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5 Ways to Shop More Sustainably on Black Friday and Cyber Monday

You can take part in Black Friday and Cyber Monday sustainably and responsibly. These shopping tips will help you keep the planet in mind.

Written by
Laura Wittig

Black Friday and Cyber Monday are the biggest shopping days of the year. We’re sure you—being the smart, savvy, and sustainability-minded person you are—probably want some ideas on how to handle this stressful time.

Do you lock your doors, turn out the lights, and put your phone on silent while the craziness goes on outside your door? Or, do you do what an awesome, thoughtful individual like yourself does and arm yourself with some tips and tricks on how to make the most of some great deals?

If you’re on a personal journey to shop mindfully and live sustainably (kudos to you!), this can be a stressful time of year. But how you choose to act or react can have a huge impact. Americans are expected to spend an average of $837 on gifts this holiday season. During this time, what you’re really doing is voting with your dollar: making crucial decisions as to which companies receive your support and get to continue doing what they’re doing. 

If you're looking for a guide on how to survive Black Friday and Cyber Monday responsibly, we've got your back. Here's everything you need to know.

5 Tips for an Eco-Friendly Black Friday and Cyber Monday

1. Make a Budget

Think about how much you’re willing to spend over the holidays. You can take a look at how many people you’d like to buy gifts for and sort out how much you think is reasonable for each person. Then follow through on the difficult part—sticking to the commitment you've made to yourself.

It’s also important to budget out how much you’re willing to spend between Black Friday and Cyber Monday as a timeframe, keeping in mind that there will probably be gift exchanges at work, holiday parties, holiday dinners and everything in between. You don’t want to over exert yourself financially, even if you think you’re doing a nice thing for other people.

2. Create a List of Things You Actually Need

A trap that people frequently fall into around this time of year is seeing a great deal and amazing savings and having to pull the trigger on items they didn’t really need or want, right now, just because the price is too good to pass up.

Ahead of Black Friday and Cyber Monday, make a list of things you’ve been dying for or meaning to purchase all year. Also add in what you're looking to buy as gifts for others. When the sales start popping up, you can refer to your list when deciding if you should pull the trigger on a particular item.

3. Stock Up on the Essentials

You probably have your favorite products you use religiously, and some of them may be more expensive than you wish they were. Black Friday and Cyber Monday are great times to stock up on your favorite household products and staples.

It may seem like a large expense to buy a year's worth of shampoo all at once, but the savings you get absolutely add up. If it’s product you feel great about using and would use anyway, why not take advantage of the savings while you can?

4. Divide and Conquer

It can be important to have the support of a community that values the same things you do. Connect with other eco-friendly, minimally-minded people to help keep each other accountable for your purchases. Alternately, if you have friends and family who aren’t quite living that lifestyle yet, you can enlist their help!

If you’re really dying for a new couch at a great price, let your loved ones know that you’re on the hunt for one. They may be able to find you a really great deal, and having multiple people on the lookout means you can get the best possible savings!

5. Shop for a Good Cause

Put your thrill-of-a-bargain impulse to good use by scoring some deals for good. Call up your local animal shelter or favorite neighborhood charity and ask them: What do you need and how can I help? They'll most likely be glad to take extra dog beds, blankets, and pet food.

Also consider taking part in an Angel Tree or another initiative for families in need. These organizations typically send you out with a very specific shopping list and you get to have the fun of shopping while also providing for others.

Stay Mindful and Be Grateful

Remember the true meaning of the holidays. It’s about spending time with friends and family—not about all of the cool gadgets you can buy.

Be mindful, be intentional, be grateful. Mute email messages if you’re feeling overwhelmed with all the offers. Relax and enjoy the dinners and events and the time spent with the people you love the most! They don’t care if you buy them the newest, fanciest thing. Most people just want your time and full attention.

These tips should help you make the most out of this time and help you make decisions that vibe with you and your values. If you’re looking for some eco-friendly brands to replace the ones you currently shop from, make sure to listen to the podcast above for some amazing substitutions that have the planet in mind. Happy (sustainable) shopping!