Ahh. The holidays. Eating, sleeping, bargaining with God for a parking space at the mall, praying for a quick death as you wait in long lines to buy the latest Fill In The Blank for I Barely Know This Person.
You could kick back, let the turkey leftovers be your nibbles, and watch the tube instead. Er, the internet. Because as an alternative to Black Friday shop-a-palooza, GrowthBusters will be streaming their movie, GrowthBusters: Hooked On Growth, this Friday. Never heard of them? Of course you have; they’re a group of folks that, along with others, are trying to turn Black Friday into Buy Nothing Day. You know, the idea that sounds really awesome but you keep putting off because ZOMG SALES? Yeah, them. Plus, they did this:
Looking at my crammed holiday schedule, I know I could really use one less day of Stuff Doing. Wanna know how you can get in on the slow lane this Black Friday? Well, read the full release after the jump. Because I’m already starting with the downshifting y’all.
Alternative to Black Friday Shopping: Free Worldwide Film Screening
GrowthBusters Movie Team Suggests Less Consumption is More Sustainable
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo., Nov. 21, 2013 /PRNewswire/ — The team behind the documentary, GrowthBusters: Hooked on Growth is offering families an alternative to mall madness on Black Friday: stay home, enjoy quality family time, and tune into a free worldwide screening of a film that will change the way you look at the world.
Could it become a holiday tradition like It’s a Wonderful Life? Probably not. GrowthBusters doesn’t star Hollywood A-listers. It features interviews with the likes of Paul Ehrlich (The Population Bomb), Dennis Meadows (The Limits to Growth), Juliet Schor (True Wealth), and Bill McKibben (350.org). The film’s director, Dave Gardner, hopes it might inspire families to turn over a new leaf.
“We sing Christmas is ‘the most wonderful time of the year.’ But the holiday shopping season has become so commercialized it’s now ‘the most deadly time of the year’ for our children and the Earth,” says Gardner. “Robust economic growth requires we head for the mall and shop, baby, shop. But leaving our kids a world worth inheriting requires that we lighten our load on the planet.” The turbo-shopping holiday is deadly, he says, because the human race is consuming natural resources and converting them into waste at an unsustainable rate.
North Americans consume Earth’s resources at more than four times a sustainable rate (Global Footprint Network). “We are literally shopping our planet to death,” explains GrowthBusters Co-producer Lynsey Jones. “It’s time we shift priorities and find less destructive ways to give as well as provide entertainment and employment. Our happiness does not depend on how much ‘stuff’ we consume.”
Black Friday, the day after Thanksgiving in the U.S., has for several years been the busiest shopping day of the year. According to ShopperTrak, retail sales totals have increased year over year for the past three holiday seasons. 2012 saw a 2.5% increase over 2011. Shoppers in the 74 countries monitored spent roughly $250 billion during the 2012 holiday period.
A global movement to discourage shopping on Black Friday has been building steam. It was dubbed “Buy Nothing Day” in 1992 by Adbusters Magazine, to draw attention to the issue of over-consumption. Adbusters states it “isn’t just about changing your habits for one day” but “about starting a lasting lifestyle commitment to consuming less and producing less waste.”
In addition to the free, worldwide movie screening via the Internet, the GrowthBusters team is providing inspiration and information to help families discover alternatives to a high-consumption holiday season. The GrowthBusters website and facebook page offer ideas such as regifting, the promise of time together, and certificates good for a cooked meal, a massage or help on a project.