Green is the New Black – Black Friday Shopping Guide

Waking up at the crack of dawn (or worse… lining up the night before) to brave the crowds on Black Friday has never appealed to me. Then again… shopping usually makes me break out in a cold sweat even on the best days.

With the holiday season upon us, shopping (whether you like to shop or not) is almost inevitable.  Here is our Black Friday “if you must shop, shop for eco-conscious products at eco-conscious retailers” Shopping Guide.

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1. Stay home and shop online.

Instead of fighting traffic and idling in shopping center parking lots waiting for a spot shop at your favorite retailer online. Check out Amazon’s Green Gift Ideas.

2.  Support companies taking climate action.

ClimateCounts.org has kicked off its Striding Shopper Campaign to help climate-conscious consumers find businesses that are taking meaningful action on climate change.  Electronics companies like HP, IBM, Canon and Toshiba have made strides towards responsible climate choices.  Scores will be updated in early December so keep checking back!

3.  Purchase gifts that use no electricity.

Gift cards for the theater, restaurants or local retailers save energy and, in the case of retail gift cards, allow the recipient to select items they need or prefer.

4.  If you do purchase gifts that use electricity, look for the ENERGY STAR logo.

ENERGY STAR-qualified appliances and electronics use considerably less energy than their conventional counterparts.  This helps reduce electricity costs and greenhouse gas emissions.  In addition, many power companies offer rebates and recycling incentive programs when you buy new ENERGY STAR-qualified appliances.

5. Buy products with minimal packaging.

Less packaging = less waste.

6. BYOB!

Bring your own shopping bags to cut down on (or hopefully eliminate the use of ) plastic bags.

7.  Make sure books are rainforest-safe.

Rainforest Action Network has created a rainforest-safe kids’ books buying guide.  Unfortunately a large number of children’s books sold in the United States are printed on paper linked to Indonesian rainforest destruction.  Publishers on the recommended list are Scholastic, Simon & Schuster, Candlewick Press, Macmillan, Hachette Book Group, Penguin Group and Houghton Mifflin Harcourt.  Publishers on the avoid list include Disney Publishing and HarperCollins (Fancy Nancy, Where the Wild Things Are).  Here are some of the selections on the rainforest-safe reading list:

365 Ways to Live Green for Kids

Bunny’s Garden

Curious George Plants a Tree

Dora Celebrates Earth Day

A World Without Ice

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows

What did we forget? Share your green shopping tips below!

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