Happy Black Friday!
To make your Black Friday a little greener, here are a few tips to kick off the holiday shopping season.
1. Look for American-made products. This ensures that your purchase didn’t travel too far to get to your shopping cart.
2. Shop vintage and antiques for that hard-to-buy-for relative. You can find loads of unique, inexpensive items at your local flea market and antique store.
3. Draw names from a hat. My brothers and I started this tradition a couple years ago to cut down on expenses and holiday stress. If you have a big family, see if you can play Secret Santa or draw names to reduce spending (and packaging) during the holidays.
4. Remember your reusable bags! Surely you’ve collected many over the past several months (I own at least 10!). Put them to good use when you’re out shopping, and who knows: If you only have a few bags, maybe that will deter you from overspending (or at least encourage you to take a break!).
5. Hit up Cyber Monday sales and just avoid the craziness of Black Friday. Remember to be aware of shipping costs and carbon emissions when doing an online haul. Online shopping’s eco-friendliness may cancel out if you shop several online sites and rush ship everything you purchase. Make a list of gifts to purchase and figure out what hot spot you could hit up to minimize carbon emissions from shipping.
6. Check out Craigslist or Freecycle for fresh finds from your local neighbors. You never know what you might find!
7. If you’re buying for a child this year, consider contributing to his college fund instead of buying more plastic presents. Make cookies or other treats for the child if you’re worried about not having something for him to open.
8. Make your purchase stretch the extra mile by shopping through sites that contribute to eco-friendly causes. Check out Earth Moment for carbon-neutral shopping.
9. For those of you who will be wrapping presents and stashing them away tonight, remember to choose recycled wrapping paper or, even better, use the paper you already have: magazine pages (I did this last year), comics section of the newspaper and any other scrap paper. Colorful collages look beautiful under the tree.
10. Of course, I can’t write a greening your Black Friday post without mentioning that participating in “Buy Nothing Day” is the easiest way to be green and keep your cool on the busiest shopping day of the year. Avoid the craze and chill out at home with leftovers, family and a good movie while 128 million high-stress shoppers hit up the stores.
Photo By ianqui/Courtesy flickr