NWHSU Students Share Healthy Black Friday Alternatives

In recent years, there has been a cultural shift surrounding Black Friday and it’s implications on the environment, consumerism and retail workers. Consumers spent 20% more in 2020 than the previous year, totaling to $9 billion in online sales ultimately creating large spikes in fossil fuel emissions and waste products.  

A 2019 report from Green Alliance found that 80% of goods purchased on Black Friday will end up in landfills or low quality recycling.  

Heading Outside Instead 

Many companies have shifted their values surrounding the holiday shopping weekend, including outdoor brands like REI and Patagonia that suggest a simple solution: instead of shopping, go outside!  

“Going outside benefits my health in multiple ways. Among going outside to get exercise, being in nature improves my mental health and helps me to find a sense of calm in the chaos of life.” -Quintana White, T6 chiropractic student. 

According to the CDC, spending time outdoors can improve overall health and wellness. Time outdoors increases physical activity, promotes mental health benefits, and reduces stress.

Here are some Black Friday activity suggestions from NWHSU students:  

1. Try a new winter activity 

NWHSU students enjoy winter activities including snowshoeing, ice skating, hockey, broomball or skiing. But don’t forget, it’s important to wear sufficient outdoor clothing when enjoying Minnesota in the winter including a coat, hat, gloves and scarf to cover ones face against wind exposure.  

2. Enjoy Nature at Minnesota State Parks 

NWHSU chiropractic student Sebastian Bergeron shares that Minnesota’s state parks will be waiving their entrance fees on Black Friday to encourage the community to enjoy nature instead of shopping this season.  

3. Stay Warm at the Como Conservatory 

Chiropractic student, Kirsten DeHaven, likes to spend time in nature to combat the negative feelings that hyper consumerism can bring. She also enjoys visiting the Como Conservatory in St. Paul, which offers a warm and humid environment during the winter with beautiful tropical plants and water features.  

4. Still need to shop? Think Local 

Still need to go shopping for the holiday season? Small business Saturday can offer a compromise and researching brands before hand on their sustainability values can bring peace of mind when buying gifts for those we love. Shopping small and locally directly supports our communities of artists, makers and business people.  

Story by Kit Harlow, Chiropractic Student