In 1992, the Seinfeld episode “The Pitch” featured this conversation between the main characters:
JERRY: And it’s about nothing?
GEORGE: Everybody’s doing something, we’ll do nothing.
JERRY: So, we go into NBC, we tell them we’ve got an idea for a show about nothing.
A show about nothing may seem ludicrous, but what about a Black Friday that involves making no purchases?
Yet, the Buy Nothing Project, founded in 2013, is a contrasting movement in an era when Black Friday is viewed as a day to buy everything. The Facebook-anchored project focuses on sharing existing items with others as a way to:
‒ Get to know neighbors and others within a community.
‒ Keep unwanted items from ending up in a landfill.
‒ Meet specific needs of others.
‒ Provide gently used or new items that can be given as gifts.
Buy Nothing participants post on their Facebook site photographs of generosities shown to them. On Oct. 23, for example, the facebook.com/BuyNothingProject post “Thank you for the astronaut suit!” featured a young boy dressed up and jumping happily on a trampoline.
Individuals interested in joining the Buy Nothing Project do so by making contact through Facebook to learn if there is an already established area group; if not, information is provided on how to start one. The movement has spread globally.
The Buy Nothing Project runs counter to a culture bent on consumerism.
Digitaltrends.com last Nov. 25, three days after Black Friday, filed this report: “In 2018, an enormous total of $6.2 billion was spent on the single day alone, which is up 23.6 percent from last year. The trend for more spending can be seen over the month of November as well, as in 2018 consumers spent a total of $44.2 billion between Nov. 1 and 23, up from $37.1 billion in the same period last year. The big spending period is expanding, too. With the rising popularity of Cyber Monday in addition to Black Friday, the entire week in November has become a key time for stores.”