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Keeping It Green on Black Thursday/Friday

Some major retailers aren’t satisfied with Black Friday anymore. They’re extending sales so they start Thursday evening. I can’t say the idea pleases me too much, having worked enough retail to know what a pain it is to have time limits on your holiday. But however long the sales go on, one thing you should keep in mind is how you keep your shopping green. Here are some ideas.

1. Participate in Buy Nothing Day

Who says you have to buy anything? You can refuse to participate in the whole Black Thursday/Friday thing and just not go shopping. Easy and more or less stress free. There are even some ideas for those of you who want to get out in the crowds anyhow.

Now, for those who are going to shop…

2. Plan Ahead

You can certainly get some great deals from Black Friday sales. If you’re going to do it, figure out what it is you want to buy, rather than allow yourself to be sucked into buying nearly random stuff because it looked neat and was cheap.

Planning ahead allows you to research your purchases ahead of time. What’s most energy efficient? Are you satisfied with how the products are made and what they’re made of? Are there better alternatives out there?

3. Bring Your Reusable Shopping Bags

They’re such a simple thing, so easy to forget, but also such a good idea to take along. Reusable shopping bags are often more comfortable to carry than plastic, anyhow.

4. Don’t Stress About the Perfect Parking Space

Parking lots can be a nightmare on major shopping days like this. Don’t worry about getting a great parking space. You’ll spend less time idling your engine if you take a more readily available parking space rather than hunting for a close one.

5. Take Public Transportation

On the other hand, you don’t have to drive yourself if there’s good public transportation in your area. Perhaps it isn’t as convenient, but then there’s no struggle to get a good parking space.

6. Check Out the EPA’s Recommendations

The EPA has some good recommendations to keep your shopping more eco friendly, such as buying Energy Star electronics, rechargeable batteries and recycled products.

7. Look For Deals From Eco Friendly Retailers

You hear the most about deals from big box stores such as Walmart and Target, but don’t forget the eco friendly companies out there. Find out which of your favorites have great deals going on. They may not all have deals special to the day, but some will.

8. Consider Gift Certificates, Experiences and Memberships

You don’t have to give a big thing to make a great gift. Think about gift certificates, experiences you can give a person such as rock climbing, seeing a show, etc., and memberships to places they like to go regularly. My mother like to get my kids passes to different places, and while they may not be specifically eco friendly, the experiences are great, and the kids don’t end up with so much toy clutter.

9. Shop Online

Why go anywhere? Handle your shopping from the comfort of your own home. No crowds, less stress, and many deals are available online as well as at the stores in your area.

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