Black Friday is one of the busiest and most exciting shopping days of the year. But all of this shopping could have quite an eco-impact on you and the environment!
Whatever your agenda is for Black Friday, why not try and reduce your carbon footprint while grabbing the great deals. There are a lot of cars being driven and people creating waste during the holiday season, so here are some ways to go green while saving your green on this crazy shopping day:
Make a plan.
While shopping for electronics, clothing, or appliances, look for greener options. Research what you’re looking for on sites like BlackFriday.info or BlackFridayAds before you head out. Know where you want to start and plan the most direct and efficient way to get from one store to another to reduce your fuel consumption. If you’re close enough to a shopping center you can even ride a bicycle or walk there.
What to wear.
For people living in colder weather, Black Friday weather is sometimes chilly. Layering your clothes will help you reduce the amount of heat you use in your car. You can always take your jacket or sweater off when you get inside the store. While shopping, be sure to check out recycled clothing, like t-shirts made from 100% recycled bottles, recycled London Bus seat shoes, or clothing made from coffee.
Bring your reusable shopping bags.
Every year, 30 billion plastic and 10 billion paper shopping bags are used in the United States. These bags take between 20 and 1,000 years to break down in landfills, and most bags wind up in wild spaces and oceans which create choking hazards for sea creatures and mammals.
Instead of using store bags, bring your own reusable shopping bags to cut down on waste. You can purchase these bags from almost any grocery or department store.
Shop locally first.
Whether it’s a mall or a downtown area with concentrated retail outlets, the less you have to drive on Black Friday, the better for the environment.
Americans use more than 100 billion gallons of gasoline each year, and every gallon of gasoline burned releases 20 pounds of carbon dioxide, making the transportation sector responsible for about a quarter of overall US carbon dioxide emissions.
Saving a few gallons by not driving store-to-store will reduce your carbon footprint.
If walking or biking to your shopping destination is not an option, take the bus. Buses, which emit 80 percent less carbon monoxide and are 91 times safer than the average car, can carry the equivalent of 60 car-loads of people, which means they have lots of room for all those packages you’ll be bringing home too!
Shop for recycled items.
Recycled content products are the ultimate trash-to-treasure gift! Recycling cuts back on the demand for virgin materials and is a cleaner process than manufacturing new materials.
Look for furniture made from recycled materials, like recycled wood, 100% plastic, recycled skateboard furniture, or FAS Concepts recycled furniture.
Instead of spending thousands of dollars, be sincere and sustainable with a recycled jewelry piece. Some great ideas are recycled glass bottle earrings, recycled comic book bracelets, recycled aluminum can necklaces, and discarded ocean plastic jewelry.
Look for products made from organic materials, which require fewer toxic chemicals to create. Alternative fibers, like hemp, bamboo, sea grass, and jute, grow rapidly and require little, if any, chemical additives or petrochemicals for production.
Energy efficient electronics.
If your goal is to buy a new TV, you can save 40% more energy if you purchase one that contains the energy star label. Computers containing the energy star label can save you 30% more energy.
Pay in a Green Way
Make the money you spend work for the environment! Banks offering green credit cards use a portion of what you spend to support green causes or take eco-friendly action, like buying carbon offsets. Big banks have often been criticized for funding environmentally questionable industries and causes that are anti-environment.
Recycle throughout the day.
One of the most important green things to remember during Black Friday is to recycle before, during, and after your shopping extravaganza. Lend a helping hand to the store cleaners by picking up trash while you sift through sweaters or DVD players. When you buy any food during the day make sure to recycle drink bottles or soda cans. If you bring the food home try to compost any leftovers. Go through your paper receipts and recycle ones you don’t need.