Have a #GreenFriday

Have a #GreenFriday

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It’s almost impossible to avoid the Black Friday hype – it’s everywhere! Big retailers drop their prices and put on massive sales to tempt us into parting with even more of our cash before Christmas, and then they go and do it all again straight after Christmas anyway! Don’t get me wrong I love a bargain but I don’t like how our relentless consumer society pressures us to buy stuff, throw it away and keep buying more and more. This is not the path to a sustainable society and has turned so many of us into wasteful and thoughtless consumers.

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What is Black Friday?

Black Friday originated in the US and is the day after Thanksgiving. It marks the beginning of the Christmas shopping period and although it’s not an official holiday many people are given the day off work to go shopping. Since 2005 it has been the busiest shopping day of the year in the US and creates mass hysteria and even violence. Since 2006, there have been 7 reported deaths and 98 injuries throughout the US.

Although Black Friday is not a British tradition, in 2014 more retailers than ever took part and promoted Black Friday Sales in the UK. During Black Friday sales in 2014, police forces were called to stores across the United Kingdom to deal with crowd control issues, assaults, threatening customers and traffic issues. I am sure you all remember the footage of fighting and chaos from stores all over the UK and if not HERE is a nasty reminder.

How to have a #GreenFriday

So I’ve decided to ditch Black Friday and have a #GreenFriday instead and I’m inviting you to join me. Don’t go out, stay in, put the kettle on and check out my 4 favourite alternatives to Black Friday chaos. And if you fancy it tweet pics of you enjoying your #GreenFriday to @GreenCityEvents

Make your own gifts and decorations

I love a bit of crafting but even if you’re not an expert maker there are lots of fun and easy ways that you can have a homemade Christmas. In fact if you tune in to Made In Cardiff TV at 8pm and 10pm every Thursday leading up to Christmas you can catch me showing you how to make Christmas baubles, bottle top badges, origami decorations and autumn leaf bunting! Or have a browse of my pinterest page for some easy upcycled inspiration HERE.

 

Support local makers and businesses

We are lucky enough to have lots of talented crafters and makers in Cardiff so why not support them and our independent businesses by going to local markets and  fairs rather than defaulting to the high street. Coming up this Sunday 29th we have Snapped Up Christmas market at Printhaus and on Sunday 13th December it’s the Festive Food fair at Chapter. We also have plenty of wonderful independent shops in the arcades, Jacobs Antiques and Cardiff indoor flea market, where I am sure you will find lots of unique and original gifts.

Bake something lovely

There’s nothing more festive than the smell of a freshly baked spicy fruit cake or maybe some gingerbread. I like to make Patagonia black cake (see recipe below) , mainly because it has rum in it! Both make really lovely gifts for friends and neighbours.

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Plan a gift swap

Don’t panic – you don’t need to get a gift for all your friends, I am sure they would prefer to spend a fun evening with you rather than receive another box of chocolates or a candle! So why not invite your friends to a gift swap evening? Everyone brings along just one wrapped gift – there are lots of different ways to play gift swap games but this is what we like to do….it’s fast, fun and always hilarious to see what gifts people ‘steal’ from each other! Here’s how you play…

Everyone chooses and opens one gift. At this point each person chooses whether they want to keep their gift or want to swap it. Those who want to play sit in a circle with their opened gift in front of them. At this point it’s good to agree how long you will play for and set a timer. You need a dice to play. Everyone takes turns to roll. If you roll a 1 you can swap your gift with anyone else of your choice. If you roll a 6 you can steal a gift and keeps yours too! WARNING: there is a risk you end up with no gifts but it’s totally worth it for the fun!

Don’t forget to tweet pics of you enjoying your #GreenFriday to @GreenCityEvents

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