Buy Local or Buy Nothing?
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by Jen Biederman on 11/27/2008
Think Local, Buy Local, Be Local- Anti-Consumerist Response to Black Friday
Those who are deliberately deciding to skip Black Friday either wish to avoid this scene all together or want to step away from the consumerist carousal that the holiday season has become. For the latter category, the day after Thanksgiving is known as Buy Nothing Day, an informal day of protest against consumerism. Buy Nothing Day has been heavily promoted on the eye-catching pages of the anti-consumerist magazine Adbusters, but has been shunned from more corporate publications.
It's a tricky time of year for those of us who want to consume less, but still want to be respectful and reciprocal to those loved ones who insist on buying us presents. Also, this year is a different kind of tricky, as buying nothing means buying nothing from local, sustainable businesses who are already suffering from the economic downturn.
If you're taking this chance to cut back or go DIY, then I applaud you for it. But local businesses do need our support. So if you buy, buy local. And buy from local, independent producers who share your desire for responsibly produced products. (Note: as we've said before, just because it says local doesn't mean it is. Be sure to ask if a store or product meets your standards.)
Buying this way keeps more of your dollar circulating in your local economy, helping small businesses to keep their doors open and their employees paid. Loads of local business districts are currently campaigning to get people to spend their money where they live. Not only does it keep dollars invested in your community, but it also encourages the qualities that make dense environments exciting and livable.
So what do you think? Is it better to buy nothing or buy local?