Stopping the shopping frenzy

On Nov. 26, millions of people around the world will stay home for 24 hours. Not because they are too full to move after the Thanksgiving feast, but in honor of Buy Nothing Day.

Buy Nothing Day encourages everyone to stop shopping for one day. It was started in 1993 by Adbusters magazine and has become an international event celebrated in over 55 countries.

"As consumers, we should question the products we buy and the companies who produce them," said Michael Smith, spokesperson for Buy Nothing Day. "The idea is to make people stop and think about what and how much they buy affects the environment and developing countries."

Every year, on the day after Thanksgiving, millions flock to the mall to get an early start on their Christmas shopping lists. Many wake up before the sun to snag the best deals. Stores open early to persuade customers and offer the best sale prices. It’s the start of the annual Christmas shopping frenzy.

Rayna Halverson, business major at PSU and assistant manager for Brass Plum shoes at Nordstrom, has mixed feelings about the busiest shopping day of the year.

"We work most of Thanksgiving to get ready for the next day," she said. "But afterwards it’s hard to relax because you’re preparing for the long day ahead. It’s good for business and our commissions, though."

Long lines, limited parking spaces and the crowds of sale-hungry shoppers may seem like enough to keep most people away from the mall on the busiest shopping day of the year.

"I don’t spend any money on Buy Nothing Day," said Jessica Denning, Community Development major at PSU. "I’m too broke to buy presents so I always knit scarves for all my friends every year."

Buy Nothing Day aims to challenge the consumer in all of us by encouraging everyone to spend time with family, relax and protest consumerism all at the same time. The easiest part about Buy Nothing Day is that participating is easy – simply buy nothing for the entire day of Nov. 26.

"We want you to make a commitment to consuming less, recycling more and challenging corporations to clean up and be fair," Smith said. "Modern consumerism might offer great choice, but this shouldn’t be at the cost of the environment or developing countries."