As I travel through life often I find it useful to take a moment to look at behaviors and ways of being that have become habit and are so rote that I don’t even see them. The last time I posted here I was taking a month off of facebook. A few months ago I cut pornography out of my life. Last month I abstained from drinking (and celebrated its conclusion with some great wine). Now I would like to try another experiment, inspired by two young people from my home town of Calgary.
The Friday after American Thanksgiving has the ominous title of Black Friday, when hordes of crazed shoppers trample one another for dubious deals on consumer goods. The progressive response has been to reclaim the day as Buy Nothing Day. The Calgary roommates took this concept one step further and had a Buy Nothing Year. Reverend Billy would be proud. Stella and I have decided to split the difference between these ideas and have declared November as Buy Nothing Month. It will be interesting to see how our consumerist training is challenged and exposed over the next few weeks.
Of course there are limits to the idea of buying nothing in the city. We obviously have to pay for rent and utilities, and nice as it would be to grow our own food neither of us really has the space for that sort of thing. We will therefore exchange dollars and cents for housing, food and to an extent transportation (though I plan to bike as much as is practical), but that’s it. No eating out, no fancy baubles from the store, and no movie or theatre tickets unless they’re free (thank goodness for FunCheapSF).
Truth be told I think I’m living pretty close to Buy Nothing Month already, but I suspect that there are a lot of little money leaks that I’m not even really aware of that will become blindingly apparent over the course of this little experiment. I’m sure going to be cooking a lot more.
So here we go. Wallets sealed. Onwards to Buy Nothing Month!