It’s hard to believe that Thanksgiving is just around the corner with Black Friday right on its heels. For those of you in different countries, here in the United States the Friday after Thanksgiving is typically known as Black Friday. The term has different meanings to different people and has evolved over the years. It is known for being the busiest shopping day of the year, marking the official start of the holiday shopping season, marking the turning point where businesses start going into the black-or turning a profit, and being the day where people get up way too early and go shopping for good deals.
For me it means typically avoiding all shopping centers and people in general, but this year I want to help evolve Black Friday into something new–Green Friday. I know that there will always be people out there that are die hard Black Friday early shoppers who have been making this a family holiday in and of itself since they were little children, there are people that despise the commercialism that it represents and that there are people in the middle who can take it or leave it and don’t see that it is a big deal.
Wherever you stand, this is a perfect opportunity and time in our history to incorporate green ideas to this frenzy that is Black Friday. I know that this is a tall order. You don’t have to incorporate all of these ideas all at once, but if we can get a lot of people to do one or two per year—who knows?
I will list a few ideas below that I will be trying to do this year as well as a few others to get the ball rolling. What have you done in the past or what are you trying to do this year to make it a Green Friday?
Bringing my own bags to the shopping mall can help, but they were designed for groceries. I would suggest when you get a large bag at your first store, maybe try to add more stuff in that bag instead of getting more bags. I would also suggest you bring a large box to store in your trunk so you can go back to your car and drop things off and reuse that free bag you got at the first store. Always remember and practice safe shopping techniques.
When you take a break from your shopping, if you normally eat out, take a break at a local slow food restaurant. Not only will you get a good meal, you are supporting local merchants as well. Packing a quick lunch can help. You might as well get a start on knocking out some of that leftover turkey.
Head to the craft show or try to buy more handmade local gifts. Make sure to practice the rule of quality over quantity. I would rather fewer quality items that I need rather than more plastic stuff made from a far away country that I will rarely use.
Think of others by picking a child or less fortunate individual from an Angel Tree or similar program where you can make a difference. I would rather know that someone has a coat or toy to play with on Christmas rather than have that extra gadget.