Friday, November 23, 2007

Happy Buy Nothing Day!

From the all-knowing Wikipedia:

Buy Nothing Day is an informal day of protest against consumerism observed by social activists. In 2007, Buy Nothing Day falls on November 23rd in North America and November 24th internationally.[1] It was founded by Vancouver artist Ted Dave and subsequently promoted by the Canadian Adbusters magazine.
The first Buy Nothing Day was organized in Vancouver in September of 1992 "as a day for society to examine the issue of over-consumption."[2] In 1997, it was moved to the Friday after American Thanksgiving, which is one of the top 10 busiest shopping days in the United States. Outside of North America, Buy Nothing Day is celebrated on the following Saturday. Despite controversies, Adbusters managed to advertise Buy Nothing Day on CNN, but many other major television networks declined to air their ads.[3] Soon, campaigns started appearing in United States, the United Kingdom, Israel, Germany, New Zealand, Japan, the Netherlands, and Norway. Participation now includes more than 65 nations.[4]
While critics of the day charge that Buy Nothing Day simply causes participants to buy the next day,[5] Adbusters states that 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."[

While I agree that it isn't about changing your habits for one day, it DOES make you realize during that 24 hours how much you do actually shop in one day! Gas, coffee at Second Cup, groceries...its all spending!

Unfortunately I am not participating, I have to gas up the car for Calgary this morning. Point in case tho, I just would have bought it yesterday instead of today, not really a mind-bending shift in my spending reality ;)

Tomorrow is the international date, feel free to challenge yourself!

Monday, November 19, 2007

Son pumps up wattage for late mom

The owner of one of Edmonton's most famous Christmas houses has managed to outdo himself again this year.

In honour of his dear mother Maisie, who died of diabetes last month at the age of 82, Jerry Dolynchuk has doubled the 100,000 lightbulbs that normally adorn his home come the holidays, all in the name of charity.

"I've got at least 200,000 bulbs up this year and my very own power box from EPCOR. That way I won't keep blowing the fuses for the entire block," Dolynchuk said of his house at 9619 144 Ave.

In years past he's asked visitors to donate to the Edmonton Food Bank, but this year his goal is to raise $100,000 for the Canadian Diabetes Association.

The house, which will cost around $5,000 to light for the season, is decorated with about 20 dancing Santas and snowmen, 11 window dioramas, and countless reindeer, polar bears, wreaths, candy canes and Christmas stockings.

When it's lit up it can be seen from 20 blocks away.

"I'm calling it Maisie's Christmas House this year in honour of my mother. She always loved the lights and taught me a lot about how diabetes affects so many people's lives. She suffered for the last 25 or 30 years of her life. This is my way of giving back and establishing her legacy."

Dolynchuk said it's taken him about eight weeks to get all the lights ready for the season.

"I started a few days before she died. After that things didn't go so well and I was going to give up on the lights, but my brother encouraged me to finish it in her memory. I'm so glad I did.

Maise's Christmas House operates from 5 p.m. to 11 p.m. every day until Jan. 7.

Santa keeps regular hours at the house and visitors are asked to bring cash and clothing donations for the diabetes association.