Once a month we at Camden Friends of the Earth having been attempting to buy nothing, spend nothing and consume as little as we can bringing attention to and shifting the balance of our lives.

We’ve all seen the stats – as just one example, if everyone in the world was to consume as we do here in the UK, then we’d need 2 1/2 planet earths[1] to support us. And what’s more consumption isn’t making us any happier. We spend without thinking and with little gain. By choosing to spend nothing on the same day each month it helps us to reflect on what we do consume and take more planet friendly choices when we do.

On spend nothing day we

  • Spend no money whether that be by way of cash, contactless, card or bank transfer.
  • Travel under our own steam, by foot, bike or scooter
  • Minimise our electricity use – phone run out of power? Leave it switched off
  • Cook wonderful meals from food in our cupboards and the back of the fridge
  • Take time with friends in free places – at each other’s homes, walking in the park, in a free museum
  • Learn more about some of the issues facing the world through reading, listening or debating

Why the 24th of every month? Towards the end of the month money always gets a bit tighter and life often feels just that little bit less fun. And this year #GreenFriday2017 lands on the 24th of November.

Attempting to buy nothing doesn’t always work out as it should. Somehow it always seems to be the day my bike has a puncture, or work runs over and I have no choice but to buy food on the run. But somehow each month it gives me a reason to pause and reflect on whether I really need the things I mindlessly consume and if I wouldn’t rather read a book than online shop, cook with a friend than queue for a restaurant table and walk rather than cram myself into crowded tube carriage.

Join us, designate a day each month as your buy nothing day. We’d love to hear how you got on.


[1] “How many Earths do we need”