Justice and Peace Issues
National Buy Nothing Day
The day after Thanksgiving kicks off the holiday shopping season in many countries. National Buy Nothing Day which also takes place on this day, started in 1992 in Canada when artist Ted Dave decided to boycott one day of shopping each year. He believed that consumers can send a message to the marketplace by choosing not to buy any materials goods on the most popular shopping day of the year. This annual day of refusing to purchase anything is certainly countercultural, but it can make an impact in many different ways.
Catholic Social Thought and Consumerism
“Obsession with a consumer lifestyle, above all when few people are capable of maintaining it, can only lead to violence and mutual destruction.” Pope Francis, Laudato Si’, 204
“A constant flood of new consumer goods can baffle the heart and prevent us from cherishing each thing and each moment. To be serenely present to each reality, however small it may be, opens us to much greater horizons of understanding and personal fulfillment.” Pope Francis, Laudato Si’, 222
“Human beings are themselves considered consumer goods to be used and then discarded. We have created a “throw away” culture which is now spreading.” Evangelii Gaudium 53
How to Participate in Buy Nothing Day
– Consider making homemade gifts instead of going to the store! Picture frames, candles and cookies are just a few of the gifts that can be homemade and spread messages of joy and love during the holiday season.
– Find a gift that was made by a Fair Trade Company! This ensures that the workers or farmers were paid a just wage and materials for the product was sourced ethically.
– Take a hike! Enjoy the beauty of our common home instead of spending time online shopping or window shopping.
– Volunteer to spend a day at a local charity, doing yard work for a neighbor, or helping with homework or resumé writing for a family whose parents do not speak English.
– Take Buy Nothing Day a step further and go one day without electronics like your cellphone, TV, tablet, smart speaker and computer. Use this time to read a book, do a jigsaw puzzle, knit, or learn a new hobby.
Visit the Justice and Peace Prayers for a Prayer to Fast from Consumerism in English and Spanish