Tag Archives: black friday

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.

Black Friday Lines – and People Complain About Occupy Protesters

I’ve been hearing quite a bit about Black Friday lately. You can’t help it if you pay attention to just about any news source around here. People lined up days in advance, skipping their family’s Thanksgiving dinner just to get deals on whatever they’re after.

All I can think is about how much people complain about Occupy protesters sitting around too much. I’d sooner do that than spend days in line to buy something. At least they’re making a statement about a cause they believe in, hoping to make the world a little better, rather than spending days camping out to buy more things.

Admittedly, camping out for Black Friday is not without risk. You could get pepper sprayed by a fellow shopper apparently wanting to get ahead in line. You could get trampled by the crowds. Horror of horrors, you could miss out on whatever it was you’d hoped to buy. You just don’t know.

Personally, I can think of better uses for my time. Sales happen other times, and some patience can get you a really good deal with less trouble. I value my time too highly to trade days of my life for even a few hundred dollars saved.

Just think of what you could do with that time that others spent in Black Friday lines. I mentioned the various Occupy protests, but you certainly don’t have to join them. You can pick your own cause to support.

7 Ways to Have a More Eco Friendly Black Friday

Here comes one of the biggest shopping days of the year – Black Friday. It’s a time when many people go wild with their Christmas shopping, determined to get the best bargains, even if that means shopping all night at one of the many stores that plans to be open all night that night. If you don’t like the ridiculous overspending encouraged by Black Friday, why not rebel and find something to do that’s easier on the environment?

1. Participate in Buy Nothing Day

In North America, Buy Nothing Day is the day after Thanksgiving, otherwise known as Black Friday. If you don’t approve of joining the crowds, show it, even if you plan to do Christmas shopping later. Just refuse to shop on Black Friday.

I love Buy Nothing Day because it means I can sit back and enjoy family at a time that’s a little quieter than Thanksgiving itself. Leftovers mean that meals are often easy to come by, and we’ve all done our holiday routine. Why hurry into the rush of the holiday season when you can ease yourself into it only as far as necessary? Take this day off.

2. Make homemade gifts.

If you’re into crafts, cooking and so forth, why not start work on your homemade gifts? I’m making a beautiful hair stick pair for my oldest daughter… good thing she doesn’t read my websites, I can say things like that. She has wanted one for ages. Might have to hand it over a bit before the holiday so she can wear it for Christmas.

3. Go shopping at thrift and resale stores.

Rather than buy new, see what you can find used to give as Christmas gifts. You may be able to find some gifts that are quite affordable used, but would be prohibitively expensive if bought new. Know your audience and go for it.

You may also be able to find great used items on sites such as eBay, Craigslist, Freecycle and so forth.

4. Buy warm clothes and bedding.

Want to save a little on your heating bills this winter? Seek out deals on warmer clothes and blankets for your bed. The warmer you dress, the less you have to heat your house to keep comfortable. Same goes for your bed when you go to sleep at night.

5. Go hiking.

Why stay indoors when you can get outside. Whether or not you can reasonably go hiking depends, of course, on your local weather, but if it’s just a matter of bundling up you may still be able to have some fun out there. Keep it safe and respect local conditions, of course.

6. Volunteer.

Have a cause you’d like to support? Get out and help it rather than go shopping. You could also join one of the Occupy groups if that’s an interest of yours, just for the day or longer if you like. Just do something that is your way of trying to make this world a little better.

7. Seek out eco friendly products – cautiously.

If you really need to get out into the sales, look for the eco friendly options out there. That may include a lot of online shopping, which allows you to avoid the crowds, plus you don’t have to drive anywhere.

It also means you can more easily seek out eco friendly products. Do be careful, as there’s so little regulation of green claims. See if there are any great deals on eco friendly products. Remember to include toys for the kids in your search. Places to shop include (I don’t know who all will be having Black Friday or Cyber Monday sales):

Greenbatteries Store
Ethical Ocean
Earth Divas
Gifts With Humanity
Amazon Green

Planning My Avoidance of Black Friday

That’s right, I loathe Black Friday. It strikes me as just another example of excess consumerism, and a chance for people to start overspending early. That and I spent too many years in retail during college to have any appreciation for large shopping crowds.

My husband on the other hand intends to head out. I hope I can get him to call me before making too many decisions about Christmas gifts. He’s not so good on a budget and we need to be good this year. Really, really good since we’re still recovering from his being out of work for 6 months earlier this year.

I don’t mind keeping an eye on the online deals, although I almost never buy anything. It’s mostly stuff beyond what I’d consider for presents.

This is a year we are cutting way back on Christmas anyhow. My sisters and I have discussed options for simplifying things. My inlaws have announced their intention to simplify this year. They were shocked by my highly enthusiastic reaction.

But I figure it should be more about the holiday anyhow. Let’s face it, most adults these days in this country can buy their own needs and an awful lot of wants. That’s a part of why so many people are having trouble with credit now, but nonetheless so many Christmas gifts merely add to the clutter.

We’re looking a lot at gifts of help or fun times together this year. Might paint at my mom’s house. Might take the kids out for mini golf. Things that are fun, but don’t add to the mess.