No matter if you have wondered what #OptOutside is, if you have never even heard of it, or know all about it… we strongly encourage you to participate this Black Friday. So then what is #OptOutside?
The #OptOutside movement was started by the outdoor retail company REI in 2015. The basic meaning of #OptOutside is: Go outdoors on Black Friday instead of shopping. Of course, Black Friday is the day after the American Thanksgiving (third Thursday in November) that has grown into an insanely popular and discount-sales-driven day of shopping.
What Is #OptOutside All About?
While #OptOutside is a very successful and award-winning ad campaign, we want to emphasize the altruistic aspects of the initiative that help make the world a happier place… one inspired person at a time.
Every Black Friday since 2015, REI closes all of its 150+ brick-and-mortar stores, does not process any online payments and gives the 12,000 employees a paid day-off to spend it out in nature. All this on one of the biggest shopping days of the year!
From the get-go, they were joined by other companies and not-for-profit organizations that offered the same to their employees or featured free services or waived entry fees for outdoor excursions. Besides REI, many other companies, organizations and individuals promote the #OptOutside hashtag on social media when sharing photos and videos – especially on Instagram and Twitter.
Since our own goal is to help people get happier by having more fun outdoors, we wholeheartedly salute and thank REI for launching this effective initiative to get people outside.
We’d like to acknowledge what came before and was probably an inspiration: Buy Nothing Day. This social art piece, protest against consumerism, and global “holiday” also takes place on the Friday after Thanksgiving. Buy Nothing Day was launched by Vancouver artist Ted Dave in 1992 and promoted into global awareness by AdBuster magazine.
Ideas for How to Opt Outside on Black Friday
The simplest thing: just walk out of your door. Walking around your neighborhood may not be the great outdoors; but you might be surprised by the beauty or inspiration you can find right outside your home just by ignoring your device and looking around.
Go for a stroll in the nearest city park… or to try something new: check out the city park that’s furthest from your place.
Before winter takes over, “get in one more” of… whatever outdoor fun you wish you had done more all summer, e.g., bike, roller blade, skateboard, hike, paddle board, run, picnic… or whatever makes you happier outside. You might have to pump up those tires again or dress a bit warmer, but you’ll be happier for having “done it” one more time!
Many organizations are holding special events to encourage you to go outside. Check out this list of US MeetUps hosting outdoor activities on Black Friday… then enter your own zip code to find a local OptOutside MeetUp or organize one yourself.
Choose to not go shopping on Black Friday. If you live in America, you know you can shop every single day of the year. Just opt out of shopping for this one day and opt in to having some fun outdoors!
For people who are not very physically mobile: How about asking a friend or a relative to take you for a scenic drive?
Can’t leave the home at all? Then at least for a little while, sit by a window and look outside… to watch the birds, the clouds or anything else that’s moving out there.
If you need anymore convincing to participate in #OptOutside, you might want to read this: Inviting Happiness and Adventure: Yes, let’s!
#OptOutside and #HappierPlace
Following the example of REI, everyone at Happier Place gets #OptOutside Friday off to have fun outside instead of buying, selling or staring at our devices. So while our website will be active, no human will process any purchases or respond to comments or messages until the next day (aka So-Much-To-Do Saturday).
Full disclosure: we will be offering a special coupon code for Cyber Monday (valid only on 11/26/18) which will save you 18% on your entire order: CYBER18. Of course, we also donate 5% of every sale (not just of profit!) to the Environmental Defense Fund. So there are incentives to purchase from Happier Place – on any day but the Friday after Thanksgiving.
We would love to see your photos of the fun you have in nature. If you use our hashtag #HappierPlace, we might even feature your photo on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook and on our website after Friday.
You don’t share photos online? Then TELL us about how you opted outside in the comments below.
Let’s keep inspiring each other and make the world a happier place.
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