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November Action of the Month: How about a Buy Nothing Weekend?

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Have you heard of Buy Nothing Day? On November 29, we’re challenged not to buy anything for an entire day. Celebrated around the world, Buy Nothing Day serves as a counterpoint to Black Friday,

for which retailers try to out-discount one another to encourage consumer spending.

This year, Équiterre is upping the ante with our “Buy Nothing Weekend” Action of the Month. A few days (November 29 to December 1) to avoid impulse buys, overpackaging, single-use products [1] and thingamajigs that break all too easily, and rather spend time relaxing with friends and family and saving your money! We can manage that, can’t we? Here are a few tips to help you resist temptation and meet the challenge:

  • Organize a swap day! Create an event where friends, neighbours or co-workers exchange items. You can even choose a theme: clothing, toys, sports equipment, books, etc. At someone’s home, in the office over the lunch hour or at a community centre on the weekend - whatever suits you best! Create a private Facebook event and invite your friends. For ideas on how to make your event a success, click here!

 

  • Organize a repair-a-thon! Is your toaster acting up again? You’ve lost a button on your shirt? That wobbly kitchen chair driving you nuts? Use the opportunity to get people together to help repair them instead of replacing them. Do you know a good handyperson or do-it-yourselfer? Ask them over to lend you a hand. Maybe you’re a sewing wiz or good with a hammer or you fancy yourself a techie... Well, offer your services to your friends and neighbours! You could have your guests bring any necessary tools or materials. It might even be the chance to develop a new talent!
    Touski s’répare Facebook group: an online community of handypersons who provide tips to help you with your repairs
    iFixit:  online tutorials for repairing electronic equipment.

    Several organizations provide repair workshops and advice and make tools available to the public:
    ○ Montreal: Remise (a tool library) or Les Affûtés (for creating and repairing);
    ○ Quebec City: La Patente workshop and tool library
    ○ Sherbrooke: Coopérative La Fabrique

    Check out these resources as well:

    ○ The FabLabs du Québec directory, which provides workshops and makes many tools and machines available to the public free of charge;
    ○ The Art Hives network, for creative projects;
    ○ The international Repair Cafés network and its community repair activities; and
    ○ The Cercles des fermières network, whose members can provide valuable advice on fabrics, as well as arts and crafts.

  • Barter your time! Do you have a talent or expertise and are willing to barter your time in exchange for a service? Les Accorderies is the group for you! The idea is simple: one hour of your time for one hour of someone else’s. It could be cooking, dog walking, teaching someone a word processing program or teaching a language. It can be anything and everything that involves lending and receiving a helping hand. The Les Accorderies group also seeks to foster solidarity among people of different ages, genders, cultures and income levels. If nothing else, it’s a great excuse to meet people in your community!

  • For Christmas and holiday gifts, check out Équiterre’s ecofriendly ideas for the holidays. You’ll find plenty of great ideas for waste-free gifts and inspiration for repurposing what you already have on hand.

 

  • Increase the impact of you action! Your action can influence those around you and inspire others to buy less but better. You can also leverage your initiative at the local level by organizing it in partnership with your municipality or with a community organization that could lend you space and help you reach more people. A number of municipal libraries don’t just lend books – they also lend a variety of objects. Why not contact yours and suggest they lend out toys, musical instruments, or even set up a seed bank! Bibliothèque et Archives nationales du Québec offers practical tips to help you get started.

Are you feeling prepared to take on the Buy Nothing Weekend Challenge? Share your repair, design or activity photos with us on Instagram (tag Équiterre (@equiterre_ong) and use the hashtag #FDSsansachat).

1. Editor’s note: our society’s obsession with sales, the fact that landfill costs are not sufficiently accounted for, and the offshoring of manufacturing (cheap labour but deplorable working conditions) are pushing companies to produce throw-away merchandise. This traps consumers in a spiral, in which they keep buying more and more cheaply made products.