We hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving, celebrating what you are grateful for, with the people you care about. As you know, we are big advocates of simplicity and sustainability — at the holidays and all year round. We are excited to focus on #GivingTuesday next week as a great way to counter the rampant consumerism that kicks off today on Black Friday, the day that marks the beginning of traditional holiday shopping where crowds of consumers are taking advantage of special deals.
Unfortunately, those deals come at a cost – to people and the planet. Black Friday prompts retail workers to lose their Thanksgiving holiday when retailers open Thanksgiving night, encourages overspending, and consumption.
In contrast, we offer up voluntary simplicity as an alternative value and practice, rooted in lessening unnecessary consumption and materialism, based on the understanding that rampant consumerism contributes to the degradation of our planet.
For these reasons, we are opting out of Black Friday and encourage you to do the same! Instead of shopping today, go on a hike with family or friends (if you’re in Oregon State Parks are waiving fees for today, all the more reason to get outside!). Read a book. Play a board game. Repair something you might otherwise have replaced. Spend quality time with those you love. Or, in the spirit of #GivingTuesday next week, gift someone a NW Earth Institute book on an issue you care about.
Author Duane Elgin says, “Simplicity means taking charge of a life that is too busy, too stressed, and too fragmented. An uncluttered simplicity means cutting back on trivial distractions, both material and non-material, and focusing on the essentials – whatever those may be for each of our unique lives.” We couldn’t agree more. May your holiday season be rooted in focusing on the essentials, and choosing to do what matters most to you.