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Consumerism is a major part of Western culture all year, but there is no day more iconic for shopping and spending than Black Friday. Unfortunately, those deals at the mall have pretty serious impacts on the climate. For socially conscious consumers hoping to reduce their impact, there is another option: MAKE SMTHNG Week. This global event is a celebration of creating and reusing instead of buying new. Greenpeace organizers write on their website: “We believe that if you made something, you will buy more consciously next time, whether it’s food, fashion or mobile phones.” 

For the third year in a row, MAKE SMTHNG Week events will occur all over the world. However, rather than just focus on one week, this year MAKE SMTHNG events will be extended out across several weeks to increase the opportunities for impact. “We’ve seen that the shared experience of making things with others can lead to lasting change in both the lifestyle choices of of participants and in the way that they engage with their communities,” says Shareable’s Tom Llewellyn. “We’re proud to be collaborating with Greenpeace and other partners to support communities to host events where people can opt-in to an alternative way of celebrating the holidays while forging new relationships and behaviors that will last throughout the year.”

There are many ways to be involved in MAKE SMTHNG Week. Participants can attend an event, but the organizers also suggest planning an event of your own, sharing about the movement on social media, or even becoming a MAKE SMTHNG ambassador (ambassadors receive global virtual trainings, coordinate with press and inform others in their community about the movement). 

The spirit of MAKE SMTHNG can apply to all sorts of activities: whether it is cooking food instead of buying, using food scraps to make a broth, upcycling clothing or other materials, or reusing pieces of broken items to make new DIYs, creativity can play a huge part in sustainability. As we continue to work toward creating a more just, more eco-friendly world, we will have to work together to coordinate the best ways to use resources that is respectful to the planet. MAKE SMTHNG Week is a fun way that everyone can participate in sustainability, just by creating something at home. Use hashtags #MakeChangeNow, #MakeSMTHNG, #BuyNothing, and #MakersforClimate when you participate.


This post is part of our Winter 2019 editorial series on waste reduction. Get our free ebook on this series: “Beyond Waste: Community Solutions to Managing Our Resources.” Shareable is a partner of this project with Greenpeace. 

Take a look at the other articles in the series:

Casey O'Brien


Casey O'Brien |

Casey O'Brien is a freelance journalist based in the Bay Area of California. Casey focuses most of her reporting on big problems and how we can solve them: she writes