I’m a huge proponent of frugality and green living. So why do I think Black Friday is one of the best days of the entire year?
Simple: I get to save a lot of money on products that are usually out of my price range — products that are environmentally friendly and can help me save money in the long run.
Here’s how I turn Black Friday green, using its deals to support my frugal and eco-friendly lifestyle.
1. I Invest in Energy Star-Rated Appliances
Black Friday offers the opportunity to purchase appliances at low prices, so I take advantage of the chance to upgrade some of my appliances to newer, more energy-friendly versions.
Switching to an Energy Star appliance can help you save anywhere from $25 to $110 a year, according to DealNews, depending on the age of your current appliances and how many of them you plan to replace.
Plus, if you add the Black Friday savings and the fact that you’re much less likely to need repairs for newer housewares, you can save even more in the long run.
2. I Buy Faux Fur and Faux Leather on Discount
Just because I live frugally, it doesn’t mean I don’t like to look good.
On the contrary, actually. I am quite fashion savvy and I love creating fun and polished outfits.
I love quality clothes and I don’t like buying cheap items that won’t last for long, won’t look as good and have serious environmental and other impacts.
The good news is many clothing stores have great sales for Black Friday and Cyber Monday, and it’s worth taking a look whether that item you’ve been lusting after is marked down, so you can get a quality product and stick to your budget.
One of my favorite eco-friendly investments is high-quality faux fur and faux-leather products. These clothes look just as great as natural fur or leather ones, but they are much friendlier to our fauna — and on Black Friday, I’m much more likely to find a price I like.
3. I Bring My Own Reusable Bags
Plan on shopping for things you’ll carry away with you? Don’t leave home without your own shopping bags.
It may feel a bit odd to bring a bunch of them with you, but it can help make a huge difference. Every year, we throw away enough plastic to circle the planet four times, according to some sources.
Instead of contributing to plastic debris in the oceans and toxic emissions generated when manufacturing plastics, bring and reuse your own bags.
4. I Walk or Cycle to the Store
Why drain energy resources when you don’t need to?
Walking or biking to the stores you plan on visiting for Black Friday is a great way to see how cheap, healthy and environmentally friendly leaving the car at home can be. As long as I don’t have to carry large objects, I will be more than comfortable — and you will be, too.
If you don’t have a bicycle, why not look for a Black Friday deal on a new one? A fairly good bike doesn’t cost a lot of money, but it can help you save a lot, both in terms of finances and environmental impacts. Here’s a cool calculator for the financial part.
5. I Keep an Eye on Eco-Friendly Products
Many green technologies and products cost a lot upfront, even though they can help you save money in the long run.
On Black Friday, however, you can often find these products on sale, so I usually keep an eye on them.
For example, I have always wanted to buy a solar battery recharger and I’m hoping this Black Friday might be my chance!
6. I Don’t Buy Everything That’s On Sale
The best way to save money on Black Friday, and to be green, is to avoid buying absolutely everything you see on sale.
As tempting as it seems, you probably don’t actually need all those items, and you might wind up tossing them out before their expected lifetimes are actually up.
This would be a waste of both environmental and financial resources — so take a moment to consider whether you really need that item or if you’re just excited about the deal.
Your Turn: How do you stay green on Black Friday? Share your tips in the comments!
Savanna Oconner is a frugal-living computer systems analyst from Memphis. She enjoys hiking or any kind of outdoor physical activity. In her spare time, she loves to write and cook.