Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Green Black Friday (Without the Preachiness)

Since Black Friday is approaching, I've been kicking around a few suggestions about how to "green" Black Friday shopping without sounding preachy. Yes, many love to shop on Black Friday. I get it - I've done it too and got some great bargains. Here are some things to think about before you venture out:

  • Treat your home to Energy Star appliances
    If you can get them at a locally owned appliance store, that's even better.

  • Bring reusable bags
    Check out the huge and convenient IKEA shopping bags for 59 cents and use them during your shopping spree. I've got 3 of these and have used them over and over again.

  • Shop locally
    If you usually shop at big box stores, try at least one stop at a locally owned store. You will likely be amazed at the selection that you can't get in any big box location.

    Some of my Twin Cities local favorites are: Patina, Nokomis Shoes, Bibelot, Electric Fetus, Cooks of Crocus Hill and Creative Kids Stuff. Be sure to check their sites - some have online deals if you can't shop in person.

  • Look for local discounts
    Check out sprout.mn for Twin Cities local merchant & green money-saving deals before you head out.

  • Buy consignment & reused
    Turn Style and Half Price Books are great places to browse and pick up something for yourself too.

  • Skip the drive-through
    Eat at at a locally owned restaurant after you've shopped. Buy some gift certificates for your friends and family if you like the place.

  • Buy original art as gifts
    Artists will appreciate your business and you'll give something unique to the person who has everything.

  • Give the gift of a cultural experience
    A gift certificate to a world cuisine restaurant or tickets to a cultural event that heightens your interest. If you don't know where to start, check out event schedules from local colleges and universities.

  • Invest in rechargable batteries
    We haven't done this yet...it might be the right year!

  • Order online
    My favorite way to shop - saves gas and time. FedEx & UPS know the most fuel efficient routes - much better than we do.

  • Think about last year
    How did you handle Black Friday last year? Did you like your choices? Or did it make you want to cringe? Remember what you liked and didn't like and set some green improvement goals. Here are some thoughts from last year's shopping.
Last and most importantly - if you dare to go shopping this Friday:
  • Be kind to others
  • Be polite to the store staff, and
  • Give a smile to those around you.
All those sappy things. A little kindness goes a long way.

And hopefully that last bit of advice wasn't too preachy.


Sarah said...

Great post!

Do you know of any second-hand kids' stores on your side of the cities? I want to find something better than Once Upon A Child.

Also, I'd like to suggest Peapods in St Paul as a locally owned baby care/toy store. Their prices can be pretty steep (compared to Walmart), but they carry green, responsibly made toys and baby items.

Striving Green said...

Sarah - Turn Style has children's clothes, but sometimes a thin selection at the Highland Location (other locations may have more).

A quick look at sprout.mn brought up a company called "Just Between Friends". It looks like a consignment event (a.k.a "glorified garage sale"). http://bit.ly/5PEeoZ

Striving Green said...

And here is the sprout.mn link:


Silver Sisters said...

Here Here!
What a great list of well-thought-out ideas. Practical and not too difficult. Love it.