Three Options For Black Friday
1. Buy Nothing Day
Friday is Black Friday in America, and it is also the 20th Buy Nothing Day. Invented by the culture Jammers at Adbusters, these clever people also invented #occupywallstreet and now are mashing the two together with their latest campaign to #OCCUPYXMAS . They write:
We don’t camp on the sidewalk for a reduced price tag on a flat screen TV or psycho-killer video game. Instead, we occupy the very paradigm that is fueling our eco, social and political decline.
2. Occupy Main Street and Support Your Local Small-Mart
I have always been a bit conflicted about Buy Nothing Day; my first reaction was that it was a nice idea, if you don't work in a shop. A few years back TreeHugger Warren wondered:
Buy Nothing Day is about rampant consumption of over packaged, blister wrapped rubbish. We should not be one dimensional about this. Which is better for the planet? A. for one day nobody buys anything (next day they hop in the car and head off to the mall as normal) or B. Everybody buys a bicycle on that day.
Or C. Support your local Small-Mart. That is the term promoted by Michael Shuman, who notes that local businesses have high economic multipliers; they are " long term wealth generators where the money mostly stays in the place where it is generated." Shuman has written:
Going local does not mean walling off the outside world. It means nurturing locally owned businesses which use local resources sustainably, employ local workers at decent wages and serve primarily local consumers. It means becoming more self-sufficient and less dependent on imports. Control moves from the boardrooms of distant corporations and back into the community where it belongs.
The National Trust for Historic Preservation has a great idea: Small Business Saturday. But why not do it on Friday too?
3. Buy American Day
Tap America (Tolerance-Americanism-Patriotism) is calling on citizens to buy American. Stephanie Adams writes:
If we purchase locally made, grown, or sold products, we support the true American spirit of opportunity for people, not corporations. We can provide more local jobs, and, therefore more money, right where we live. This also cuts down on long shipping distances necessary to bring vast quantities of cheaply made overseas products to a convenient local location. More money stays in the local economy, providing better funding for schools, libraries and other local services.
She ties it in to the #occupy movement:
Sometimes we don’t have a reasonable choice and we end up having to buy something from overseas. At this time, it can be difficult to find local and American-made groceries and products. Shop local businesses and farmer’s markets first. If we all just paid a little more attention, it would make a very big difference. Each dollar going back into our economy sends a message to Wall Street and to Washington that we are taking back our country citizen by citizen and dollar by dollar.