There is only one way to avoid the collapse of our species on the planet earth: we have to consume less. And I believe that the world renowned Reverend Billy Talen and the Church of Life after Shopping can show us the path to sustainable righteousness.Tracey Noelle Luz took this photograph of Reverend Billy Talen and a group of holiday elves actively promoting the liturgy of the Church of Stop Shopping.
Advocating for Local Sustainable Economies
Our national economy is already waist deep in creative destruction, and desperately in need of constructive change now. Reverend Billy has struggled for years to preach the sermon of sustainability and not shopping. The Church promotes three simple pillars of belief:
- Supporting and advocating for sustainable consumption
- Encouraging and establishing strong local economies
- Defending the First Amendment and public space
The Rev. Billy must be doing something right; he has been legally banned from coming within 250 yards of any of the 1500 Starbucks chain stores in the state of California. The brilliant documentary “What Would Jesus Buy?” poignantly illustrates the church’s solemn beliefs and chronicles their hilariously clever activism as they spread their gospel. It is the perfect holiday film to share with your loved ones.
Death by Consumerism
Over the years, Buy Nothing Day has exploded into a global movement, inspiring many of us to live more simply and buy a whole lot less. The 12% of the world’s population that lives in North America and Western Europe accounts for 60% of private consumption spending, while the one-third living in South Asia and sub-Saharan Africa accounts for only 3.2 percent. This clearly is not sustainable.
In the United States, Buy Nothing Day coincides with “Black Friday” (which falls on November 27 this year) the unofficial start of the international holiday shopping season, and it manifests in many ways. Some people fast for the day, or take relaxed family outings, while others, like Reverend Billy and his church, are more vocally political with their celebrations. Anyone of us can take part, provided that you just spend 24 hours without shopping.
Kalle Lasn, the co-founder of Adbusters Media Foundation, explained the situation simply:
“There’s only one way to avoid the collapse of this human experiment of ours on Planet Earth, we have to consume less … Our culture of excess and meaningless consumption – the glorified spending and borrowing of the past decade – is at the root of the ecological and economic crises we now find ourselves in.”
Not sure how effective a general strike will be right now—nearly everyone I know is already unemployed.
Buy Nothing Day
Participate by Not Participating