Let me get this out of the way first – I have a bias against Black Friday. I don’t like crowds; I don’t like stress; I don’t like competive jostling for junk just because it is on sale; and I really don’t enjoy shopping all that much unless it is of the grocery variety.
But aside from my personal issues with shopping in general, the chaos of Black Friday celebrates things I don’t believe in: buying things you don’t need, putting money or things over people & experiences, the waste that comes along with consumerism, and in general promoting an atmosphere that is inconsiderate and greedy.
I’ve written before on the things I do support in my Shop With a Cause series: buying local, buying from secondhand stores, and just buying less in general because we don’t need all the things advertisements tell us we do. One of the greatest lessons my mom taught me was that you don’t “save” anything when you buy something that is on sale. You are still spending money.
One thing that I think is important during the holidays is to honor old traditions and create new ones, especially in the food department. Why not do the same for shopping? Holstee* has created an event called Block Friday to replace Black Friday. You can read more about it here. I’ll be blocking of my Friday to spend time with my adopted family in Hokkaido, Japan. I can’t wait!
Most importantly, I am in no position to judge you if you enjoy Black Friday and spend it as you wish. I know a few people who use it as bonding time with their moms, dads, or siblings, and go because they enjoy the atmosphere and not to punch someone out for the latest cheap tv or toy model produced who knows where. Just remember to bring your reusable mug when you check in at Starbucks, carpool, walk, or use public transportation to get to your favorite stores, and be kind and considerate to others!
Another reminder – if you do want to get your shop on over the holiday weekend, why not do it as part of Shop Local Saturday? The dollars you spend at local stores actually come back to benefit you and your community, unlike shopping at large box stores. Check out the 3/50 Project for more info. Remember: For every $100 spent in locally owned independent stores, $68 returns to the community through payroll, taxes, and other expenditures. If you spend that in a national chain, only $43 dollars stays here. Spend it online and nothing comes home.
Although now my favorite green & local (US) store, Just Act Natural, has an online store, so perhaps if you support local stores online that can come back to benefit your community as well. I received an email from JC & Dianne that said, “Peace & Love, not Push & Shove!” this holiday season. What are you going to do on your Block/Black Friday? Stay safe & happy,
* I’m forever indebted to Holstee because their manifesto was what spurred me to create this blog after years of planning it in my head. Also, we used the template of their manifesto to create the Being Alive Manifesto. Thanks again Holstee!