21 Shopping Free Activities to Enjoy on Buy Nothing Day

Buy Nothing Day (formerly known as Black Friday) may come only once a year but we can embrace it any time!

I’m not suggesting we never buy anything ever again but would it be so bad to take one day off of shopping, avoid the crowds, stay put and eat leftovers? Sounds like my dream day! And besides, the supposed deals often aren’t deals at all.

But while Black Friday may be known for offering the lowest prices of the year, in reality, it’s one of the worst times to shop […] The goal of a typical Black Friday retailer is to attract customers by offering a few key products at a so-called discount. Then, once those ‘deals’ run out, the retailers have still got you in their hooks because you’re already in their stores or on their sites, at which point you’re more likely to buy something else—even if it’s not on sale.

The Motley Fool

Adbusters popularized an alternative to Black Friday in the early 1990s—Buy Nothing Day—to protest the consumer madness that kicks off in the U.S. (and now, sadly, all over) the day after we give thanks for all we have.

  1. Cut up your credit card. After all, it is Buy Nothing Day. Or get a new credit card with a credit union in your community. Despite their promises to stop funding planet-heating fossil fuels, big banks continue to do so. Break up with them.
  2. Eat leftovers. Relax, stay home and eat leftover pie.
  3. Make a pot of hot chocolate to share. Use your milk of choice with this recipe or this spicier, Mexican hot chocolate recipe.
  4. Start a sourdough starter. Go here for the instructions and here for all things sourdough.
  5. Cook something. Go here for a list of 27+ ideas to repurpose Thanksgiving leftovers.
  6. Make something. Do you throw pots? Make paper? Knit? Sew? Here is a list of 7 gifts to sew your favorite zero waster.
  7. Mend something. Darning socks is a perfect activity for lounging on the couch. Go here for a tutorial from The Spruce.
  8. Declutter one room of your home. Too daunting? Try one closet or one drawer.
  9. Give away stuff in your Buy Nothing group. Someone in your group would probably love to have the stuff you came across while decluttering. If you found some good stuff, post it. Go here to search for or join a local group.
  10. Do yoga. If you’re new to the practice, check out Yoga with Adriene.
  11. Meditate. If you’re new to this practice, check out the hong-sau method
  12. Go for a hike. Or go for a walk around your neighborhood. Get outside!
  13. Identify a plant. While on your hike or walk, take note of the plants you come across.
  14. Make a to-plant list. Maybe you found something you liked on your hike/walk. In an ongoing project, I’m putting more native plants into the ground to provide habitat for native wildlife (which is crashing). Read more about that here.
  15. Grow something. It may be too cold to plant something outside where you live. You can always grow sprouts on the kitchen counter. Go here for the instructions.
  16. Make a to-read list. I keep track of books I want to read on an Amazon wish list. I then buy them from one of our local bookstores.
  17. Make a dent in your to-be-read book pile. Do you have a stack of books you bought but haven’t yet found the time to read? Start one today! (This goes well with number 1 on this list, “eat leftovers.”)
  18. Compose a thneed-free gift list. Experiences, food and other consumables don’t add to the trashcan. Go here for some ideas.
  19. Put your phone in another room for TBD hours. If one hour sounds hard, try one hour. See how long you can go without your phone.
  20. Play a board game. Or play cards.
  21. Play an instrument. Do you play the piano? Violin? Harmonica? Here is the sheet music for Pink Floyd’s “Money.

Throughout the year, I post info about my cookbook on this blog. Please don’t buy that either today! Happy Buy Nothing Day!

3 Replies to “21 Shopping Free Activities to Enjoy on Buy Nothing Day”

  1. Today I’m putting up Christmas, which involves holiday plates I use every year added to my China cabinet display. This week I will forage for branches and nature I can use for decor both indoors and out. Later, I will put on my holiday flannel sheets I’ve had at least 30 years. I’ll add old style string lights to the lemon tree, because it pulls double duty by being festive and adds warmth if there is an overnight freeze warning.

  2. I have never in my life bought anything on Black Friday, or even entertained the idea of going into the crowds for a Black Friday sale. I had clients who would get up at 3 am to stand in line (and it snowed) for a Big Box store opening at 7 am. I have never understood the lure. I found your post interesting as it describes my life, and made me feel that I have made it through this past year with the practices you preach. Tonight I attended a local Christmas wreath making event, we saw a video done by a Indigenous woman about the healing properties of some of local forest trees: their needles and berries, and then we made wreaths from pieces from local trees with Advent Candles. I have some nice boughs that were lying on the forest floor to grace my LR for the festive season.

  3. And when did Cyber Monday become a shopping thing?. When I first heard of it, I thought it was a day to buy tech equipment deals. But it is another shopping frenzy that I avoid.

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