Don't Be a Waste on Black Friday: Tips For Sustainable and Conscious Shopping

Don't Be a Waste on Black Friday: Tips For Sustainable and Conscious Shopping

As you may know, Black Friday has quickly become one of the biggest shopping days of the year in the U.S., closely followed by Cyber Monday (the Monday after Thanksgiving), Small Business Saturday, and many more days designed to get shoppers to spend more money on goods and services they don't necessarily need. 

If you try to avoid shopping because you're worried it's terrible for the planet, you're not alone! Here are some simple tips on avoiding being part of the problem on significant shopping days and being part of the solution instead.

5 Ways To Take A Stand

  1. Make your purchases count. That means looking for the best deals but not just buying anything. Look for items that will last or have lasting value, like tools, appliances, furniture, or toys that will be enjoyed by generations. 
  2. Only buy it if you can afford it in the first place. And only buy something because it's on sale if you really want or need it or know that you can afford it later. 
  3. Shop locally as much as possible to help stimulate the economy and reduce packaging waste. 
  4. Buy used products from thrift stores, garage sales, eBay, Craigslist, and friends and family members who no longer need them. 
  5. Keep careful records of your spending to monitor whether you're staying within your budgeted limits for gift-giving each year.

Consider Alternative Purchases

If you are still looking for gifts, consider buying an alternative purchase. Alternative purchases are things that people don't need but want, like jewelry or clothing. 

These items have the same price point as those you might buy for someone, but they have less impact on our environment because they require less production and transportation. 

They also create less waste since it is one-time use versus something that someone will have to dispose of.

Prioritize Items That Are Built To Last

There are many things to consider when shopping for items that will last. You can purchase less stuff, but if you still want some new things, try buying items built to last. 

Buy clothes made of natural fibers like cotton or wool instead of synthetic fabrics like nylon or acrylic. Avoid buying shoes with glued soles because they will only last for a short time as those are sewn together. Think about how often you'll use the item before purchasing it. 

If it's likely to only be used once or twice, then make sure the cost per use is worth it (compare how much something costs with how often it would need to be used for its cost per use to be equal). 

Think about what else you'll have in your closet before purchasing anything new so that your choices are well-considered and complimentary.

Support Small Businesses or Craftspeople

You don't have to buy everything at a retail price; there are other ways to get what you want. Support local businesses or craftspeople by purchasing handmade items, vintage goods, or anything that is locally sourced. 

You will keep money in your community, help the environment, and get unique products you can't find elsewhere!

Shop Locally (Or At Least National Chain Stores That Support Local Efforts)

If you're looking for deals, shop locally. It's better for the environment, it's better for your community, and it's better for you. Plus, local shops offer more opportunities to customize the item to your liking. 

If you need access to any local shops or just want to ensure everything will be delivered in time (especially if you're procrastinating), shop at national chains that support efforts in their communities.

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