Tips for Making Your Black Friday a Little More Green

Endangered Florida Panther Kitten, image courtesy of the FWC Fish and Wildlife Research Institute via Flickr.com

Black Friday is coming up and as you begin preparing for the biggest shopping day of the year, take a look at these tips on how to stay green while you shop!Make a list, check it twiceBefore you shop, think about what you really need. It's always good to have a plan. When you know what you want before heading to the stores on you'll be in a better place to say no to the things you don't really need. Remember, just because something is on sale doesn't mean you should buy it.Buy GreenIf you're looking for something specific, do research ahead of time to find the most eco-friendly version of the product that you're looking for. In the market for some new Christmas lights? Get energy efficient ones! Do a little digging on the internet and find companies that create products with the environment in mind. It'll only take a couple minutes of your time but you'll end up saving money on energy bills and help the world become a little more green in the process!Set up a carpool with friendsWho really wants to head into the chaos of Black Friday alone? No one! Pick up some friends on the way to the mall and reduce your carbon footprint. Wanna go the extra mile? Put on a festive scarf, meet up with your friends and bike to the shops together. You'll get exercise, limit the amount of things you can buy, and you won't have to spend time looking for a parking spot.Bring reusable bagsInstead of contributing to the needless waste produced during the holiday season, forego paper and plastic and bring your own bags with you.This seems simple but according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency household waste increases by 25% during the holiday season. If everyone brought their own bags imagine how much we could reduce our waste.Give Alternative PresentsWhen all else fails save some money, your energy, and the environment by not shopping at all. How much do you really need that new purse? TV? Lawnmower? Instead of buying these items for yourself or as gifts for your friends and family, try to think of other ways you can give the gift of holiday cheer. You could do this by donating in your friend or family member's name on Giving taking them out to see a movie together, or simply lending them a hand with their present wrapping. If you really want to go shopping, then head out on Small Business Saturday to shop locally. Your wallet and the environment will thank you.

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