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Buy Nothing Day

November 29, 2013 By: NCVeditor Category: Economy, Guest Author

Examining the Issue of Over-Consumption

from Wikipedia

Buy Nothing Day is an international day of protest against consumerism. In North America, Buy Nothing Day is held the Friday after U.S. Thanksgiving (November 29, 2013; November 28, 2014; November 27, 2015); elsewhere, it is held the following day, which is the last Saturday in November. Buy Nothing Day was founded in Vancouver by artist Ted Dave and subsequently promoted by Adbusters magazine, based in Canada.

The first Buy Nothing Day was organized in Canada in September 1992 “as a day for society to examine the issue of over-consumption.” In 1997, it was moved to the Friday after American Thanksgiving, also called ”Black Friday,” which is one of the ten busiest shopping days in the United States. In 2000, advertisements by Adbusters promoting Buy Nothing Day were denied advertising time by almost all major television networks except for CNN. Soon, campaigns started appearing in the United States, the United Kingdom, Israel, Austria,Germany, New Zealand, Japan, the Netherlands, France, and Norway. Participation now includes more than 65 nations. (more…)

Financial Insecurity

May 07, 2013 By: NCVeditor Category: Ecology, Economy, Jan Lundberg

Good for Low-Energy Survival on a Changing Planet

by Jan Lundberg

The changing world leaves behind the money = wealth syndrome. We can see the trend gaining momentum in accord with the slow but sure shift in values toward universal ecological living.

The too-successful human species catches up with nature-based realism upon questioning the side-effects of destructive technologies. We are not yet all on the same page, but human consciousness may turn on a dime, like global climate when it reaches a tipping point. The latter may have to happen to enable the former.

Knowledge of the global trend to redefine wealth and security helps sustain those who understand and welcome fundamental change and its associated challenges. But many who staked their lives on jobs, property, consuming, owning stocks, etc. will be bewildered as they discover what their ancestors knew: wealth is much more than money. (more…)

Tiny Houses

April 04, 2013 By: NCVeditor Category: Ecology, Economy, Guest Author

Living Simply So That Others May Simply Live

by Delo Freitas

It is an interesting time to be looking for a home in America. Though known for capitalism and consumerism, McDonalds and McMansions, emerging counter movements seek to promote sustainable living through the most personal of methods, and the one most tied up with the American dream — the home. Especially in the face of 2008’s economic crisis, more and more Americans are embracing the “Tiny House Movement,” in which each square foot is utilized to its full potential. Living small is, in its own way, a form of subversion: It decommodifies the idea of “home,” promotes a DIY (Do It Yourself) ethic in one the largest sectors of the U.S. economy, and places control back into the hands of homeowners instead of finance capitalists, speculators and the global market. (more…)

Put It Behind Us

December 31, 2012 By: NCVeditor Category: Culture, Ecology, Economy, Jan Lundberg

New Year’s Resolutions for a More Simplified and Peaceful Life

by Jan Lundberg

To put behind us the “con$umerist relationship” that we have with nature, we can do something new that may be radically traditional. Judge for yourself whether if done widely, it might inspire to move us faster toward a paradigm of actual sustainability. Maybe it’s something like this new set of alternative New Year’s resolutions. Some of them happen to be gift options too. Let the fun and peaceful rebellion begin, starting with a solstice party.

Humans did evolve by spending many a millennium in “the Garden” — pre-civilized living without the antithesis of nature, i.e., the city. It is obvious we now need to bring back our intimate relationship with the Earth before it is too late. It this all sounds too familiar or boring, what about being a little subversive, eh? It’s simple: (more…)

Noise for Palestine

December 26, 2012 By: NCVeditor Category: Christine Baniewicz, Culture, Current Events

‘I Have Friends There, and I Don’t Know What to Do’

by Christine Baniewicz

My best recurring celebrity-demagogue fantasy starts like this: My boss calls me into his office…

“Christine,” he says, leaning back into his executive office chair, hands clasped across his belly. I’m perched at the edge of my seat across from him. My shoulders hunch down, preemptively apologetic.

“Mind telling me what the fuck this is about?” There’s a laptop open on his desk and I rise from my seat, cross closer to him, close enough to catch a faint whiff of his older-guy Polo deodorant and there, pasted across his computer screen like a smear of virtual finger paint, is my essay “Tears of Gaza”.

My stomach liquefies. My neck sweats. Physiological apocalypse sweeps across my body and I attempt to say something with dignity, like “I wrote that because I have friends who live in Palestine.” But I’m too far melted down and it comes out soupy, wet, and quiet. (more…)

‘Tis the Season

December 11, 2012 By: NCVeditor Category: Culture, Economy, Lawrence Wittner

Consumerism Is America’s Real Religion…

by Lawrence Wittner

Although fundamentalist fanatics have been working for decades to turn the United States into a “Christian nation,” they have not had much success along these lines. One reason for their failure is that religious minorities and non-believers have resisted. And another is probably that a large number of Americans want to preserve religious tolerance and avoid theocracy. But it might also reflect the fact that the United States is now firmly in the grip of a different religion: shopping.

After all, in this “holiday season” the dominant activity does not seem to be traditional religious worship or prayer. The recently concluded Black Friday provided the occasion not only for an orgy of consumer spending, but for ferocious action by screaming mobs of shoppers who engaged in mass riots in their desperate attempts to obtain a variety of products. (more…)

Economic Indifference

December 04, 2012 By: NCVeditor Category: Current Events, Economy, Robert C. Koehler

On Brand Names and Mass Graves…

by Robert C. Koehler

Cheap clothes! Their cost, as it turns out, is beyond calculation.

“Babul Mia said he identified his wife Mariam Begum, 25, who was apparently burnt beyond recognition, but he could identify her bangles and her small teeth,” reported Bangladesh’s main English-language newspaper, The Daily Star.

“Zahera Begum, who worked on the fifth floor of Tazreen Fashions, too, was identified by her husband Iqramul from her nose ring, bangles and necklace.”

So a fire swept through a sweatshop in Bangladesh on Nov. 24, killing at least 112 people, nearly half of whom were unidentifiable and buried in a mass grave. (more…)


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