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Buy Nothing Day: A Stand Against Throw-Away Culture

Buy Nothing Day is Friday, November 27. Founded in Canada in 1992, the Buy Nothing Movement arose in protest of mass consumerism and the throw-away culture that accompanies it. The movement has grown and evolved over the past decades to include more than 65 nations. The biggest shopping day of the year—the day after Thanksgiving, or Black Friday—has become the movement’s international day of protest: Buy Nothing Day. Here at Mountain Rose Herbs (MRH), we applaud this effort and wholly support Buy Nothing Day! Overconsumption eats up natural resources and puts our planet in peril. As the CEO and owner of MRH, I encourage you NOT to shop with us on Friday, November 27. The fact that we, as a society, have created a national holiday of shopping suggests that our priorities need realignment. Buy Nothing Day is our act of pushback.

There are multiple problems with Black Friday promotions. Not only does this annual shopping frenzy promote overconsumption, it also tends to promote the buying of cheap goods made by workers who are not being adequately paid. At MRH, we have spent more than three decades working against this kind of inequity, dedicating ourselves to Fair for Life fair trade practices that provide our partner-farmers with living wages and access to education and health options. We also believe in quality over quantity, so we always opt to offer only as much of a high quality product as we can ethically and sustainably source, than to turn a profit on an ingredient that doesn't meet our standards for human and environmental health. Sometimes that means we go out of stock on an herb, and while this is frustrating for our customers and can impact our bottom line, we always prioritize planet over profit.

As a society, we are at a crossroads. The fragility of our environment has only gotten worse in recent years. We cannot continue to fill our oceans, landfills, and incinerators with single-use, throwaway items. We cannot continue to be complacent about our culture of consumerism. It's time to think about how much we really need in order to be happy, and to be more mindful of how and when we consume resources.

Beach Trash showing the effects of throw-away culture on the enf

In honor of Buy Nothing Day, our retail store in Eugene, Oregon will be closed and our website will also be blacked out. We hope you will join us in celebrating memorable experiences, sharing acts of kindness, and completing projects that feed our hearts and souls. Here are 10 ways to celebrate the tradition of Buy Nothing Day!

A child making crafts.

10 Ways to Participate in Buy Nothing Day

  1. Give rather than get. Collect warm clothing, food, and toiletries that can be donated to your local shelter
  2. Donate empty dropper bottles, extra herbs, and other supplies to a free clinic near you.
  3. Write heartfelt letters of gratitude to the people you hold most dear.
  4. Spend the day creating homemade gifts for the people you love. Browse our Mountain Rose Herbs blog for inspiration.
  5. Spend the day making elderberry syrup or homemade immune root beer for winter immune system support.
  6. Take a long walk and enjoy the beauty around you.
  7. Use the day to get something done that you’ve been putting off: organize your home apothecary, give the dog a bath, deal with your recipe file, etc.
  8. Find a Buy Nothing Project in your town or on social media. Or start your own!
  9. Find small ways to express gratitude for what you have, say thank you, sip a cup of tea and be content.
  10. Don't buy anything. Plain and simple.

Share your Buy Nothing Day activity with #BuyNothingDay

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Topics: Inside Mountain Rose Herbs, Sustainability


Written by Shawn on November 23, 2020

Shawn is Mountain Rose Herbs' owner and CEO. He first became involved with Mountain Rose Herbs as a passionate young idealist with a fervent desire to change the world. He was a notorious rabble-rouser, always petitioning for mandatory labeling on genetically modified food crops, encouraging people to support a strong conservation ethic, fighting for the protection of endangered or threatened species, and the protection and enhancement of our riparian areas. When Mountain Rose Herbs came into his life, Shawn saw it as an opportunity to change the way business is conducted on this planet. To this day, the revolutionary business principles that Shawn initiated have been used as a successful model by countless other organizations. Since becoming a co-owner of the company in 2001, he has continued to initiate bold and daring changes, most notably the eradication of all conventionally grown products from our product line, introducing the first line of fair trade certified medicinal herbs in the United States, implementing the design and deployment of our web presence, launching our zero waste program and our charitable giving program, and more. In his spare time, Shawn can be found deep within Oregon’s wilderness system, or lost in the pages of any book about ecology and the environment. He currently retains one of the nation’s largest collections of rare and antiquarian books that deal exclusively with nature writing and outdoor literature. With Thoreau, Abbey, and Muir being his favorites, of course! "All of our environmental issues can be connected to the embarrassing way that business abuses this planet. My objective is to stop this destructive pattern by offering an alternative modality and sharing that modality with others so we can all lead the change necessary to heal the planet"

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