Make 2022 a Buy Nothing Christmas

A graphic showing the title: Make 2022 a Buy Nothing Christmas CREDIT: FSU PUBLICATIONS AND COMMUNICATIONS DEPARTMENT

If you’re struggling to decide what to buy for your loved ones this holiday season, I might have a solution for you: try buying nothing at all.

The Buy Nothing movement is a global project with local networks around the world. The project brings people together to share, give, and receive goods and services amongst one another. Buying nothing means there is no bartering involved, no trading, selling or exchanging money of any kind. Rather, participants can access local Facebook groups or the Buy Nothing app and either post items and services they are looking to obtain, or items and services they are looking to give away.

When it comes to the holiday season, these groups can be especially beneficial. They make it easy to find free secondhand items from within your community, saving you from purchasing something brand new, and saving old items from ending up in a landfill.

Navigator. Londons student lifestyles magazine.

According to CEO of the Buy Nothing Project, Liesl Clark, celebrating the holidays through the “gift economy” can be a gratifying experience.

“With inflation right now, that’s one reason to try out your gift economy model,” Clark said. “But also in terms of just the amount of waste? And do we really need to buy all of these things? Why not try in your community to see if there’s something that might be just reused? That would be just as wonderful.”

The idea of a Buy Nothing Christmas is rooted in anticonsumerism, a direct pushback to the frenzy of shopping in big box stores and Black Friday sales that dominate the holiday season. A Buy Nothing Christmas might mean making handmade gifts for your loved ones, or finding something secondhand from a local Buy Nothing Facebook group.

“You can do it within your own family, you could set up a gift economy and just say, ‘Hey, let’s just give and receive from each other,’” Clark said. “How about we do a Buy Nothing Christmas, and we actually say, ‘please don’t buy me anything.’”

As inflation soars and the cost of living grows, this holiday season will likely be one of the most expensive in recent memory. Rather than going into debt, talk to your friend group and family, and plan for a holiday season free from spending. Clark believes we’ll see many more families and friend groups planning for a Buy Nothing holiday season this year.

“Last year, right around this time, there were people struggling, partly because of the pandemic, but also there were supply chain issues… and right now we’re seeing it again, there’s so much interest in testing the waters and seeing if we can use these hyperlocal gift economies as a social safety net to rely more readily on our neighbours and keep items circulating within our community.”

Although a Buy Nothing holiday may make for a different experience, Clark said doing Christmas this way can elicit even more warm and fuzzy feelings, by helping you not only connect with your loved ones, but also your neighbours.

“It’s almost threefold in terms of the joy that people are experiencing through gift economies as opposed to [putting] in an order through Amazon, and then it comes to your doorstep and there’s no human connection there. You’re not connecting with anyone related to that item.”

A quick search on Facebook can help you find local Buy Nothing groups in your area. Using these resources to connect with your neighbours and find treasures nearby can help enhance your Christmas experience while keeping your funds in check.