This post will serve multiple purposes. One, I want to say what I am thankful for. I used to be such a negative Nancy but I think I am finally coming out of that darkness and I want to share that. Two, although it is too late to convince you not to go shopping on Black Friday, I am going to attempt to explain why it is just a bad idea.
Like I said, I’ve always been kind of a negative person, especially when it comes to the human race. Humans are selfish, careless and sometimes we are just down right mean. When I learned about the perils of the environment, it just gave me another reason to be discouraged. During my journey learning about environmental issues, such as Styrofoam actively poisons people, yet it is still openly available in any store or how the litter that we carelessly toss away, whether to the side of the road or in the dumpster then it some how makes its way to the oceans or to the intestines of an innocent animals, I have learned things that make me positive.
Upcycling. Upcycling is my motivation, inspiration and hope for this planet and for my life. Yes, we are the most wasteful species on this planet by far, but we can also be the most creative. It doesn’t have to be trash or waste, it can become something else entirely. Instead going out to buy a hummingbird feeder, we can make one almost entirely out of ‘trash’, consisting of a Pepsi bottle and spoons.
Or these totally adorable penguin Christmas ornaments made from lightbulbs.
Or these super easy gift wrap bows made from used wrapping paper.
I could literally go on and on all day and night, which I already did stay up way too late looking at this stuff, but I can’t help because it gives me hope.
This video gives me hope.
These kids have nothing besides the trash we carelessly sent over because we had so much STUFF, stuff we consider ourselves too good for and they made something so beautiful and magical out of it.
I am so thankful for the journey I have been given. I wouldn’t choose anything else. I hope some day it will become more than just a hobby and become my full blown living, so I live and breathe it, but if not, I have been incredibly blessed to be apart of this movement in some small way.
I am making some progress on finding an upcycler for my documentary, so hopefully I will be able to talk about that interview next week.
I am also thankful for friends and family, who have supported me along this journey and put up with my negativity for so long. Their love along with God’s little whispers of encouragement, I haven’t gotten me further than anything I could have done on my own.
As far as Black Friday, I find that day to be deplorable and this picture pretty much says it all for me.
There is nothing worse to be doing after a day of giving thanks than to go and beat people down to get to whatever sale first. People, even sales associates, have died because of this event. Tragically, when a 61-year-old man collapsed in 2011, fellow Target shoppers stepped over his body and continued searching for deals. The man later died at the hospital.
I get extremely discouraged around this time of the year, but luckily REI gave me a break. Not only are they closed for Thanksgiving, but they are closed for Black Friday, which is unheard of in the retail industry. Other stores are blaming the corporate greed on their customers:
In a press release, Macy’s passed the blame onto customers when explaining why it was forced to open its doors early. “In response to interest from customers who prefer to start their shopping early, most Macy’s stores will open at 8pm on Thanksgiving evening, consistent with many other retailers,” the store claimed. J.C. Penney likewise insisted it had no choice. “Last year, we opened much later than the competition and our stores saw a lot of frustrated customers tap our doors wanting to shop,” said company spokeswoman Daphne Avila. “This year, we decided we weren’t going to let those opportunities pass us by.”
Blah, blah, blah.
REI is becoming accountable and this year they have an #optoutside initiative to encourage people to spend time with nature, where they can also spend time with their friends and family.
Workers often have to work long shifts, it’s one of the most stressful, tiring shifts of the year for many store employees. Two years ago, a Target employee was so tired she fell asleep at the wheel and drove into a canal after working a midnight shift.
People either hate, love or at least accept this holiday because of the great deals. The thing is there are plenty of reason not to participate on this day. Environmental and moral reasons aside, research shows that the deals aren’t as good as the stores claim. According to this study, stores have been repeating the same deals since 2012. Stores start deals weeks before Thanksgiving and carry them out through after Christmas. Also, similar deals are often offered online. People often overspend or impulse buy and they buy more without actually using those purchases.
So, weigh your pros and cons, but give it a second thought. Do you really need that new waffle maker or that second rate computer, just because it’s cheap? Does your daughter really need her 50th Barbie just because its on sale? You can spend your time with your family, may be trampled and left to die on the store floor or you can be a little more creative, #optoutside or spend the day scouring the internet for a better deal.
If you do decide to partake in this event, please be kind to the workers. Despite what CEOs think, there would be no store without them, therefore there would be no deals. They have put in long hours, gave up time with their families to serve your needs, so please show them respect.
No matter your choice, I wish you a blessed holiday.