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Buy Nothing Day 2023: FAQs, Dates, Activities, History, and Facts About Black Friday

Artist Ted Dave created this anti-consumerism holiday in 1992 as a means to counteract the unethical and occasionally hazardous crowd purchasing practices that characterize Black Friday.

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Buy Nothing Day 2023 FAQs, Dates, Activities, History, and Facts About Black Friday

Buy Nothing Day 2023: Since its inception in Canada during the early 1990s, National Buy Nothing Day has been observed annually in the United States since the day after Thanksgiving, or November 24 this year. Artist Ted Dave created this anti-consumerism holiday in 1992 as a means to counteract the unethical and occasionally hazardous crowd purchasing practices that characterize Black Friday. The concept aims to mitigate the frenzy of holiday shopping by promoting a conscientious and ecologically sustainable approach to purchasing items after the holidays. Here it is: the justification we’ve been seeking to avoid going to the mall so early on Thanksgiving weekend.

Buy Nothing Day History

This particular day has gained prominence as a reactionary measure against an established holiday: Black Friday. The term “Black Friday” originated from retailers who, following a year “in the red,” or operating at a loss or breaking even, experienced a significant surge in sales that propelled them into a “black” or positive-income state by the time Thanksgiving arrived. This purchasing frenzy customarily transpires the day following Thanksgiving, during which numerous retailers promote exclusive sales in an effort to entice consumers to purchase Christmas gifts early.

As Black Friday became an indelible part of American culture, Canadian artist Ted Dave was profoundly repulsed by the radical transformation of a day intended to express gratitude into one filled with anarchy and avarice. Consequently, in 1992, he instituted National Buy Nothing Day as a means of addressing the excessive materialism that characterized the nation.

National Buy Nothing Day is observed today by Americans as a means of mitigating the excessive waste and supplementary spending that frequently ensues during the weeks preceding Thanksgiving and Christmas. Following the expenditures incurred on Thanksgiving food, decorations, travel, and lodging, the nation is encouraged to engage in a spending cleansing by spending the day at home or in nature.

On the fourth Friday of November, one might encounter Buy Nothing protestors aimlessly traversing a nearby mall while maintaining an expressionless countenance, contributing to retirement funds, or loitering on the floors and in the dressing rooms of retailers. This occurs because of the ‘zombie walk,’ an annual group activity in which participants partake in unusual conduct to attract attention and spread awareness regarding the day’s theme: anti-consumerism.

We invite all individuals to contemplate the merits of this national anti-shopping day, whether they partake in it by unwinding at home with a television or by immersing themselves in performance art at the mall.

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FAQs for Buy Nothing Day 2023

Can I still participate in National Buy Nothing Day if I am away on business?

Even if you are in transit during the holiday season and are unable to avoid making certain purchases, you can still partake in the celebration by approaching each purchase with intention and mindfulness. This is because we believe that any effort is preferable to none.

What makes Black Friday so undesirable?

In brief, the answer is no! The purpose of this holiday is not to dissuade American consumers from hitting the sale rack, but rather to disrupt their state of automation.

How can I facilitate the participation of my financially disadvantaged children in this holiday?

Despite the fact that your children may not make any daily purchases, you can still use this occasion to educate them about the financial investment required to maintain items such as cable television, electronic devices, and running water.

A Guide to Commemorating National Buy Nothing Day

Stream a Christmas film marathon.

After Thanksgiving, you are stuffed and your home is brimming with leftovers. Congregate your entire family in the living room for a Christmas film marathon in order to celebrate the arrival of the joyous holiday season. You will all have the opportunity to sleep in, remain in your nightgown, and spend additional time together. Simply ensure that the films you are viewing are not for sale or rental; the Hallmark channel will suffice for free viewing.

Contravene the insanity

While the global community engages in a frenzy, consider the numerous ways in which you could reorganize your household’s operations to reduce waste. Sort the leftovers from the previous evening’s banquet into recyclable and nonrecyclable materials, then transport them to the closest available bin. Make the effort to investigate composting or rinsing and reusing some of the containers in your household for future cooking endeavors.

Contribute by way of donation

Instead of making a personal purchase, sort through your possessions in order to identify items that could be donated. While it is a season of abundance, so many go without. One potential solution is to purge your closet or the play chest of your children and donate any items that have not been utilized in a significant while to a local Salvation Army or Goodwill. They might be of useful to someone else!

Five Black Friday facts that are anything but jovial

A somber heritage

The initial instance of the phrase “Black Friday” transpired on September 24, 1869, when two individuals deceived Wall Street investors and caused the collapse of the gold market.

obstructed pipelines

This time-honored shopping frenzy coincides with the busiest day for plumbers, as bathroom facilities in stores and centers are at capacity.

Beginning one’s day early

Since 2011, when Walmart deviated from the Black Friday custom by opening their doors on Thanksgiving evening, consumers begin their bargain hunts on the fourth Friday prior to sunrise.

Perilous holiday

In the United States, door-busting Black Friday stampedes have claimed the lives of more individuals than shark attacks.

Saddened Mother Earth

The holiday season causes a substantial surge in carbon emissions as a result of increased travel and demand from consumers.


Year Date Day
2023 November 24 Friday
2024 November 29 Friday
2025 November 28 Friday
2026 November 27 Friday
2027 November 26 Friday
2028 November 24 Friday