Frequently Asked Questions

What is Buy Nothing Day?
A: Buy Nothing Day is your special day to unshop, unspend and unwind. Relax and do nothing for the economy and for yourself – at least for a single day. It’s a reminder to stop and think about why you’re spending. It seems like a simple enough challenge to try to go one day without spending, but in many parts of the world it would be virtually impossible if you consider your monthly bills that accrue on a daily basis as part of “buying”.

Obviously, since you’re searching for information on the topic, you know that Buy Nothing Day is growing in popularity every year, and since there really is no central organized group in charge of the “holiday away from the holidays” there are many interpretations of what it is and what it should be. See our links page to see some of the many variations of Buy Nothing Day.

Who started Buy Nothing Day?
The common understanding is that the first Buy Nothing Day was arranged by artist Rami Stackholm. Following its start the greatest promoter of the day has been Adbusters magazine.

Buy Nothing Day has literally NOTHING to do with Xymyl, creater of the popular never-changing site about nothing, All of the write-ups in several magazines, books and other resources claiming Xymyl as the creator of the event are the result of poor research as he himself will tell you if asked.

Why should we buy nothing?
When it comes right down to it, it’s not that we believe a single day without shopping makes a big enough impact in itself. But if we stop and think about it for a day, we might find out that we’re more deeply tangled in the dragnet of consumerism than we imagined. This knowledge could be life-changing. If we disect our spending habits we’ll see how we have a significant local effect. But we are part of the big picture as well, and if we take a stand others will as well, and we can see that impact on a global scale. If we buy nothing for just one day, perhaps we’ll realize the true value of watching HOW we spend.

Who is Buy Nothing Day?
Buy Nothing Day is a day, not a person. Why Do people keep asking this question?

What can I do to help?
You could do nothing to help! Take a look at some of the other BND sites for some ideas, some of the suggestions are practical, thought provoking and even clever. Some are insane, irritating and counterproductive, so use good judgement and try not to be judgemental. People have a right to shop if they want to, but think, “how can I get them to think about this subject?”

When is Buy Nothing Day?
As far as we’re concerned, Buy Nothing Day can be any day you want it to be. But if you want to be coordinated in your efforts check to see when the folks in your country are doing it.

What could I possibly hope to accomplish by participating?
At the very least, you’ll save a bit of your hard-earned cash! You’ll also avoid some of the dangers of shopping at this time of year. If this is a difficult challenge for you, you’ll have a feeling of accomplishment and self-worth. But you’ll be saving time as well.

Happy non-buying means less unhappy returns!