Saturday 1 December 2007

Stop shopping, start living

Last weekend there should have been a global slump in trading, not that I have figures to prove it.

That's if the network of people that support Buy Nothing Day had their way.

I dropped in the 'free' shop, a collection of tents parked outside Cairns Central on McLeod Street on Sunday. The local event is co-ordinated by activists and those that are against mass consumerism.

The day had it's origins in Canada in 1992 to examine society and the issue of over-consumption.

Ironically, in 1997, it was moved to the Friday due to American Thanksgiving which is one of the busiest shopping days in the States.

Most TV networks don't run adverts about the event, however 65 countries now celebrate the day.

Some argue that it simply causes participants to buy the next day, but the promoters say it's not about changing your habits for one day but about starting a lasting commitment to consuming less and producing less waste.

Last year, 10 friends vowed not to purchase a single new thing for a year - except food, the bare essentials for health and safety (toilet paper, brake fluid.) Everything else was purchased second-hand, bartered or borrowed, re-cycled or re-gifted (is that a word?). They used thrift stores, swap meets, friends and even rubbish tip recycling shops.

They subsequently formed the Freecycle Network and there's a Cairns Tablelands branch active.

This Thursday at 5:30pm there is a public forum at the Public Library in Abbott Street.

If you'd like to get involved locally, contact Tania on 0438 800 384, or Stu on 4041 1802

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

We need more publicity and more community action on an issue like this. I'd like to see car pools g made mandatory. Walking along Mulgrave Road, I see the huge and increasing volume of cars heading into the city. Over 90% of cars have only one passenger.