British Columbia

Resist temptation to spend on 'Buy Nothing Day,' May says

Friday is an important day for many North American environment groups as they are marking 'Buy Nothing Day,' to signify the need to cut back on excess consumption.

Friday is an important day for many North American environment groups as they aremarking "Buy Nothing Day," to signify the need to cut back on excess consumption.

The message of Buy Nothing Day is for people to resist buying unneeded consumer goods. ((CBC))

The idea is to keep people's wallets in their pockets to avoid buying unneeded consumer goods, said Elizabeth May, leader of the Green Party of Canada.

"This is a day to be thought provoking," May said.

"Obviously we're not saying buy nothing throughout an entire year. That would be silly. But just to make people have a moment to reflect that quality of life can mean more than quantity of stuff."

May said she is inviting leaders of other political parties and all Canadians to join her in observing Buy Nothing Day.

"Many of the environmental problems we face come down to a single, inescapable truth — we must consume less," she said.

"With the approach of the Christmas consumption season, Buy Nothing Day is a good opportunity to stop, take a deep breath, think about whether we really need all those things and perhaps come up with some better ways to spend our money and our precious time."

Not everyone is in favour of Buy Nothing Day. Several B.C. merchants told CBC News it's a terrible idea, because it's bad for business. None of the dissenters agreed to an interview.

But ski shop owner Jill Winters likes the plan.

"It definitely wouldn't be great for business," Winters said. "For one day, if people can kind of just realize, I guess, to cut back a little bit on what they're consuming. And maybe make some better choices."

"A lot of the time some of the better choices are more expensive," Winterssaid.

The first Buy Nothing Day was organized in Vancouver in 1992.

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