Black Friday, Cyber Monday, Buy Nothing Day, Small Business Saturday. Boycott Walmart, but don't forget to support the workers!
Are the pressures to both spend and not spend driving you crazy yet? I have a solution for you, which is to make every day of a year a day that you make deliberate and conscious choices about where you spend your money.
I made a decision in 2007 to join a group called The Compact and not buy anything new for a one year period. That year stretched into five years, and will soon turn into six. When I buy used I save money, but I also get an out from supporting out of control consumer practices that cause Americans to trample one another in the name of cut price electronics.
My purchases are premanufactured and don't require mining of raw materials, don't ship from across the globe and generally come without packaging.
Sure, I buy occasional new items like underwear, socks and personal care items, (no used mascara for me!) but those times are few and far between.
Your dollars are your vote in a consumer driven society, which yes, we live in. When you spend a dollar at a store that underpays their workers, transporters and factory workers you're giving tacit approval to questionable business dealings. And conversely, when you spend that dollar with a business that provides its workers with a living wage and benefits, you are then supporting their practices. You have the ability to influence the community you live in, and that is through how you spend your money. It's not a stretch to say that you vote with your dollars.
How you spend your money counts.
When I shop at my local Goodwill thrift shop, I'm supporting an organization whose mission is to “Provide vocational opportunities to people with barriers to employment.” (I'm sorry, but does Walmart even have a mission statement?) I feel good about that.
Will I shop the day after Thanksgiving? Maybe yes, maybe no. I imagine that'll I'll be in a post cooking/eating/cleaning stupor that does not easily lend itself to outside adventures. One thing's for sure though, which is that you will not find me lining up for a $30 blu-ray player, but neither will I be at home refusing to shop.
After all, it really is just another Friday for me.
"Use it up, wear it out, make it do or do without"
More from living