Whoever thought that a hard day of shopping could be worse for the environment than it is for your wallet? Well, if you’re not careful this Black Friday, you’ll not only heat up your credit card, you’ll be setting fire to the planet.
From purchasing energy efficient electronics to using an eco-friendly credit card, here are a few ways to do Black Friday the green way.
Look for the Energy Star Logo
If you’re in the market for a new TV this Black Friday, all new units will have a yellow Energy Guide label on them, showing how much they cost to operate and how energy efficient they are compared to other models. If they have the added Energy Star logo, that means they meet the Environmental Protection Agency efficiency criteria. Other products that carry the Energy Star seal are computers, air conditioners, dishwashers and vacuum cleaners.
Not only is shopping a small, local business better for your local economy, but by driving a shorter distance (or not driving at all, but perhaps taking a walk up the street) you’re using less gas, lowering your own personal carbon footprint. It’s also more likely that the products in your local market or boutique have traveled a shorter distance to get to you.
Pay with Green Plastic
Several credit card companies now have plans that allow customers to channel their spending rewards toward environmentally friendly causes and one bank even has a credit card made from mostly recycled materials.
But even if your credit card doesn’t reduce greenhouse gases with every purchase, make sure you receive all of your bills and statements electronically, cutting down on lots and lots of wasteful paper.
Reduce Your Waste
After bringing home your brand new shiny purchases, make sure you discard your old items properly. The E-Stewards organization helps consumers properly dispose of electronics that would otherwise emit toxic materials into the environment. Best Buy has a similar program and will take in almost all electronics and appliances for free. On its website, Best Buy states that it collects more than 400 pounds of recyclable products for every minute that its stores are open and they have a goal to collect 1 billion pounds of electronics and appliances by the end of 2014.