Black Friday. What does it mean to you?
- Consumerism-fest? Race to the bottom? Cheap prices on even cheaper gifts?
- Or is it your favorite day of the holiday season? A family tradition that starts with Starbucks and ends with a trunk packed so full of shopping bags you can hardly close it?
How ever you feel about the biggest shopping day of the year is fine with me. You know there’s no judgment here. Even when I hop on my soapbox about ethical gift giving, it doesn’t mean a “made in China” gift won’t wind up somewhere under our tree. It just means we’re all doing our best to give meaningful gifts that leave a lasting impact on our recipient – NOT a negative impact on the planet.
And if you shop-it-up on Black Friday, it doesn’t mean you can’t also celebrate another popular shopping day after your weekend wrapping frenzy. You can turn your Cyber Monday into Green Gift Monday.
What is Green Gift Monday?
On November 28 and throughout the holiday season, The Nature Conservancy is encouraging consumers to purchase responsible, meaningful gifts as part of their second annual Green Gift Monday campaign.
Last year on Cyber Monday, shoppers spent a record $1 billion online. Just think – when even a fraction of that amount is spent on gifts made by local artisans – you’re actually giving back to your own community. Not sending your dollars to corporations who put a higher price on profits than giving their employees a living wage and decent working conditions.
For 2010′s Green Gift Monday, powerhouses like Treehugger.com, Mother Nature Network, Mashable and Change.org, teamed up with the Conservancy to urge shoppers to think about each and every gift they’re giving.
This year, The Nature Conservancy’s website has expanded, offering…
- DIY gift ideas – perfect when your budget is slim
- Tips for greening your holiday celebrations
- The chance to sign the “give green” pledge and spread the word via social media using the hash tag: #GGM2011.
And whether you’re shopping on Cyber Monday or any other day this year, the Conservancy offers a wealth of green gift options, including opportunities to protect rhino and orangutan habitat, plant a billion trees in South America’s Atlantic Forest, give the gift of clean water and many more unique gifts of nature.
Oh, and just in case you wanted to know I usually spend Black Friday… I don’t go out shopping. I’m usually with my family in the living room of my parents’ house watching in amazement as my brother finds some of the most obscure online deals. Inevitably, someone turns on the news or reads aloud the stories of fights breaking out and people being trampled at Wal-Mart.