Buy nothing day! - 26th Nov 2021

Any thoughts on the idea of a 24 hour detox from consumerism (their words, not mine) to coincide with Black Friday?

More info: https://www.buynothingday.co.uk/

Their ads are pretty interesting haha:

Related news story about smaller retailers boycotting black friday: Black Friday: largest boycott planned by independent retailers | Black Friday | The Guardian

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They might have had half a chance with me if they’d done it today. Maybe through accident than intention, but not on BF.

Leave them to it, I’m sure a few people will get a nice warm feeling inside from not buying anything. Part of me thinks most these people behind the ‘campaign’ probably don’t use big corporations already.

How does buying nothing on just one day stop waste packaging or am I misunderstanding? :confused:

Pointless. Doesn’t mean much if you’re just shifting sirens to another day instead. If you’re determined to make a stand, you should try and have a no-spend year instead.

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I don’t think the website does a great job of it but there’s a good narrative around the whole excess consumerism on Black Friday / other big corporations driving the kind of excess shopping mentality.

Gut feel tells me it’s gotta be more complex than just “don’t buy things on one single day”, and more than about just packaging…

But there’s a good message somewhere in,

  • reducing use of big conglomerates like Amazon, and shopping local.
  • stopping and pausing to questions if you really “need” the new thing you’re trying to buy on Black Friday.
  • taking stock of the environmental impact of ones own consumerism
  • the human impact of the work involved behind the scenes of working on a Black Friday day/sale (and poor wage/benefits practices of the big companies doing so).
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That seemed to be my conclusion from it too.

I don’t think boycotting any particular brand is going to be effective. Whether I shop local or through Amazon the item is still going to arrive in the same packaging (apart from the Amazon delivery box of course) - but I like to think that one guy driving round to lots of houses to make multiple deliveries is better than each person going to different local shops to get different bits and pieces.

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I think it just boils down to #buynothingday being an easy to share slogan. And if it can get enough traction it would have a positive environmental impact by discouraging needless spending. Putting this specific campaign aside, I can definitely get behind the idea of boycotting the black Friday deals. Especially things like the lightning deals on Amazon that tempt with 50% off something you didn’t know you even wanted with a time limit and stock count all to artificially induce a sense of panic and encourage needless spending.

I know from my time working in retail years ago that many of the big ticket products in stores will be products that have been brought in specifically to be reduced for black friday. We’d have TVs in the stockroom for weeks at a higher price than they’re worth only to be given a prominent display at the front of the store for black Friday and a seemingly massive price cut.

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That’s really how most of it works. I think some things get legitimately cheaper, like Amazon echos and fire sticks and such, but most branded stuff goes at the same price it could already be found.

I like the concept of buy nothing day. Black Friday is really about encouraging unnecessary consumer excess

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Probably not gonna do that tbh. I’ve lived as an adult :tm: for 10 months now and I’d like a TV and a toaster I didn’t find by the elevator :joy: Black Friday is the perfect time for me to find real deals :slight_smile:

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Or January sales

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I think there’s an important distinction between looking for a deal on an item you’re in the market for and feeling compelled to buy a Wallace and gromit boxset because it’s 60% off for the next 35 minutes and there’s only a few left in stock.

The echos, firesticks, Chromecasts, Google home, etc will always be the first things to be marked down for black Friday because they are products sold exclusively to bring you into an ecosystem. I’m pretty sure Amazon and Google would hand deliver them for free to every house in the UK if they could get away with it haha.

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I’ve never once paid for a google home but I have around 3 of them, and about 2 Alexas (I also got for free).

You’re right, they just hand them out!

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The hero 10 only came out in September… £200 off less than 2 months after it released. Clear evidence that companies manipulate the RRP costs of their products to create artificially impressive sales and encourage spending. Especially when they know they’ll still sell to enthusiasts at launch then to hobbyists and their partners as Xmas gifts.

Funnily enough this is also a situation where they’re cutting the price to pull you into their ecosystem because the offer is only available if you subscribe to their storage plan for a monthly fee.

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Yeah I have a couple of free ones from work conferences and I’m not even in the Amazon or Google ecosystem. They sit in the boxes they came in! :grinning_face_with_smiling_eyes:

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I really used to love GoPro but they’ve gone downhill imo, the quality isn’t what it used to be, they are overpriced compared to competition, and you need the subscription. Shame but these days I’d buy a cheaper option of Amazon

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I got a Hero 9 off ebay in June of this year and it’s good quality for what I paid, £200, no subscription is needed at all. It gets used as a ride cam for my horsey adventures, so hardly being used to the max.

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I think it’s a very tough sell to ask consumers to boycott spending on one day, when most retailers now call it “black week” and it all merges into one big frenzy, followed by Christmas shopping, January sales.

I agree with these insights by @BritishLibrary :

  • stopping and pausing to questions if you really “need” the new thing you’re trying to buy on Black Friday.
  • taking stock of the environmental impact of ones own consumerism

This week I released a little tool called Earthchain’s Green Friday to try and help give people an opportunity to measure the impact, and reconsider their purchase. This runs on our carbon estimation engine (EU OSR / OFNK / US EPA data models).

If a user does go ahead with the spend, they can at least opt in to supporting an emissions reduction project, certified by our partner Gold Standard.

Have a play with it, let me know your thoughts !

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How does it work? I put in a £1500 electronics for a tv, but how does it calculate that figure for a tv vs me buying 100 pairs of headphones for example?

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I don’t fully understand the tool if I’m honest. How does it guess the carbon footprint just from the value? Surely it depends on what I am buying, if I am buying one wool blend suit for £1000 from a store, that is going to have a lot, lot smaller carbon footprint than 20 items of cotton clothing from cheaper retailers delivered to my door.

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