Four Ways to Make Your Black Friday Meaningful

Four Ways to Make Your Black Friday Meaningful

This Black Friday, make the consumption-driven day a meaningful celebration. Pro tip - experiences are worth a lot more than things.

Black Friday, the day following American Thanksgiving, is known as the year's busiest day for shopping. According to a BBC report, Black Friday sales are likely to go over $2bn this year, and a number of retailers have stretched the shopping fiesta over several days.

The Outdoor Journal believes there are better ways to celebrate Black Friday. Here are a few of them:

1. Buy responsible experiences, not things

Research has shown that people who spend on experiences are far happier than those who spend on objects. Experiences help people focus on the present, and live in anticipation for something. The Outdoor Journal goes one step further and urges our readers to opt for responsible experiences - that is an experience that also benefits the environment in some way.

Photo courtesy of Eduardo Hernandez.

So, go ski down that mountain with your buddy, or kayak down a river you have never attempted. Sign up for a responsible tourism initiative, or safari, or simply get out and run. Spend time with nature, stay outdoors as much as you can, gather stories and make memories.

2. Enjoy the outdoors, Opt Outside

Recreational Equipment Inc. (REI), the American outdoor equipment and clothing retailer co-op has decided to oppose the Black Friday mania for a second consecutive year by closing all of its 145 stores on the day, and giving its 12,287 strong staff a paid vacation, encouraging them to spend the day enjoying the outdoors instead.

The brand's campaign #OptOutside is a huge success, with over 450 outfits promoting the campaign, including Seattle-based Outdoor Research and the US Parks Service.

3. Support responsible initiatives

If you need to replace objects - watch out for brand initiatives that reflect responsible consumption such as Patagonia Inc.

American outdoor clothing brand Patagonia is well known for supporting and initiating sustainable environmental causes. Like us at The Outdoor Journal, they donate one percent of their global earnings to environmental non-profits every day, but this Black Friday, they will be donating 100%, that is ALL of their global earnings, to grassroots environmental groups.

Screenshot of Patagonia Inc Homepage today
Screenshot of Patagonia Inc Homepage today

In a statement on the company blog The Cleanest Line, Rose Marcario, President and CEO of Patagonia Inc explained the initiative.

"...During a difficult and divisive time, we felt it was important to go further and connect more of our customers, who love wild places, with those who are fighting tirelessly to protect them. This we know: If we don’t act boldly, severe changes in climate, water and air pollution, extinction of species and erosion of topsoil are certain outcomes. The threats facing our planet affect people of every political stripe, of every demographic, in every part of the country. We all stand to benefit from a healthy environment—and our children and grandchildren do, too," she wrote.

4. Celebrate 'Buy Nothing Day' instead!

Celebrated as an 'international day of protest against consumerism,' Buy Nothing Day is held on the same day as Black Friday, as an attempt to draw attention to the problem of over-consumption. It was founded in Vancouver, Canada by artist Ted Dave in 1992.

Cutting up credit cards, hosting free non-commercial street parties, organising sit-ins or zombie walks outside shopping malls and going for Nothing Day hikes are some of the activities people get involved in to highlight anti-consumerism. Take your pick!

Feature Image: Flying over Alaska Photo by Himraj Soin/ The Outdoor Journal