Ironically, Black Friday – the day that has come to symbolize our culture’s obsession with more and more stuff – has now officially crept into Thanksgiving – the one day we have set aside to gather and celebrate our gratitude for our relationships, our health, and all the things we already have. Not surprisingly, it’s estimated that between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Day, more than 1 million TONS of additional waste is generated EACH WEEK nationwide – and that doesn’t even take into account all the waste and resources used upstream (ie: around the world) to make all that new stuff we’re buying.
As Black Friday officially kicks off the consumer crazed time when we spend more money and create more waste, here at the Rethink Waste Project we have a list of ideas to kick off your own holiday traditions, hopefully ones rooted in spending time with friends and family, recharging ourselves, and giving meaningful gifts that offer less stuff and more joy!
1. Read this Simplify the Holidays booklet from New Dream to get all sorts of ideas for a meaningful holiday with More Joy and Less Stuff. It reshaped our holiday last year.
2. Create your own countdown calendar of fun things to do and experience all month. We included things like go for a night ski, bake cookies and dress up for dinner.
3. Research DIY gifts you can make for your loved ones. We discovered chalkboard mugs and ended up making 8 of them last year.
4. Hunt for your Christmas tree in the woods, or wait a week and join the Deschutes Land Trust Tree Hunt at the Metolius Preserve on December 7th.
5. Pull out your holiday decorations or spend the day gathering natural materials (pine cones anyone?) to add festive decor without all the waste.
6. Put up holiday lights, and recycle your broken ones! Search for “Holiday Twinkle Lights” on our Find A Reuser/Recycler tab.
7. Movie Marathon! Epic trilogies or themes work best for these.
8. Play Outside! Whether skiing, sledding, walking or just spending time by a river, we can all get renewed energy when we reconnect with nature simply by being outside.
9. Reflect on your year by making a photo book of the past year as a gift to yourself, a loved one or your family. By creating a tradition to do this on a certain day every year you’ll never let photos sit lost in the digital world again!
Do you have an Anti-Black Friday tradition?