Kids & Company Blog

4 Foolproof Ways to Get Involved in Green Friday

Most of us are no strangers to Black Friday—the official start of the holiday shopping season known for its deals, deals and more deals. (Put up your hand if you’ve lined up at 6 a.m. for a great sale… Same here.)

If Black Friday (this year on November 24) is all about consumption and spending, Green Friday (also November 24)—the lesser-known name for the Friday after American Thanksgiving—encourages shoppers to reconsider their purchases and start buying more responsibly, sustainably, locally, ethically and mindfully. 

Green Friday started in 2015, but it was influenced by Canada’s “Buy Nothing Day,” which dates to 1992. An educational initiative meant to promote mindful shopping—or literally taking a day to not buy anything at all—turned into a movement that reminds us that there’s an environmental cost to overbuying. While Black Friday has its benefits (none of us are immune to the tough economy, and sales can certainly help families), there are underlying issues putting a strain on our planet that can’t be ignored: This is a day that discourages widespread overconsumption, waste (all that non-biodegradable packaging fills up landfills, as do the impulse purchases we end up not wanting or needing), increased carbon emissions, overconsumption of energy and unsustainable shopping practices, to name just a few. Green Friday raises awareness amid the environmental crisis we’re in and reminds us to consider our purchases and the effects they have on our world. 

Don’t get us wrong—we’re not saying you shouldn’t take advantage of a deal or two on Black Friday, but don’t get caught up in the hype. Instead, try making your Black Friday a little greener. Here are four ways (and a bonus tip!) to consider. 

1. Go for quality. Quantity is overrated. Quality has to do with sustainability. Spend your hard-earned money on well-made products that aren’t just a fad—better-quality pieces that stand the test of time are good options. Paying more attention to quality also minimizes the need to replace things, which saves money and reduces waste. 

2. Support local. We love local makers and artisans. Supporting our communities does more than boost our local economies—it also plays a huge role when it comes to reducing our carbon footprints and cutting the emissions from vehicles shipping products. Plus, buying from a talented artisan who runs a small business and gives back to their community (instead of a multinational that might not have the same ethical standards) will make you feel good. 

3. Plan your purchase. Make a list of things you’re hoping to score on Black Friday but be intentional about those items. Don’t just buy for the sake of a good deal. Instead, make a budget and save money (and reduce waste) by sticking to it.

4. Buy green brands. Do your research and opt for companies that are proud about their eco-friendly products and sustainable practices. Making a thoughtful and purposeful choice to support retailers and brands is one way to do your part in protecting the planet. 

Bonus tip: Pay attention to packaging. Companies that use recycled and biodegradable products are likely more conscious about their overall impact on the environment. 

Think of all the good you’re doing (and the positive example you’re setting for friends and family!) even if you make just one of these ideas a priority this year. It’s good for the planet, and our pocketbook. Happy shopping!

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