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Today, the United States observes Thanksgiving – an event commonly associated with the arrival of Pilgrims and Puritans from England in the early 17th century.

Tomorrow is Black Friday – where shops in America (and other countries) offer big discounts and sales to mark the beginning of the Christmas shopping season. The shopping frenzy that occurs on Black Friday results in excessive consumerism with millions of people around the world purchasing goods, often without giving much thought to the environmental effects of their production and disposal.

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Here are some ways to counter the negative impacts of conspicuous consumption:

Go Against the Grain – Buy Nothing! buy keep-calm-and-dont-shop-green
Grassroots organisations that aim to increase people’s awareness to excessive consumerism have been gaining ground. One of the more popular movements is ‘Buy Nothing Day’ (BND) which intentionally occurs on Black Friday. Instead of consuming, thousands of people from at least 60 countries who take part go on a 24-hour spending detox.

In addition to buying nothing, BND supporters also organise activities like “zombie walks”, where participants walk around shopping malls with blank stares in their faces. There is also the “Wildcat General Strike” where people keep all their lights, electronics and other appliances turned off for a day. They don’t use their mobile phones or cars either!

Saturday Splurge
Critics of Buy Nothing Day point out that people tend to go on a shopping binge the day after. In comes ‘Small Business Saturday’ where shoppers are encouraged to support local economies by spending their money on local and independent shops instead of big retailers. (Here’s why it’s important.) Last year, American Express, a founding partner of the event, reported that 95 million people went out to shop at small businesses on Small Business Saturday, spending US$14.3 billion on purchases.

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Don’t Stop There
Being a sustainable shopper shouldn’t be limited to the holiday season. It is a conscious choice we should make with every single purchase. As always, the ultimate goal is living a life that is healthy for us and therefore the environment. Making sustainable choices is a lifetime challenge, but do it often enough and it becomes second-nature.

Remember that you’re not alone in this fight! Check out our Green Tips articles on how to form new sustainable habits and apps for a sustainable lifestyle.

And stay tuned next week, as we shine a light on people living alternative green lifestyles (think minimalists, freegans and dumpster divers).

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Trash Me with Rob Greenfield

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trash Rob Greenfield on the Salt Flats in Bolivia.

Rob Greenfield on the Salt Flats in Bolivia.

The average American creates 4.5 pounds of trash per day, so for 30 days, Rob Greenfield is going to live just like the average American. He’ll eat, shop, and consume like the average American. The catch? He has to wear every piece of trash he creates. 4.5 pounds of trash per day, will add up to 135 pounds of trash by day 30. That’s almost his body weight!

Most people never think twice about the trash they make. Once it’s in the garbage can it’s out of sight out of mind and although the 4.5 pounds of trash per day statistic is widely known, very few visuals exist to help people truly understand it. Through this project, Rob along with a team of filmmakers is out to change that for good. Trash Me will create an unforgettable and shocking visual of the trash that most of us create everyday that will stick in the minds of people and inspire them to drastically reduce the amount of trash they make. By keeping this project highly entertaining and eye catching, Trash Me will reach both people who have never thought about their waste as well as environmentalists who want to do better.

Throughout the 30 days, we will be covering the project live with a series of videos, Facebook live stream tutorials, blogs and media coverage. Rob will be a walking billboard of environmental awareness to educate and inspire people to make positive changes in their life to reduce their waste. And once the project is over we’ll release a film too. Follow the journey and on Rob’s Facebook page, and YouTube channel.

By Rob Greenfield. Read more about Rob’s adventures on RobGreenfield.TV.

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The Tourism Satellite Accounts 2007-08 Summary Spreadsheets provide each of Australia’s states and territories with comprehensive data on the economic impacts of visitor expenditure on their economies. The research has been undertaken by STCRC to help inform policy and planning initiatives for the three tiers of government and provide data for tourism industry representative bodies and tourism operators to support decisions in the areas of industry investment, advocacy, marketing, education and training. The Economic Contribution of Tourism to Australian States and Territories 2007–08 presents an overview of the economic impacts of visitor expenditure on state and territory economies as estimated in STCRC’s Tourism Satellite Accounts 2007–08. This document is intended to provide a ‘plain language’ simplified explanation of tourism’s economic contribution to Australia’s states and territories for the period 2007–08.

by Theip van Ho, Ray Spurr, Daniel Pumbudi, Peter Forsyth, Larry Dwyer and Serajul Hoque

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Tourism Satellite Account Victoria 2006/07

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This report provides estimates of the contribution of tourism to the economy of Western Australia. It replaces an earlier report released in March 2007. The estimates from the earlier report have been revised to reflect revisions to benchmark National data which were incorporated in the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) National Tourism Satellite Account (TSA) released on 11 May 2007.

by Ray Spurr, Thiep Van Ho, Peter Forsyth, Larry Dwyer, Daniel Pambudi and Serajul Hoque

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TSA-WA

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This report provides estimates of the contribution of tourism to the economy of Victoria. It replaces an earlier report released in March 2007. The estimates from the earlier report have been revised to reflect revisions to benchmark national data, which were incorporated in the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) National Tourism Satellite Account (TSA) released on 11 May 2007.

by Ray Spurr, Thiep Van Ho, Peter Forsyth, Larry Dwyer, Daniel Pambudi and Serajul Hoque

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Tourism Satellite Account Victoria 2003/04

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This report provides estimates of the contribution of tourism to the economy of Tasmania. It replaces an earlier report released in March 2007. The estimates from the earlier report have been revised to reflect revisions to benchmark national data, which were incorporated in the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) National Tourism Satellite Account (TSA) released on 11 May 2007.

by Ray Spurr, Thiep Van Ho, Peter Forsyth, Larry Dwyer, Daniel Pambudi and Serajul Hoque

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Tourism Satellite Account Tasmania 2003/04

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