Black Friday is Buy Nothing Day

If you have been interested in voluntary simplicity or environmentalism or minimalism for a while, you might well know that Black Friday (so named due to the crowds on this day, another example of colorism and the negative bias against the word "black") is now called Buy Nothing Day, which is a protest against consumerism and all the things that usually come with Black Friday.

Activities, like those here at Adbusters, include credit card cut-ups, zombie walks (through malls!), sit-ins, hikes, and donation events. You can also participate in Black Friday Blackout, and resist the call to consumerism and poor pay.

If you, too, choose to opt out of the madness, what can you do for Buy Nothing Day? Try the activities above, or


Spend time outdoors. Why not? It might be one of those rare times recently when few people are in the parks (many are in stores or shopping online!) and you can enjoy the serenity of nature. Bring a bag and gloves to pick up trash from Black Fridays past along the way.

Sit quietly. Why not make Buy Nothing Day a Do Nothing Day? Practice meditation, take a nap, stare out of a window. Read if you must.

Do something non-consumerist indoors or out. Try these fall activities, or any of these many screen-free activities. Or participate in the Blackout.

Tackle a list. You know you have one – the list of things to learn, fix around the home, the articles you’ve been wanting to read, the errands to run, the mail that wants responding, the mending, the ironing, the movie queue, the hobby to start. If you are working, maybe this one, or the list is simply: go to bed early because you’ve been working on Black Friday!

Buy something. What? This is counterintuitive advice, but think of all the places that are NOT getting business on buy nothing day, the places that have no sales on this day because people are deviating from their usual routines. The breakfast cafe on the corner. The mom-and-pop florist. The hardware store (maybe?). See a show. Go to REI (they’ll be closed).

Skip Cyber Monday, too. This is the Monday after Black Friday, when online sales deals are often advertised – often for a whole week. Make other plans (see above).

Save for something. Put the money you would have (might have?) spent on this day into a fund or jar or mattress or wherever, and save it towards something you really do want and maybe need. A vacation? A new mattress? A car? Rent? A donation? Whatever it is, this is an opportunity to put the money where it’s really of most use.

Continue gratitude. Just because Thanksgiving is over (that was SO yesterday) doesn’t mean you have to stop being grateful. Instead, this is a great time to renew your practice with small noticings, tradition, appreciation for the world around you.

Please also send some appreciation for retail workers, forced to work more hours amidst throngs of shoppers, working in warehouses (then getting blamed for striking), or even writing for less pay.

Let’s keep the Thanks-giving going.

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