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”.
10 things you can do instead of shopping!
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.
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.
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!
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!
May we also suggest that you listen to a great album while taking care of your plants? Plants like music too!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
one more thing…
Please share your own ideas on how to consume & shop less, and create & enjoy more what we already have.
Read more about international volunteering
College or university can be a challenge as it doesn’t always meet your high expectations. There are some valid reasons to drop our if you don’t feel it is right for you.
Living in a small village in Malawi for six months is an amazing experience. Experienced volunteers share some good advice on 10 things that you will be glad to have in your backpack.
Are you researching how to go about volunteering abroad in a responsible & ethical way? In this post we share some resources that we think could be useful for you – at least we hope so!
“Take your time. Prepare yourself. The longer, the better. Be realistic about your skills and use them wisely. And finally: Work with people. Solve problems shoulder to shoulder.”
Taking a year out for some reason or another might be very beneficial for you. Here are some tips on how you can make the most of it, while you try to figure out what to do with your life.
The comprehensive training programme that our international development volunteers go through prior to the project period, includes a module about the most frequent diseases in tropical countries.
Franziska finished high school last year. Not sure of what she wanted to study at university, she decided to take a gap year to get more experience and to figure out what she wants to do in her life.
People who go to volunteer abroad, do it for a number of reasons, of course. In this article, we examine some different “types” of volunteers that we have met and their reasons for volunteering abroad.
If you dream about “making that famous difference” with long term community development in poverty-stricken areas, here are some tips for you who are considering a humanitarian career.