Press release for immediate release.

To make the tenth ‘Buy Nothing Day’ in Birmingham the biggest ever, Friends of the Earth have invited members of other environmental groups, such as People and Planet, Oxfam and Greenpeace, to parade through the streets of the city centre together dressed as Santa Claus.


This picture above is taken from last year’s event.

The idea behind the day is to spread a fun message that Christmas does not have to be about over-consumption, stress and debt.

According to organiser Andy Pryke, in such tough economic times it is more relevant than ever. He says “We should look at the unsustainable cycle of consumption and waste. The current financial and ecological crisis should be an opportunity to re-examine what money is spent on and how resources are managed.”

The Santas carry placards with satirical slogans such as “Buy more, be happy” and “Spend, don’t think” while handing out leaflets to people about Buy Nothing Day.

Campaigns Support Worker at Birmingham Friends of the Earth, Joe Peacock, explains “This is a simple message. We are not telling people what to do, but asking them to consider what impact their actions have on themselves and the environment. Rich Western countries have 20% of the world’s population, but consume 80% of its resources.”

Midlands Young Friends of the Earth co-ordinator Richard Sagar further elaborated “We’re not anti-Christmas or anti-shops, we want to promote the use of small local businesses, and locally sourced or fair-trade products that don’t contribute to damaging the world’s ecosystems.”

These Santas say it’s time for positivity, not doom and gloom, as happiness doesn’t come from expensive presents, but from thinking about the ones you love and giving consideration, time and love to them.


Photo Opportunity:
Saturday 26th November 12.30pm . Green activists will embark on their Santa Parade for Buy Nothing Day, waving placards with slogans such as “Money Can Buy You Love” and encouraging people to look at what they spend to help the environment and themselves in difficult economic times. For more details, times and locations contact Joe Peacock.

Extra Information / Notes

Contact Joe Peacock, Birmingham Friends of the Earth on 0121 632 6909 or

1. Birmingham Friends of the Earth is an environmental campaigning group who have been running campaigns on issues of local and national importance for over 30 years. There is further information available on our website and blog

2. Buy Nothing Day was first organised in Canada in 1992 to examine the issue of over consumption, but has now spread to over 30 countries from New Zealand to Norway and the Philippines to Poland:

3. Friends of the Earth this year released a ground-breaking report with new indicators for the EU to measure and reduce its resource use. This includes not just the carbon footprint, but also the amount of land, water and materials used in the making of products: