About a year ago I was musing that if I cycled to work twice a week, and stayed in town, near to work, in my campervan one day a week, saving a trip home, I could almost half the amount of driving I do. Thinking back today I realised that setting that goal, and acting on it, has taken me much further... and quite naturally so. Since then, and especailly over the last 3 or 4 months (since I got my Xtracycle) I have virtually eliminated driving altogether. I used to make the 50km drive to work and back every weekday. Thats 250km a week, or about 1000km a month. Since August I have averaged about 2 drives a month; about 100km worth. A 90% reduction! And without being to smug about it... it was no great sacrifice, in fact it was almost easy. Not to mention the other positive spinoffs, like way better health and fitness, less stress, lots of money saved (I think I'm addicted to endorfins though). And thats just the benefits for me. However marginal, there are benefits for our planet too.Speaking of benefits for the planet... try this for one day, you never know where it might lead you.
Buy nothing day is this Friday.
This year's Buy Nothing Day has a special poignancy. Never before have our emerging environmental crises been planted so firmly on the lips of the policymakers and the general public. Rather than screaming from the fringes, high-profile economists and scientists are sounding the warnings in respected journals and the halls of parliament -- warnings that our oceans are dying, that the ice shelves are melting, and that we are setting ourselves up for the most massive and widest-ranging market failure the world has ever seen.
All of this points to a profound need for a shift in the way we see things. Recycling, protecting our waterways, driving hybrid cars -- all the old environmental imperatives -- are great, but it's becoming obvious that they don't address the core problem: we have to change our lifestyles, we have to change our culture, and we have to consume smarter and consume less.
This is the message of this year's Buy Nothing Day, and there are only a few days left to get that message out onto the streets. From the quietly sublime to the crazily anarchic, the ways in which you can mark BND are only limited by the imperative not to spend. Strut your stuff as if the fate of whole planet is resting in your hands, because even if each of us only does one small things to contribute, 96,847 small things sure add up!
At the BND campaign headquarters - that's http://www.adbusters.org/bnd - we've already featured upcoming actions in Japan, the UK, Canada, and the USA, with more to come from all over the world, including Brazil, Colombia, Denmark, Hungary, Spain and Sweden. You can also download posters and other resources, as well as connect with activists in your own little corner of the globe.
Remember: Make a scene. Make people laugh. Make them think. If you have to, make them angry. Just get out there.
THE BUY NOTHING DAY TEAM
I'm planning on a Buy Nothing Christmas too (and that's not as grouchy as it sounds).