Buy Nothing Day 2020

Mark your calendars! Buy Nothing Day is coming up! This year we can celebrate this day of conscious non-consumption on Friday, November 27th.

Buy Nothing Day was founded by artist Ted Dave in September of 1992 in Vancouver, Canada. However, Adbusters , cofounded by Kalle Lasn, made the concept popular.

This year, Thanksgiving falls on November 26th, and since Black Friday always lands on the day after Thanksgiving, that means Black Friday will officially be held on November 27th, 2020. THAT MEANS THAT THE TWO DAYS FALL ON THE SAME DAY THIS YEAR!

I think that’s great, but apparently Ted Dave doesn’t agree and would’ve preferred the date to stay in September so that it wouldn’t be perceived as an “anti-Christmas” day.

Why do we need Buy Nothing Day?



Everything Kalle talks about in the above interview rings all the more true in 2020.

Why is Black Friday problematic?

In case you don’t know, Black Friday is when retailers offer their products for sale at great discounts. So what’s the problem?

For starters, it brings out the worst in people. People give voice to their anger, racism, greed, sexism, and violence on this day.  Over what?!

This is just one of the many videos that show how this day brings out people’s greedy side.



I don’t know about you but watching this video actually makes me want to cry. I find it hugely upsetting watching this level of aggression over PRODUCTS!

A global problem

Before Covid-19, there was Black Friday and just like a lethal virus, it has infected the rest of the world.

Here’s what happened in South Africa in 2017:



and in 2018:



I wonder how many people get hurt on this day. It makes me feel claustrophobic just watching these videos.

Do people get off on shopper’s high? For sure!

Do people get a surge of adrenaline from getting that deal and surviving the push and shove? No doubt!

Is this fight or flight feeling healthy? Heck no!

It can’t go on like this.


COVID-19 and Black Friday

This year, there is an additional incentive NOT to celebrate Black Friday. Imagine the scenarios above playing out while the world is suffering a highly contagious pandemic.


We need to break the addiction we have to buying things. The happiness we get from it is an illusion and short-lived.

We need to find happiness in other places like nature. The very place that is being destroyed to feed this shopping addiction. Multiple studies have shown the benefits of spending time in nature to reduce anxiety and stress. 

We need to acknowledge that Black Friday is the antithesis of the values that many people claim to hold dear: the communal family spirit. gratitude and sharing spirit of Thanskgiving; the joy and love of Christmas. If you believe in Christ, you need to remember what you are actually celebrating. Christmas should NOT be about gifts. It should be about celebrating the birth of Christ or, if you are not religious, spending a day off with your family or friends.

Resources and education

Here’s a lesson plan from the British Council .

If you need more motivation to help you fight of the need to consume, please go to Steve Cutts’ YouTube channel. It is a treasure trove of truth bombs. It’s hard for me to choose a favourite video, but if you insist…



I will also be creating some lesson plans over the next few weeks.

I hope that you will join me in sharing resources with those close to you as well as on social media.

Please join me in buying nothing this 27th November .

Check out my other blog posts, lesson plan resources and useful links to other pages.