She may be running a store, but to Octopus Books owner Lisa Greaves, some things are more important than making a sale.
Tomorrow marks Buy Nothing Day in North America, and Greaves is closing the store’s doors for one day in hopes of raising people’s awareness about their consumer habits. “I think Buy Nothing Day is a really interesting concept and important to think about,” said Greaves, who has marked the day every year for the last 10 years.
“Think about how hard we have to work to earn money to buy things,” she said. “Think about how it affects the environment.”
Kalle Lasn, editor-in-chief and co-founder of Adbusters, which introduced Buy Nothing Day to the mass market almost 20 years ago, said the goal was to get people to see the dark side of consumer culture.
“We wanted to point out that consumerism is one of the causes of the ecological crisis … 20 years ago, nobody worried about climate change,” said Lasn. “Today, everyone knows about climate change and the ominous tipping points on the horizon.
“We’re in denial about what is going on politically and ecologically and Buy Nothing Day is an attempt to break through that denial.”