Of course, I strongly suggest that you buy locally and preferably handmade, but I understand that some things are only available in big stores.
Here is my guest writer, Leigh, a green blogger from Green4U, to tell us how to make your Black Friday greener.
People have very strong feelings about Black Friday they either live for it every year or avoid it and think of it as the worst possible thing to do. I have only participated in Black Friday once but I did follow some of the tips below and I learned some of them by being a first-timer. If you are purchasing gifts for the holidays you can take advantage of Black Friday in an eco-friendly way.
- Bring a refillable water bottle: Stay hydrated; you cannot fall down due to dehydration during a shopping bonanza. You do not want to have to purchase a plastic bottle of water at 6:00am four hours into your morning!
- Car Pool: My first Black Friday experience was one that involved car-pooling and I am so thankful for it! Part of the excitement of shopping is to go with people, see what deals you get, how fast you can get through the store, how much you save…etc. If you car pool you also save gas and reduce air pollution.
- Tablet/Phone Coupons: Find your coupons and items on your iPad, tablet, or phone prior to leaving. No paper to carry around and if you flag everything it will be easier when you check out. If you forget just search while you on the long checkout lines. I have saved several hundred dollars over the years just searching my email or the internet while on-line to pay.
- Healthy Snacks: Pack snacks. You will save time and environment by packing your own snacks in your reusable bags. No paper wrappers, bags, and other packaging and you can eat while you shop rather than having to stop.
- Shop local: Go to the stores that are open in your area. If you are going to go to a big box store find the ones that are the closest to you. You might want to search on-line because I have been surprised at what location is closer to me when I map it out on the computer.
- Start at the farthest away place: As a gas saving measure if you go to the farthest away place first your car is warmed up and is more efficient for future trips.
- Reusable bags: Bring ALL of your reusable bags with you and pack them up. This is also a great way to sneak the gifts back into the house. If the kids think that secret extra bag you left in the car that comes in with the groceries is just food.
- Buy gifts with minimal packaging: Look for gifts that come with the least amount of packaging. No extra boxes, no extra layer of protection. This is a very hard thing to do especially with children’s toys but make as many purchases as you can with minimal packaging.
- Buy eco-friendly items: Sounds easy but often time you will see more than one version of an item, always pick the most eco-friendly items. Good example of this: if you are buying your friend the writer a journal, buy one made with recycled paper and a plastic free cover maybe even printed with soy ink.
- Try to get ALL your gifts: If you are out and shopping get for everyone of your list. Take advantage of the fact that you have gone to mall/store and finish your shopping. That will be the best for the environment, Cyber Monday requires each package to come on separate truck or each additional trip to the mall causes more air pollution.
Karen: So while I think you can find most gifts that are handmade and locally, if you must buy a gift that’s only available in big stores, keep these great tips in mind and be safe out there on Friday.
And have a Happy Thanksgiving!
About the guest writer: Leigh is a mother of two children and was born an environmentalist. She writes two blogs: Green4U giving green living tips to the average person and What I Want My Kids To Know, a blog of funny thoughts and advice to her kids. You can follow her on Twitter @greenforu and on Facebook at Green4u Blog
First Image: CC Image via Flickr