IT’S HARDER than you think to buy nothing for a day.

An antidote to consumerism, Buy Nothing Day takes place on the same day as Black Friday.

It’s an annual, 24-hour, detox from shopping, so while the world and his wife are battling it out for cut-price air fryers, others are staying at home and finding alternative, less stressful, more planet-friendly ways to spend time. Its main message is that we think about the environmental impact of shopping.

But it’s not that easy. Even staying in bed all day, money could still be leaving our bank accounts. Most of us have direct debits, many of which come out of our accounts towards the end of the month to coincide with pay day. We might not be buying a bargain sofa or a half-price coat, but we’re still parting with money for mobile phones, gas and electricity, and what I class as unnecessary luxuries like Netflix and Sky Sports.

And I suspect many of those pledging to take part in ‘Spend Nowt Day’ - as the event is known in Yorkshire - will more than likely do an extra-big shop prior to it, defeating the object of the exercise.

But having said that, Buy Nothing Day is a nice idea. It’s a day when you have a reason to go for a walk or sit and read a book, while pondering the meaning of life and of shopping.

Can such events make a difference to our behaviour? I don’t think so. The world is driven by consumerism and we would need to rethink and change our whole lives to alter that. Sadly, the vast majority of people would balk at the thought.

It’s ridiculous how much time and money we spend shopping. The problem is, we can shop around-the-clock, all day every day. When not out shopping people are able to pour over millions of products from online retailers.

A study by Meraki Travel revealed how a third of people in the UK spend more time researching things to buy online than they do socialising with friends, cooking, exercising and even watching TV.

There’s now more fuss over Black Friday than the Boxing Day sale. The event whips people into a frenzy. I'll never forget witnessing two people fighting over a widescreen TV early one Black Friday in Asda. You’d have thought their lives depended on it. Why was I there, in the middle of the feeding frenzy? I worked in a local farm shop and my boss had been unable to get broccoli at the wholesalers. I'd gone to stock up.

Black Friday began in America as an annual post-Thanksgiving event which traditionally marks the start of the Christmas shopping season. Like trick or treat, it has found its way over here.

The furore surrounding the event - with advertising weeks in advance - encourages people to buy goods they don’t even need. If they think they are getting a bargain people will part with their hard-earned cash far more readily.

It's better to spend the day staying clear of the shops, avoiding Amazon, ASOS and the like, and buying nothing.

We rarely stop to think about the less appetising side of shopping. With production and transport costs, plus the staggering amount of waste it generates, shopping is highly damaging to the environment.

Most of us - me included, I'm ashamed to admit - don’t give that a thought when we’re hitting the high street. We love shopping, buying things we covet leaves us on a high, and we are not going to curtail that any time soon.

Maybe next year Buy Nothing Day should extend to a long weekend, with a day added every year- until we reach Buy Nothing Week. It wouldn’t change the world but it would be an interesting experiment.