Boycott Thanksgiving

I asked the cashier at my local grocery store if they were open on Thanksgiving, and she said “No, thank goodness.  I don’t understand why people have to shop on Thanksgiving.”  However, the bagger had a different opinion.  She said “Well, the men watch football and the women go shopping.  That’s just natural.”

What do you think?  Should people shop on Thanksgiving? 

Shop this: Costco, DSW, Nordstrom, Barnes & Noble, Nordstrom, HomeGoods, Publix, TJ Maxx, Pier 1 Imports, Dillard's, Jo-Ann Fabrics, Gordmans, BJs, Crate & BarrelI will not shop at retail stores that open on Thanksgiving. Ever!  I don’t think they deserve my money at any point, not just not on Black Thursday.  I’ve “liked” the Facebook Page Boycott Black Thursday that has information about which stores are opening on Thanksgiving and which are not.

I asked myself, why has this issue become such a big deal in recent years and what I discovered is that in recent years many retailers have been pushing their Black Friday sales earlier and earlier.  They’ve moved from early Friday, to crazy early Friday, to Thursday evening, to Thursday afternoon (aka Thanksgiving).  

In 2013 Macy’s opened at 8PM on Thanksgiving and in 2014 they will open at 6PM

I started doing some research on this and found Snopes.org had looked into the rumors circulating that Simon’s Malls were going to fine stores that don’t open on Thanksgiving Day $1,100 an hour.  Snopes found that while this was true in the case of some malls, and other malls were not opening at all, they were unable to determine if it was a corporate policy or not.

I'm not shopping on Thanksgiving Day!I looked up two Simon’s Malls near my mother’s house in NY, about 1/2 mile apart from each other – the fancy, expensive one will be closed on Thanksgiving while the less expensive mall will be open from 6PM to 1AM on Thanksgiving. In fact, according to the Daily Show, that mall will be fining the stores that don’t open on Thanksgiving.  How does a mall list open hours on Thanksgiving unless they tell all of their tenant stores that they will also open? For the mall that will be open on Thanksgivings, their achor stores are some of the ones already all over the press for being open on Thanksgiving: 

Macy’s, Sears, Forever 21, H&M, Old Navy, Victoria’s Secret

I live in Massachusetts and thanks to the Blue Laws (now that’s something you don’t hear very often!) It’s illegal for stores to open on Thanksgiving.  The Blue Laws are laws from the 1800’s designed to enforce religious standards.  Many of them are still on the books, and as a result, it is illegal to open a retail store in Massachusetts, Maine or Rhode Island on Thanksgiving.  I did notice that as a result, the Simon Malls near me open at 12:30am on Black Friday.  (Although the very high end malls are not opening until 8AM that day.) 
 
Now that I’ve done my research, I’m not just upset about retail stores forcing their employees to work on Thanksgiving, but I’m upset that companies like Simon Malls are opening their locations targeting lower-income shoppers on Thanksgiving, while their locations that cater to higher-end shoppers are fine not opening until 8AM on Black Friday.  I feel like they are preying on the poor by doing this.  It truly upsets me to hear people’s stories about how important it is to shop early on Black Friday because they have to get those doorbusters in order to afford presents for their family for Christmas or other household items that have not been able to afford without finding a crazy sale. 
 
I’m not going to try to maintain my own list of what is open and closed on this Black Thursday/Thanksgiving here as there are enough places already doing that.  I will point you to the Boycott Black Thursday Facebook page and The Black Friday for a list of stores open on Thanksgiving.  I’ve read that these businesses report that the sales they get on Thanksgiving are huge and if we want something to change, that needs to stop.
 
Here is a link to one list of stores refusing to open on Thanksgiving. These are stores that I feel worthy of my loyalty and my money. 
 
What will you be doing on Thanksgiving?
 
Happy Greening,
Alicia
 

To illustrate how this problem is affecting retail workers, ThinkProgress focused on what’s going on with Kmart, which is opening at 6 a.m. on Thanksgiving Day and staying open for 42 hours straight. “While the company says it tries to fill the slots with volunteers or seasonal hires,” Bryce Covert writes, the reality is that workers are being told to give up their family time at the last minute to sell gee-gaws, or they will lose their jobs. 

 
 
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Review EPIC Grass-Fed Protein Bar

Ellie and I are attending a conference this weekend – Biodiversity for a Livable Climate. We’re learning a lot about using healthy ecosystems to capture carbon and reverse climate change.

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Seth Itzkan presenting his Paradigm Fence in South Africa

One of the techniques several of the speakers have been discussing is the use of intelligent grazing of cattle to restore ecosystems.  They have shown examples from all over the world of how this is working today. I realize that while we’ve been trying to eat less meat and particularly less beef, in order to reduce our impact on the planet, there does need to be a market for sustainably raised grass fed beef in order to support this technique of reversing climate change. 

For break during the conference, we’ve tried some great samples of Fair Trade and environmentally sustainable products.  Ellie and I just tried two different kinds of EPIC protein bars. I love that they are 100% grass-fed, but even more than that, they are made from cattle & bison raised using the intelligent grazing techniques in Texas that we are learning about. The herds are managed such that they naturally fertilize and aerate the ground they graze on.  There are no artificial fertilizers, no antibiotics, and no feed lots. 

photo 2The bars are designed like beef jerky, but are very tender, not chewy. We both really liked the Bison Bacon-Cranberry bar.  The Beef Habanero-Cherry bar was too spicy for Ellie, but I didn’t mind the bite.  EPIC sells the boxes online for $34 for 12 bars, which isn’t bad for a protein bar. A little searching shows me that Whole Foods and Vitamin Shoppe are two national chains that carry them and they seem to be in health food stores all over the country.2014-11-22 10.58.30

If you’re looking for a protein bar you can feel good about eating, try these!

Happy Greening,

Alicia & Ellie

 

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Jon’s 2014 Green Gift Guide

Jon's 2014 Green Gift Guide - www.greenlifestylechanges.com

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I'm always on the lookout for children's books that reflect my values, so when the Green Kids Club contacted me to review their books, I jumped on it! They sent me the series for free, so I could review them and tell all of you about them. This … [Continue reading]

Getting Started Hiking

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I've loved to hike since shortly after I started going to a summer camp at which you hike one or two mountains each summer and then after summer camp, my mother began dragging me up Mt Washington every year. I eventually became known as an … [Continue reading]

What’s the Hottest New iPhone Tech – FLIR ONE Review

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Over the weekend I got to play with one of the coolest new tools for an energy geek - a FLIR ONE Thermal Imaging Camera add-on for the iPhone 5/5S. You can literally measure and see how cool or hot you or anything around you is. A friend at … [Continue reading]

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Are you allergic to ragweed?  Jon is.  According to Wikipedia, Ragweed is a very common allergen.  Just ask around and you're sure to find people who know they are allergic to it.  But do you know how to recognize it? … [Continue reading]

How Many Times Should You Use Your Disposable Razor?

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There are a lot of things that we have been taught should be disposable, like silverware and diapers. I agree, sometimes it is wonderfully convenient and helpful to have disposable items. We took plastic forks and spoons to the beach with us this … [Continue reading]

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Last summer I blogged about the age old controversy: Which is the greener way to grill: Charcoal or Propane? My conclusion was that it matters far more what you grill than how you grill it. Now I have discovered something new and I … [Continue reading]