Another Way to Observe Holidays: 'Buy Nothing Day'

As consumers swarm malls the day after Thanksgiving, some argue that Americans should refrain from the holiday spending spree. Kalle Lasn is the creator of "Buy Nothing Day" — a campaign to counter the "Black Friday" shopping rush.

Copyright © 2005 NPR. For personal, noncommercial use only. See Terms of Use. For other uses, prior permission required.

RENEE MONTAGNE, host:

Of course, you could buy nothing today. That's the argument Kalle Lasn has been trying to make for more than a decade. He's the creator of Buy Nothing Day, a campaign to counter the day after Thanksgiving shopping rush.

Mr. KALLE LASN (Creator, Buy Nothing Day): I think that we can solve our ecological and our psychological and our political problems by just starting to consume less. One of the great slogans that I just love is this slogan that says, `The more you consume, the less you live.'

MONTAGNE: Heady stuff for the shopping set, but Lasn says that's the point.

Mr. LASN: It is a very personal day. Today when you make a personal pact with yourself and you say, `OK, I'm going to try this. I'm going to--I'll refuse to buy anything for 24 hours. I'm going on a consumer fast.' And then, all of a sudden, you have your first impulse to buy. Suddenly, you want a coffee or you want a Mars bar or something, and suddenly, you realize how difficult it actually is to suppress this impulse to buy. You suffer actually, and you--some people even sweat and they have a little battle of the mind with themselves.

MONTAGNE: To observe Buy Nothing Day, some have suggested you could borrow a dog and take it for a walk, or you could volunteer or take up jogging.

Mr. LASN: The very best thing to do is you have to take a deep breath, not go shopping and then let the best idea come to you naturally, spontaneously. And that's the best idea, better than anything on a list.

MONTAGNE: Kalle Lasn, who came up with Buy Nothing Day, is editor-in-chief of Adbusters magazine. He spoke to us from Vancouver, Canada. This is MORNING EDITION from NPR News. I'm Renee Montagne.

Copyright © 2005 NPR. All rights reserved. No quotes from the materials contained herein may be used in any media without attribution to NPR. This transcript is provided for personal, noncommercial use only, pursuant to our Terms of Use. Any other use requires NPR's prior permission. Visit our permissions page for further information.

NPR transcripts are created on a rush deadline by a contractor for NPR, and accuracy and availability may vary. This text may not be in its final form and may be updated or revised in the future. Please be aware that the authoritative record of NPR's programming is the audio.

Comments

 

Please keep your community civil. All comments must follow the NPR.org Community rules and terms of use, and will be moderated prior to posting. NPR reserves the right to use the comments we receive, in whole or in part, and to use the commenter's name and location, in any medium. See also the Terms of Use, Privacy Policy and Community FAQ.