As Black Friday looms larger and earlier each year, the excitement can be palpable, but so too can the chaos and overwhelm. Ahead of this bustling season, we've been pondering ways to make Black Friday greener and more meaningful. Here are some ideas to help you align your shopping habits with your values and give back to the planet while you hunt for those deals:
1. Shop with a Purpose
In the sea of brands and discounts, consider shopping in alignment with your values. Many companies are now dedicated to sustainability, giving back, and causes beyond their products. Make a conscious effort to spend your dollars with brands that care about the issues that matter to you. Not only will you get the cool gear you love, but you'll also contribute to positive change in the world. (Just like our mission to remove litter from outdoor spaces!)
2. Support Small Businesses
Shopping small can be a game-changer. These businesses often go the extra mile to connect with customers, source materials locally, and build deeper relationships. Plus, it's a more personal and authentic shopping experience. Ditch the big box chains, and shop small whenever possible during Black Friday.
3. Minimize Shipping Impact
Before you hit that "Buy Now" button, consider combining shipments. This simple step can significantly reduce waste, emissions, and fuel consumption. Make sure you have all your desired items in your cart before checking out.
4. Tackle Impulse Purchases
It's easy to fall into the trap of buying just for the sake of it during this season. We've all been there, so no judgment. To curb impulse purchases, take a moment to reflect on whether you or your loved ones will genuinely use, like, and appreciate what you're buying. Also, keep an eye out for deals on items you were already planning to purchase or stock up on essentials like cleaning or pet supplies. This will help you avoid overconsumption and save some money.
5. Recycle Old Electronics Responsibly
As Black Friday often brings electronics upgrades, it's crucial to dispose of your old devices properly. Shockingly, only 20 percent of electronic and electrical waste (e-waste) is ever formally recycled, according to the United Nations Environment Programme. E-waste in landfills can contaminate soil and groundwater, so don't simply toss your electronics in the trash. Seek out local buyback programs or designated drop-off centers; many stores, like Best Buy, accept e-waste for recycling.
6. Give Back (And Reconnect) to Nature
Amidst the hustle and bustle of the season, take a moment to step back, disconnect, and reconnect with nature. Go outside, take a family walk, and appreciate the beauty around you. Consider volunteering or participating in a cleanup, such as those organized by Keep Nature Wild. If there aren't any events nearby, gather your friends and family for a small cleanup. Show your appreciation for the natural world and give back to the planet that provides so much.