Black Friday is drawing near and as it does, so increases our carbon footprint. We all drive to the malls and stores, buying and consuming products on the biggest retail sales day of the year. If we all do our part to decrease our carbon footprint on black Friday, we can help protect our planet. Here are ten ways how.
10. Shop Online
Don’t drive. It’s as simple as that. The less you drive, the less of an environmental impact you have. Your package gets shipped with thousands of others-sort of like a package mass transit system-that conserves energy, oil and our atmosphere. Buying online has its advantages too. There’s always plenty of deals online over the weekend and don’t forget about Cyber Monday!
9. Go Local
Although the internet does the trick for long distance shipping, it doesn’t always offer everything we need for our Black Friday shopping needs. But you don’t always have to drive into the big city either. Head on downtown to the mom and pop stores. You’re sure to find some locally made treasure on sale.
8. Drop the Plastic
Plastic bags are a big problem for the environment, especially the oceans. Opt out for a large cloth tote bag. It’s reusable, trendy and prevents you from choosing between paper and plastic.
7. Car Pool
Invite neighbors, friends and relatives to all car pool. Rent a fuel efficient van for the day for large families instead of driving separate cars. You’ll save on gas, oil and exhaust fumes and that’s good for anybody who breathes on a regular basis.
6. The Rap on the Wrap
It’s always common to see gift wrapping stations and it’s more tempting to have someone else do it for you. But curb your desires and instead wrap it with your own recycled paper. Newspapers, mail inserts and other large sheets of waste paper can be painted any color, dried and used to wrap your Christmas gifts.
5. Less Waste
When purchasing gifts from your favorite black Friday sale, try to cut back on buying over-packaged items. The doll in a cardboard box with a plastic covering and 24 throw away packaging components takes a lot more energy to produce than the doll on the shelf by itself.
4. Bottle Blues
We all know you’ll need plenty of water while running down black Friday deals. Throw out the store bought plastic bottles forever and pick yourself up a stainless steel water bottle. They’re easy to clean and the same shape as the throw away version so they fit in the car cup holder. It’s it lowers your carbon footprint and lowers your bills at the same time.
When you do have to purchase disposable items (it’s awfully hard not to) it’s best to purchase something that is easily recyclable. Soda cans use less energy to recycle than plastic soda bottles. Purchase gifts with recyclable packaging like cardboard instead of plastics.
2. Extreme Shopping
If you’ve got the money, why not go all out and go extreme gift shopping. Double up on the best deals by buying gifts for the next year’s holidays. That way, you won’t have to go shopping next year, saving even more fuel and money. Why stop with Christmas? Birthdays, weddings, Easter and other gift giving holidays can all be bought on black Friday.
1. Donate to Charity
Environmental charities like the Audubon Society’s Adopt a Bird Program, give you a gift and a certificate of donation to the lucky recipient. The proceeds go to saving endangered birds. The Arbor Day Foundation’s Personalized Holiday Cards are not only a nice gift, but every card plants a tree.