#CitizenFriday is Re-Action’s campaign in defiance of Black Friday.
Black Friday represents everything we stand against – big business, needless consumerism, overconsumption and (as Jane Shaw outlines in her brilliant article) a retail ‘race to the bottom’.
Conversely, #CitizenFriday is about us leaving the consumer story behind and using our agency as citizens to “share, repair and get out in the fresh air”. Not only does this prevent the tonnes of CO2 associated with all the goods sold entering the atmosphere, but it fosters connection, community, encourages us to learn new skills, feel fit and healthy and develop our relationship with nature. We’ve written individual articles about all these ideas:
Embrace the sharing economy which includes peer-to-peer lending and borrowing, buying and selling second hand items and renting items too. Sharing isn’t limited to stuff either. We can share our time, our skills and experience too. Read our ‘Don’t Shop, Share!’ article here.
There’s more than one way to support the repair revolution. You could pick up a needle and do it yourself, find a local seamster or seamstress or buy from a business that repurposes old products into new ones. We have loads of examples and some top tips in our ‘Don’t Shop, Repair! article.
Get out in the Fresh Air
What’s better – sitting in front of a computer waiting for the Black Friday sales to drop or getting outside? Science shows us that getting outside produces more happy hormones and co-benefits than shopping any day of the week. Check out our article about the benefits of exercising outdoors and how to find the motivation to just do it!
Be A Citizen
Jon Alexander, author of ‘Citizens, Why The Key To Fixing Everything Is All Of Us’, argues that the opposite of a consumer isn’t a non-consumer, it’s a citizen. Believe us, with the research he’s done, he should know. The origins of the word citizen mean ‘together people’. When he talks about citizen-ing he talks about people finding their cause, finding other people who share their cause and then together, doing something about it. Read Jon’s explanation and the steps to becoming a true citizen in this Q&A article.
Why not #CitizenFriday every Friday?
This campaign has captured more people’s imagination than we could have dreamed of. But there’s another great reason for us to continue this campaign. Results from the world’s biggest 4-day week trial have concluded that workers who work according to the 100-80-100 model (100% of the pay for working 80% of the time whilst delivering 100% of their usual output) are happier and less stressed. That’s because they used their extra day in meaningful ways, either connecting with friends, volunteering, spending it with family members and/or getting more exercise. This led to a mountain of positive outcomes. For businesses, workers were reported to be more productive, absenteeism went down, and more people applied for jobs. For the workers themselves, there was more time for socialising, volunteering and spending time with their children. They also saved money on lunches, commuting and childcare too.
An extra day off per week gave people in the trial the time to exercise their agency and more freedom to choose how they spend that time. As a result, they ended up embracing some of the ideas in the #CitizenFriday campaign such as exercise, sharing, connection.
So how about this for a call to action? Can we continue the #CitizenFriday campaign and use it to encourage more people shop less and citizen more? How about using it to convince more workplaces to adopt the 4 day week? This would allow workers the time, headspace and agency to choose how they spend more of their time. If you want to adopt the #CitizenFriday hashtag for these purposes, it’s all yours.