Why People Shouldn’t Support Buy Nothing Day

download print

About this sample

About this sample


Words: 976 |

Pages: 2|

5 min read

Published: Dec 16, 2021

Words: 976|Pages: 2|5 min read

Published: Dec 16, 2021

Table of contents

  1. Prompt Examples for Buy Nothing Day Essay
  2. Buy Nothing Day Essay Example
  3. Works Cited

Prompt Examples for Buy Nothing Day Essay

  • Consumer Choice and Freedom: Discuss the importance of consumer choice and freedom, and argue that Buy Nothing Day restricts individuals' ability to make choices about their purchases and lifestyle.
  • Economic Impact: Analyze the potential negative economic impact of Buy Nothing Day, including its effects on businesses, employment, and local economies.
  • Sustainable Consumption: Argue that advocating for sustainable and responsible consumption is a more effective approach than boycotting all purchases on Buy Nothing Day.
  • Alternative Solutions: Propose alternative solutions for addressing consumerism and its environmental impact, emphasizing that Buy Nothing Day may not be the most constructive approach.
  • Individual Rights and Responsibilities: Discuss how individuals should have the right to make informed choices about their consumption habits and argue that Buy Nothing Day may infringe upon these rights.

Buy Nothing Day Essay Example

Have you ever heard of a day called Buy Nothing Day? Buy Nothing Day was a holiday that originated in Canada in 1992; and on this day, people were encouraged to buy nothing for 24 hours. Participation was optional, but intent of this holiday was to “expose environmental and ethical consequences of overconsumption.” While this holiday has good motives, it is often overlooked and ignored, making it ineffective in delivering its message. Not only is Buy Nothing Day ineffective in promoting anti-consumerist ideas, it may also hurt small businesses and workers who get paid by the hour or by commission. For these reasons, we shouldn’t support Buy Nothing Day.

'Why Violent Video Games Shouldn't Be Banned'?

Buy Nothing Day could seriously affect small businesses that depend on daily sales and workers in sales positions. Currently, small businesses are struggling to compete with large businesses for customers. Because small businesses don’t have a lot of money or time to spare, it is vital for them to keep their stores open to attract as many customers as possible if they want to survive in the business world. If this holiday becomes popular and encourages people to refrain from buying things in the future, small companies may lose sales and could face smaller profit margins. We shouldn’t be giving more pressure to small companies; instead, we should be finding ways to support them. If retail stores knew that not many customers would be shopping on Buy Nothing Day, they might ask workers to stay home. Most workers who work in retail stores get paid by the hour and often face financial challenges at home. Although Buy Nothing Day lasts only 24 hours, these people will be going home without a paycheck. Even if workers were lucky enough to still be called in to work, many salespeople are paid minimum wage and commissions on the number of sales they make that day. If no one comes into the store to buy goods, that means that the salespeople will not earn commissions. Buy Nothing Day may have good intentions in bringing recognition to the consequences of overconsumption, but it does more harm than good, especially to lower class citizens.

Buy Nothing Day could also cause a broad inconvenience to many consumers. Let’s say that on Buy Nothing Day, you realize that you don’t have any groceries, but stores are closed because of anticipated low customer turnout. What would you do then? You could go to your neighbors to ask for help or even go to your parents’ house if they’re nearby, but that would be awkward and unreasonable. Most people would argue that you could just go to the supermarket the day before, but what if you didn’t have time? Maybe you had to work late last night or maybe you were stuck in heavy traffic and had decided to skip grocery shopping and go home. These situations must be considered before we can give Buy Nothing Day our full support. Buying stuff is a basic human right because you survive on the things that you buy. If you couldn’t buy things in an emergency, what are the solutions and alternatives? Even if you happen to be fine without your groceries on Buy Nothing Day, stores might be crowded with people the next day, which would basically defeat the purpose of the holiday because people are just making up for the missed day of shopping. Instead of exposing the dangers of overconsumption and the negative effect it has on the environment, Buy Nothing Day will only be a nuisance and likely be ignored.

Buy Nothing Day is simply an ineffective strategy to promote anti-consumerist ideals. Even though this holiday is intended to focus on helping the environment, it will have no long-lasting positive effect. Asking consumers to refrain from purchasing goods does not actually teach people anything about how their buying habits affect the environment, and many consumers will either see this day as an inconvenience or completely ignore it. Whether people purchase goods or not, most people will still have to use fossil fuels for transportation, heating and cooling their homes, cooking, and more. If people truly want to create a lasting change in the way Americans’ purchase goods, they should focus less on boycotting and instead focus on consumer education which would teach people their effect on the world and how to make smart decisions when purchasing goods.

Some people may compare Buy Nothing Day to Christmas or Thanksgiving, however, these are completely different holidays. Christmas and Thanksgiving are national holidays and days of celebration. Some stores choose to be closed on these days in order to allow their employees to spend time with their family. Some stores also choose to be open, but they raise their employees’ wages to make up for the time lost with their families. Unlike Christmas and Thanksgiving, Buy Nothing Day is not meant to be celebrated; it is meant to inform people. But why should we support it if businesses and employees are going to lose money? We can always educate people to make smart choices, but we should leave people’s incomes alone.

Get a custom paper now from our expert writers.

Making Buy Nothing Day an official holiday in the U.S. could hurt individuals whose lives depend on sales. In addition, this holiday is poorly constructed and thought out. This will not change the way people consume goods because it does not educate people about the cause they’re supposed to be fighting for on that day. This one-day strategy will also not have a significant impact on the environment because it mainly focuses on how consumer consumption harms the environment and not how simple actions like driving or cooling your house can have negative effects on the Earth. Although Buy Nothing Day brings up good points, discouraging people from purchasing goods is not the way to go. Setting up classes, making educational videos, or making commercials are better ways to promote these ideas.

Works Cited

  1. Carver, J. (2008). The seven myths of sustainable consumer behavior. In M. J. Cohen, R. L. Brown, & J. A. Murphy (Eds.), Consumer Society: Critical Issues and Environmental Consequences (pp. 85-99). SAGE Publications.
  2. Foster, J. B. (2002). Ecology against capitalism. Monthly Review Press.
  3. Kozinets, R. V. (2002). Can consumers escape the market? Emancipatory illuminations from burning man. Journal of Consumer Research, 29(1), 20-38.
  4. Luchs, M. G., Naylor, R. W., Irwin, J. R., & Raghunathan, R. (2010). The sustainability liability: Potential negative effects of ethicality on product preference. Journal of Marketing, 74(5), 18-31.
  5. Micheletti, M. (2003). Political virtue and shopping: Individuals, consumerism, and collective action. Palgrave Macmillan.
  6. Offer, A. (2006). The challenge of affluence: Self-control and well-being in the United States and Britain since 1950. Oxford University Press.
  7. Schor, J. B. (2010). Plenitude: The new economics of true wealth. Penguin.
  8. Shove, E. (2003). Comfort, cleanliness and convenience: The social organization of normality. Berg Publishers.
  9. Sklar, H. (2006). Tragedy or triumph: Assessing Buy Nothing Day. Contexts, 5(1), 64-69.
  10. Walljasper, J. (2015). How to design a sustainable world. On the Commons.
Image of Prof. Linda Burke
This essay was reviewed by
Prof. Linda Burke

Cite this Essay

Why People Shouldn’t Support Buy Nothing Day. (2021, December 16). GradesFixer. Retrieved April 22, 2024, from
“Why People Shouldn’t Support Buy Nothing Day.” GradesFixer, 16 Dec. 2021,
Why People Shouldn’t Support Buy Nothing Day. [online]. Available at: <> [Accessed 22 Apr. 2024].
Why People Shouldn’t Support Buy Nothing Day [Internet]. GradesFixer. 2021 Dec 16 [cited 2024 Apr 22]. Available from:
Keep in mind: This sample was shared by another student.
  • 450+ experts on 30 subjects ready to help
  • Custom essay delivered in as few as 3 hours
Write my essay

Still can’t find what you need?

Browse our vast selection of original essay samples, each expertly formatted and styled


Where do you want us to send this sample?

    By clicking “Continue”, you agree to our terms of service and privacy policy.


    Be careful. This essay is not unique

    This essay was donated by a student and is likely to have been used and submitted before

    Download this Sample

    Free samples may contain mistakes and not unique parts


    Sorry, we could not paraphrase this essay. Our professional writers can rewrite it and get you a unique paper.



    Please check your inbox.

    We can write you a custom essay that will follow your exact instructions and meet the deadlines. Let's fix your grades together!


    Get Your
    Personalized Essay in 3 Hours or Less!

    We can help you get a better grade and deliver your task on time!
    • Instructions Followed To The Letter
    • Deadlines Met At Every Stage
    • Unique And Plagiarism Free
    Order your paper now