solutions for companies (i.e. Carlsberg) that are scalable, just to mention a few ways we work. We have a plan – we need all the help we can get. No discounts, tho…

Here you get 10 efficient (and completely free) tips on how to buy nothing on Buy Nothing Day:

1. The obvious one

When you enter a store, stop yourself, don’t touch anything, don’t look anyone into the eyes, resist, turn around and exit the store without buying anything.

2. The creative one

Give your stuff new life. What is more satisfying than fixing your favorite shirt, giving your dresser some fresh paint, or even repairing your old chair? Spend the day repairing, reusing or upcycling your already amazing things, and add a breath of freshness to it. If you don’t know how to do it yourself, look up a repair café in your local neighbourhood or town, and perhaps learn a few tricks from them on how to do it yourself. There is countless blogs about IKEA hacks, DIY-projects and similar. It’s only a few searches away.

3. The important one

It’s Friday. Which means: Fridays for Future is on. We know Greta Thunberg has been announcing Global Strike 4 Future all over the world, so maybe you can find a climate school strike in your hometown on Friday? (and of course it doesn’t matter if you are not in school anymore).

4. The favorite one

Reuse, reuse, reuse. If you cannot avoid spending any money on Buy Nothing Day and want to buy your Christmas presents then head to a flea market and find unique things. Your mom would love that vintage jewelry or scarf, your dad has always been looking for that vinyl, and even your siblings can get stoked about that classic fake-gold lamp, not to mention the unlimited amount of fancy clothes you can find, sometimes even from designer brands.

5. The thoughtful one 

Have you heard about huge artists like Billie Eilish and Coldplay, who refuse to play concerts at venues where they sell single-use items or use transport that is not climate friendly? Spend your Buy Nothing Day thinking about great ideas and solutions that artist can demand for venues to implement – perhaps a bring-your-own bottle or reusable cup schemes? We are sure they would love to know your ideas and creative solutions.

6. The funny one

If you have leftovers in your pantry, why not cook something great out of it and have your friends over for a festive dinner and a board game night?

7. The ‘I-have-too-much-time’ one

Almost everybody has a ‘procrastination project’. You know, that kind of drawer or box or garage where you leave a mix of things to sort out “later”. But that “later” always seems to be at another time than “now”. Whether it is organizing all your Tupperware in your bottom drawer, sorting bills and receipts or going treasure hunting to figure out where all those single-keys belong to – you can quickly use a lot of hours on finally getting those things done, and avoid spending any money. The Perfect Buy Nothing Day opportunity!

8. The ‘good feel’ one – #OptOutside

A couple of years ago, the large outdoor brand REI started to give all their employees a paid day off to go outside (walking, hiking, camping, exploring etc. After all, that is what they sell clothes and gear for). We got inspired by that. Spend some time with your family or friends and take a walk in the forest, park, waterfront, or maybe a new area you have never visited before – #OptOutside.

9. The forgetful one

Are you struggeling with not spending any money on your way to/from work? Remind yourself to forget your credit card at home, and perhaps have $10 on you, in case of emergency.

10. The efficient one

If you have a scissor in your house, you can destroy your credit card by cutting it with the scissor. It may sound radical, but we guarantee you, it is very efficient. It may also help you put an end to mounting debt and extraordinary interest rates that advertisers offer. If you are struggling with cutting your card yourself, there is actually a credit card cut-up-movement that helps you to put an end to your shopping habits on Black Friday. They are located in shopping malls, shopping centres, or stores, offering to cut up your card – so plan your route to pass them if you feel tempted.