ShopNothing Helps You Buy Nothing


Image: ShopNothing

How was your "buy nothing" day? Did you really buy nothing? Did you miss that rush, the unmistakable high of exchanging your musty old cash for something you can brag to your friends about, or for the gift that will simply take the breath away when your intended recipient discovers your thoughtful extravagance? Are you forced to face the facts that you have a consumption addiction? That you may have honored buy nothing day, only to push the next consumption "fix" off until another day? Then you need to check out ShopNothing. Where you can "buy nothing", or buy "nothing."Many provocative stunts have been pulled to help raise awareness of the damage our consumer society wreaks, but as far as we know, none has yet actually offered to help people exchange their hard-earned cash for nothing more than the bragging rights to nothing. There was the buy nothing parody of Amazon in 2009, brought to us by Do The Green Thing. For 2010, DTGT went back to the drawing board to bring us New Improved(TM) Nothing. But it is only a gimmick to get people thinking. You cannot actually buy New Improved Nothing.

There are many good causes you can donate your money to, such as micro-financing via kiva or helping a needy family establish economic security with a gift of some chickens or a cow through Heifer International. But you don't really get "nothing". You get a gift card, telling your friend or relation what was given in their name, and someone in need gets to start a business, or feed fresh cow's milk to their children.

You could focus on spending your money on a more sustainable gift or a gift that keeps on giving. But now you are really not getting the experience of buying nothing.

ShopNothing is the brainchild of MBA student Jonathan Mariano. Jonathan got the idea while trying to create a competition-winning pitch for a business plan. While I doubt "If Jerry Seinfeld can make a show about nothing, someone is bound to make a business out of selling nothing." would pass muster with the dragons, Jonathan has nonetheless succeeded to realize his business vision. He has built ShopNothing. Now the question is: will they come?

As a contributor to Triple Pundit and honorable guy, one can probably trust his statement that if the success of his "social experiment" takes off, he will help some of society's consumer-addict money find its way into good, charitable hands, as well as use some to further provoke change with his own creative projects. And we respect the fact that one cannot really know how much pent-up need there is to spend money just for the sake of spending money. So we will forsake a shake of the finger and a "how could you," in favor of asking Jonathan to share with our readers the outcome of his "social experiment."

ShopNothing will be offering nothing, from nothing basic through nothing acidic ($999,999.00), from Buy Nothing Day until Christmas -- longer if demand is high.

More on Buy Nothing:
Buy Nothing Day Parody of Amazon
Survey: Black Friday or Buy Nothing Day?
So Many Special Days To Celebrate This Month
More on Sustainable Gifts:
2010 TreeHugger Holiday Season Gift Guide
Top Ten Ways To Get Your Gift-Giving Even Greener
How to Green your Gifts

Tags: Buy Nothing | Consumerism | Living With Less