To me, Black Friday is practically synonymous with massive consumption, massive waste, and in some cases massive debt. Those conditions are all self-explanatory and you don’t need the Gospel According to Mrs. Green to paint a picture of the probable outcome for record-breaking sales on Black Friday. Companies are spending billions of dollars hoping to seduce you. K-Mart is opening at 4: a.m. ON Thanksgiving. Really?

I want to paint you the picture I have in my mind for GREEN Friday and surprisingly it’s not all about staying home. Lots of businesses depend on the holiday season to see them through most of the year. So yes, shopping — but intentional, sustainable, conscious FUN shopping! Here are some highlights of what will be in my pictures:

Locally owned – From the restaurants to the services to the camera shops to the shoe stores to “green” dry cleaners to that special card/stationery store, support the locals because they support you. Find and shop at the Crizmac (a fabulous locally-owned treasure in Tucson) in your city or town. I’m thinking, buying and being local. (I hope any of my family members reading this can spell Verve…)

Gina-bike-bookmansResale – In my pictures, I’m see gift certificates to our FABULOUS resale stores: Bookmans, Bookmans Sports, HabiStore, Goodwill Industries of Southern Arizona, Buffalo Exchange. Resale treasures to be had, landfill loads to be lessened, crowds to avoid! For something new stop in Fed By Threads for a gift that keeps on giving – made in America, feeding Americans.

None of the Above – I love out-of-the-box thinking when it comes to Christmas giving. Make a meal for the Mom or Dad who has to cook every night, bake some cookies for someone you love, give a babysitting or pet sitting or “come have lunch on me at the place of your choice” gift of love certificate. What about a prepaid card at someone’s favorite coffee bar or tearoom? Take a leap; pay to have someone’s house cleaned or their car washed. These things are ALL more meaningful. Sure, this might take a little bit more time to think about but will certainly bring true meaning back to the gift of giving.

So what does Mrs. Green really want for Christmas, you might ask? (And please feel free to notify my family members.) I want pictures; framed, up-to-date pictures of those I love. Added bonus? Used frames purchased at Goodwill or Habitat for Humanity’s HabiStore.

Final deep thought. As consumers, we already have all the power we need to be the change we wish to see in the world. Every purchase we make matters. We can make our local economies stronger and our planet a healthier, more sustainable one and experience the true joy of giving by exercising our power of choice. Hope you make your choices bright green.