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It's Buy Nothing Day!

Some folks call today Black Friday but I prefer to celebrate Buy Nothing Day.

Buy Nothing Day is an international day of protest against consumerism.  Originally founded in Vancouver by artist Ted Dave and then promoted by Adbusters. A counter to frenzied sales, Buy Nothing Day asks us to think about what we consume, and the effects on the planet and the people involved in producing the goods we buy.

To take part you can literally just Buy Nothing. You can also take it as a moment to consider - do you need that new thing? Will the gifts you buy end up in landfill down the line?

So today instead of trying to sell you anything, here's some mostly free, otherwise cheap ideas as a gift to you.
  • Cook them a meal.
  • Teach them a skill you have that they'd like to learn. Do you know a language? Play an instrument?
  • Give your time and labour in other ways, such as: cleaning, babysitting or petsitting, helping them move, gardening, do errands, DIY and handiwork, help with life admin, driving. Is something they hate doing that you're chill with?   
  • Massages, at-home spa treatments or make-overs.
  • Share a professional service you provide, for free (but make sure to set a time limit!)
  • Plan trips or outings you could do together through the next year (see fun for free for ideas).
  • Make a scavenger hunt.
Make something
  • Make a zine! You could make a newsletter type zine summing up your year, or make an individual one filled with reasons you like that person or times you've shared together. Or make one about something they love.
  • Are you a crafter or artist? Make personal versions of your speciality. If you have lots of people to gift to, make something new you can make multiples of, like digitally printed artwork or traditional printmaking. You can find tutorials on Instructables and Pinterest.
  • Something edible, like: baked goods, preserves, homebrew and flavoured liqueurs, spice mixes, and foraged and homegrown food.
  • Make a music mix: not many people have tape players anymore! Mix CDs? A mix playlist? A USB stick? Make artwork too to make it special.
  • Propagate plants or save seeds to share.
  • Make wreathes out of found or you garden's plants.
  • Put together a photo album or scrap book, or frame a photograph of the two of you.
  • Start a shared sketchbook or notebook that you pass between the two of you (or more!)
  • Make a personalised calendar with your own artwork or found images.
  • Put together a cookbook of recipes you think they'd like.
  • Write them letters or postcards.
  • Create a video or voice note for them - like a personalised podcast or vlog (especially if you live far away from each other)
  • Things you can make if you have a printer: personalised address labels, printing some PDF zines, finding colouring in pages they'd like.
Cards and Gift Wrapping

Instead of buying cards and wrap - make or re-use them!
  • If you don't enjoy drawing then collaging is a great way to make cards - you can even re-use old cards by cutting and pasting them into new designs, or using the front as gift labels. 
  • Wrap can be made from anything. Old magazines? Newspapers? Re-used wrapping? You can brighten it up with deco tape.
  • Did you online shopping come stuffed with sheets of paper? Lie it flat, decorate it with drawings or ink stamps.
  • Personally I use pieces of fabric to wrap most of my gifts - the recipient can either re-use the fabric for gifting again, or use it in a craft project. Here are some fabric wrapping techniques.
  • Museums and Galleries.
  • Get out into nature - go walking and hiking, cycling, birdwatching, foraging, or stargazing.
  • Picnics and BBQs (when it's warmer..)
  • Look for free events in your local area - bookmark places that schedule things regularly (like libraries and community centres). Eventbrite also has a filter for free events.
  • Throw a pot-luck party.
  • Get together with friends at home - have dinner or drinks, a book club, a movie night, play board games or have a craft night.
  • Organise a secret santa - set a spending limit (even make it zero).
  • Organise a swapping event - clothes swaps, zine swaps, art swaps, seed swaps, book swaps, even general swaps.
  • Go volunteering together.
  • Throw a fundraising event for a good cause.
  • Sky is an absolutely lovely free-to-play game where you float around nice scenery and co-operative with other players to complete tasks. Available on mobile and the Switch. You won't miss out by not spending any money on the game either.
  • Sims4 is now free to play! (the base game anyway).


Find more general freebies at Money Saving Expert.
I hope you've enjoyed this newsletter! You can support my work + pen fight by telling your pals about us, ordering something from the shop, or giving a tip via Ko-Fi

Take care,
Vicky xo
Copyright © 2022 Vicky Stevenson, All rights reserved.

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