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#OptOutside On Black Friday

By Susan Larson.

“Ridiculous is Coming to Town,” said J. Money in a recent post on his blog Budgets Are Sexy. He listed the upcoming shopping “holidays,” including Black Friday (which actually begins on Thanksgiving Thursday).

Then he provided these numbers:
$50.9 billion: amount spent on Black Friday in 2014
$20 billion: amount it would cost to end homelessness

Black Friday could be considered the pinnacle of consumerism, encouraging the acquisition of goods at all costs, including time with family and friends. Some people have been injured and even killed in Black Friday stampedes.

There is a growing trend to buck the system.

REI (Recreational Equipment Inc.) announced it will close all 143 of its stores on Black Friday. Here’s even bigger news. REI is paying its staff to take the day off and explore the outdoors.

“This decision shows a strong dedication to the personal lives of REI employees, as well as a commitment to its values and the mission it serves,” Hannah Elise Jones wrote in Fortune.

The National Park Service and National Park Foundation are supporting REI’s #OptOtuside via their #FindYourPark campaign.

For the 5th year, Virginia State Parks invites us all to turn Black Friday into Green Friday by spending time in nature instead of shopping until you drop. Inspired by REI, they’re adding something to this year’s campaign. “We applaud REI’s bold initiative and decided to sweeten the pot a little on our end with a challenge,” park staff wrote. They’re sponsoring a Thanksgiving Weekend photo contest.

Visit any of Virginia’s 36 State Parks between November 26 and 29, 2015, take a photo, and upload it to the contest site. You can enter on Facebook, too, but you must upload the pictures to the contest tab. The State Parks marketing team will be selecting the winners. “They are going to want to see photos that show off our beautiful state parks and what you do to have fun when you #OPTOUTSIDE,” staff said.

Prizes include a $500 Virginia State Park gift certificate, a lifetime parking pass, a $150 Virginia State Park gift certificate, 25 percent off Virginia State Park gift certificates, and prizes from REI.

See the categories and all the details at Black Friday #OptOutside Photo Challenge.

What’s the payoff to ditching the shopping for the outdoors?

“Payoff ‪#‎stayintheblackfriday‬,” said J. Money.

More

Giving and Volunteer Opportunities
Help Others Through the Rappahannock Region Holiday Assistance Coalition

Christmas Break Food Drive for Homeless Youth

RAAI Annual Poinsettia Sale

Donations Sought for Soldiers’ Holiday Gala

Holiday Events 2015
Holiday Parades and Tree Lightings 2015

Christmas Light Shows 2015

Second Annual Wee Christmas at Kenmore Accepting Applications

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