Less-Than-Black Friday: Ideas for a More Socially-Just and Sustainable Holiday

The other day, my friend Zach said, “I have a great idea for a bumper sticker!  It will say (excuse the language), “Fuck Black Friday.  Give thanks again!”

I’ve never really understood the hyper-consumerism that accompanies the holidays.  Even though I’ve often had a strained relationship with my family, I still love them, and I see them as the focus of the holiday season.  I just don’t quite understand why we’re expected to show our love for our families through rampant consumerism.  “Buy More Stuff.  That’s the way to celebrate the holidays.”

Though in some ways, I will undoubtedly participate in that consumerism (there are a few small things that I want to give to family and that I hope to receive), I also recognize that there are lots of ways to participate in this dance more responsibly.

Thus, here’s my 2nd Annual list of ways to celebrate in a more Socially Just and Sustainable way.

1.  Since I spent the other day baking tasty vegan rolls and vegan gravy for Thanksgiving, the idea of food in the holidays is definitely on my mind.  I love to eat.  I love to eat well.  And I am incredibly privileged to eat super well!  I also recognize the privilege that comes with being a vegetarian, and while I hope that folks reduce their meat consumption, I also don’t really see any sense in trying to convince everyone to stop eating meat.  However, in that, I am mindful of the environmental impact of meat consumption.  Eating turkey is wildly unsustainable (and the turkey-production industry really screws the farmers)!  How about beef or ham?  Well, if you choose to eat those, it’s like dumping 2400 gallons of water down the drain and burning 55 square feet of rainforest.  Thus, this holiday season, I encourage you to consider a vegetarian holiday meal!  Or perhaps consider having all-vegetarian sides with your turkey or ham or pot roast.

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No Ads (For Now), So Consider Donating!

A few weeks ago, I asked my readers whether they thought I should advertise to make my work more sustainable on Change From Within.  While people generally were in support of the idea of advertising so that I could more easily sustain my work,  a few suggested that I start by adding a PayPal “Donate” button.

Well, I hate advertising as much as the next person, so I’ve added a donation button to the right!  If you are a regular (or even one time) reader and appreciate the content, please consider helping make my work sustainable with a donation.  For those who are regular readers, I would encourage you to donate in smaller amounts regularly (like a subscription) rather than in a larger amount once, even if that means that you donate $1 every other month rather than $5 now.

Whether or not you are able to support Change From Within monetarily, thank you for your support through readership.  Please keep reading, and please re-link the blog on facebook or twitter whenever you particularly enjoy a piece.

Peace be the Journey,

Jamie