Celebrate Buy Nothing Day

Buy Nothing Day is an international day of protest against consumerism. It’s a great way to save money and an opportunity to challenge yourself to switch off from shopping and tune into life instead.

#BuyNothingDay always coincides with #BlackFriday.

In this post, we present some tips on activities that can enrich your life instead of “buying things you don’t really need, to impress people you don’t really like”.


We share some of our tips to do something enriching instead of shopping
Buy Nothing Day: Ten Things To Do Instead Of Shopping

10 things you can do instead of shopping!

tip 1

Donate clothes you don’t wear anyway


Take a good look into your wardrobe and clear out the clothes you never use. Give them away to someone who would appreciate them. You can also donate them to a good cause. In many countries, there are bins for clothes, shoes and textiles at recycling centres or parking lots.

Make sure to donate your clothes to an organisation that reuses the clothes, for instance by selling them in second-shops, rather than just shredding them for the fibres.

tip 2

Make your own soap


Soap-making is fun and not that complicated. You will need to invest some time into learning this skill but it isn’t more complicated than baking a cake. Also, you will probably find that your homemade soaps make perfect presents.

Use fats that are readily available in your local area – for instance coconut oil or olive oil as a main ingredient. Please avoid palm oil since palm oil plantations are a great culprit in the destruction of valuable rainforests.

Here is an excellent guide for beginners.

Make something instead of shopping

tip 3

Listen to an entire music album

In a time where we are used to listening to playlists with our favourite songs committing to listening to an entire album with a single artist, is not something we do very often.

Throughout the time, great artists have created works of art in the form of an album. This means a string of songs that are meant to be listened to in a specific order. Many of them were made in a time where you simply couldn’t walk around with earbuds and listen to music anywhere. At that time, you had to basically sit next to the record player, or if you played really loud, at least in the same house. That is a  really nice activity and you can drink tea or just chill while you listen. We recommend gathering a few friends who do this together.

Of course today, we can take our music with us and listen while we walk, cycle or transport oursleves on public transport. However, it  is still requires commitment to listen to an album for start to finsish.  Give it a go – immerse yourself in an artist’s universe for an hour or so and listen to an entire album. 

Find the Greatest Albums of All Time by the ranking community here – it’s a great list!

Listen to great music on Buy Nothing Day
The best albums of all time – a great way to spend Buy Nothing Day

tip 4

Make a houseplant spa

Care for your houseplants. Give them a much-appreciated shower, remove dry leaves and do a bit of pruning. 

Repot the ones who need a larger pot. Divide the ones that wold like to have more space or make new plants from cuttings.
Baby plants make great gifs, by the  way!

See some great tips here.

May we also suggest that you listen to a great album while taking care of your plants? Plants like music too!

Buy Nothing Day: Ten Things To Do Instead Of Shopping - care for your plants

tip 5

Write a letter by hand

Surprise a long-lost friend or relative by writing a personal letter to them in your best hand-writing. You can add one of your favourite quotes, a drawing or something nice you would like to give them. Perhaps a book mark, an origami bird or some seeds you have collected somewhere.

Take your time to make the envelope look nice.  Choose beautiful stamps (buying some stamps doesn’t qualify as “shopping”…) add a pattern on the back, or at least some symbols you like.

Remember, that the person receiving your letter will probably not get a letter very often, so think about ways to put an extra smile on their face.

Put your sol into letter writing on Buy Nothing Day.

tip 6

Go on an expedition

An expedition is a journey undertaken by a group of people with a particular purpose, especially that of exploration, research, or adventure.

We suggest that you explore an area of your city that you have never visited. Or a landmark, forest, historic site or a community that you know too little about.

So, gather a few friends. Decide on a destination, pack some lunch and refreshments, get hold of a map, put on your hiking boots (or make it a barefoot adventure if you like), and walk to your destination. Cherish all the unexpected challenges you meet on your way and have fun together.

Remember that the only difference between an ordeal and an adventure is attitude.

Buy Nothing Day: Go on an expedition with your friends instead of shopping.

tip 7

Create cards

Create your own greeting / birthday / season cards from upcycled materials like cardboard, images from magazines and bits and pieces from your drawers. Or pencil shavings.

Here is how you can make a handmade pop-up Christmas tree card.


Ten things to do instead of shopping on Buy Nothing Day.

tip 8

Participate in the Global Climate Action

Join a nearby Global Climate Action on 29 November, or create one yourself.

Find an event, or register your own event, on FridaysForFuture.org

Prepare your message on a piece of cardboard or in other creative ways, get some ideas here.

Join Global Climate Action on Buy Nothing Day

tip 9

Plan an amazing year abroad

Research your options. Here’s an idea:

Take 10 months to learn about (and contribute to) sustainable development. The Take 10 Volunteer programme offers three months’ training, then six months’ working at a project in Zambia, India, Malawi or Mozambique and then one month’s reflection in the end. The initial training takes place in England, Denmark or Norway.

Request more information about it here.

Plan your future on Buy Nothing Day. Invest in yourself.

tip 10

See something beautiful

Watch “HOME” – a fantastic documentary about our beautiful planet, by Yann Arthus-Bertrand.

The film is almost entirely composed of aerial shots of various places on Earth. It shows the diversity of life on Earth and how humanity is threatening the ecological balance of the planet.

You can watch it for free here.



Discover the beauty of our planet on Buy Nothing Day,

one more thing…


Please share your own ideas on how to consume & shop less, and create & enjoy more what we already have. 

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