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Skip the lines and save some money with Buy Nothing Day


Black Friday is traditionally the biggest day of the year for retail spending. But if you're tired of this annual exercise in consumption, you're in luck because today is also Buy Nothing Day.

LIESL CLARK: It came out of an anti-consumerist movement in raising awareness that we don't have to actually buy so much and that we can save money. We can reduce the amount of waste to landfills and share with each other instead.

DETROW: That's Liesl Clark, co-founder of the Buy Nothing Project.


Buy Nothing Day was started in 1992 by activists who felt that buying stuff was polluting, quote, "our culture, our souls, our planet," according to Adbusters magazine. The Buy Nothing Project continues this legacy by encouraging the creation of local, gift-based economies.

DETROW: Clark and a friend created the first Buy Nothing group in 2013 when they noticed plastic waste was polluting their community. They organized a Facebook group.

CLARK: And we basically just said, hey, neighbors, whatever you're going to the store to buy today - before you do that, just post here and let everyone know what you're going to buy, and let's see if we can take care of each other. And let's see if your neighbor actually has what you're looking for.

DETROW: Now there are buy-nothing groups all over the world, where members gift and request everything from furniture to tools to food.

CLARK: We have an app for anybody to start connecting with neighbors and posting whatever you'd like to give, whatever you'd like to ask for, or you can also express your gratitude once you've received something.

SHAPIRO: So if you want to skip the lines and save money this Black Friday, you can celebrate Buy Nothing Day instead.

DETROW: And isn't free the best Black Friday deal of all? Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

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Kai McNamee
[Copyright 2024 NPR]