Green Friday Is The New Black Friday
So there have been whisperings that this black Friday malarkey is all just a marketing ploy by the big corporations to make you spend more money (shock horror) and in its place is slowly creeping in the term ‘Green Friday.’ Many people are beginning to realise that perhaps those super deals on offer are actually not that super and are starting to see Black Friday for what it really is….consumerism at its worst.
Whilst the origins of Black Friday date back to 1950’s America, the Americans are also behind the creation of Green Friday. This year several of their National Parks offered free entrance to entice the public to spend a day in the great outdoors instead of traipsing around the shops or sitting in front of their computer screens searching for the best online deals.
So we suggested that if you were in the UK you could swap Black Friday for a green one by not only avoiding supermarkets and those very special online offers from massive retailers for products you didn’t need. You could instead choose to support a small local business or ethical/green retailer where your money will make a real difference.
If you’re interested in enjoying a low impact, more sustainable Christmas why not plan ahead now and decide how you can cut waste, buy less and enjoy a fantastic Christmas at the same time.
Here are my 5 top tips for a greener Christmas and to help you see a little clearer through the festive haze of consumerism.
1, Prelove, Experience & Make
Buy preloved items such as antiques, good quality second hand books, vintage clothing or jewellery for presents rather than brand spanking new things. Buying experiences such as theatre tokens, tickets to sporting events, a massage or beauty treatments instead of material gifts can help cut down on clutter, waste and packaging and also help support small local businesses and services.
2. Ethical Shopping
If you have to buy new, think clean, green and ethical. Here are some lovely green gift ideas for adults and for children’s eco friendly presents think natural, handmade and chemical free. For friends and family that are charity minded, fundraising/donation type gifts are a relatively new concept but make the ideal ethical gift.
I put together a hamper each year for parents and in-laws with local food and preserves from our local farmer’s market and farm shop. Here are some useful tips on how to create your own hamper. Buying your food shopping for the festive season and for Christmas dinner from farm shops/markets also cuts down on food miles.
Christmas can be a hectic and manic time so what better way to unwind at the weekend than to go for a winter’s walk in the countryside or your local park. Forage for pine cones, holly, leaves and berries and either lay them in the middle of your table or on the top of your fireplace to create a natural and biodegradable centre piece. Natural decorations are free, compostable and look so much better than plastic! Remember that if you can decorate a Christmas tree with baubles you have the ability to arrange evergreens and holly. Check out these wonderful creations on Pinterest to get you started.
Buy charity Christmas cards which are recycled or even better send an e-card. Alternatively organise a work place charity collection instead of sending work colleagues Christmas cards.
Avoid single use wrapping paper and opt for reusable gift bags instead, if you have to use wrapping paper choose the non-shiny type as this can be composted after use and look for gifts with reusable packaging i.e. in gift baskets rather than those with lots of plastic packaging. Check out our tips for eco friendly ways to wrap your presents.
Being green is more than just recycling your rubbish or eating organic food. We are consuming more and more and our poor planet is buckling under the strain of it all. In plain and simple terms we have to actually stop buying and consuming so much and when we do have to buy things we need we should think carefully about our choices. The ‘story of stuff’ video has been viewed by 40 million people around the world and if you haven’t seen it you can watch it here it really will make you stop and think about your shopping choices.
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