On Black Friday, we are all encouraged to over-consume. We are bombarded with ads and specials and emails that send us into a buying frenzy because it feels as if it's the only time of year that we will be able to afford the things we want.
This intense promotion continues right through the holidays (and then there are clearance specials, Boxing Day promotions and New Year kick-off deals). But what happens if we stop, think and don't react impulsively? What do we really need?
Let's all consider the following before we make a purchase, no matter the time of year:
What purpose does it serve?
Where was it made?
Who made it?
How long will I be able to use it for and benefit?
Where will it go when I'm done with it?
If we respond to the above questions and feel good about our answers, perhaps it is a great purchase!
In the business world, when we refer to being "in the black," we are referring to being in a financially profitable condition. As the holidays are upon us and we are encouraged to acquire more and consume as much as possible, let's try to be as mindful as ever in our purchases. Every single small thing we decide not to purchase and consume adds up positively in so many ways.
If you need something, Black Friday might be an opportunity to purchase it at great savings. Instead of lining up and participating in the madness, purchase that item or service online, hopefully from a local, small business, and then get outside -- spend time doing good and having fun.
I have featured some "black" products that truly offer great value to our lives and our health. Treat yourself, if you need to. The best Black Friday deal out there this year is REI's campaign to get people to #OptOutside.
Kudos to them for not only giving their employees a paid day off to buck a standard tradition of frenzied shopping for spending time in nature, but also for promoting it with the intention of getting the concept to spread. Between Patagonia's brilliant efforts and REI, we can all look forward to a new Black Friday trend in years to come.
If you're shopping for others, consider giving a "new" present this year -- one that inspires people to live healthier lives, makes the world a better place, supports good people and companies, doesn't create excess waste and, of course, makes your getters really, truly, very happy!
Consider that the reason you may be having so much trouble choosing the perfect gift for your loved ones is potentially due to the fact that we already have too much stuff. Because there are so many things we'd all love to try but don't make time for in our day to day routines, I believe the best gifts are new experiences that inspire, educate, entertain, nourish, pamper and leave lasting impressions.
Think outside of the gift box and give a gift that is sure to be appreciated this year and always. I have confidence that my Good Gift Guide will inspire you in your quest to give the perfect eco-happy present to everyone on your list.
Remember: your money is your power, and every penny you spend is a vote for something. Spend wisely, buy from local businesses that support good values and enjoy the holidays.
MORE ON HUFFPOST: