I have never been able to shop on Black Friday because I always have to work.
But I’m not really someone to fight the crowds on Black Friday anyway. Then, last year REI came up with Opt Outside. It said it was closing all of its stores on the day after Thanksgiving so its employees can opt outside instead of dealing with the crowds.
Opting outside instead of shopping – now this I can jump on the bandwagon about. I love the idea of enjoying nature the day after a holiday that instructs us to be thankful.
Nature is extremely high on my list of things to be thankful for. Hiking, camping, and other outdoor actives make me feel peaceful and at home, so to opt outside sounds perfect. I live in an area where everything I love is so close. There are three state parks about a 30-minute driving radius from my home. I can be in a national park within 20 minutes. To live in such an area where outdoor adventures are so at hand, is a great blessing.
I am also tremendously thankful for public lands, where I can Opt Outside. Here in the United States, we are so blessed to have such beautiful and marvelous places set aside for everyone to see and use. I cannot imagine what it would be like if we were not able to see the beauty of Yellowstone, or other parks, in person.
Public lands are something people of all ethnicities, social classes, income levels and religions enjoy and are able to do so. Nature calms and relaxes us. We need our public lands to have peace of mind. And because of that, I loved REI so much for coming up with Opt Outside. What better way to relax from the hustle and bustles of the holidays than to take a mini break by going for a hike or just a picnic.
The Wilderness Society states on its website that protected wildlands provide us with “Clean air and water, abundant wildlife, havens for recreation, solitude and learning, important sources of renewable energy, vital natural resources that must be managed wisely, and a foundation for a healthy planet.”
There are so many ways you can enjoy the outdoors and nature. You can hike or simply stroll through a city park. You can kayak in a lake or a river, you can ride your bike, you can ski or snowshoe, you can simply just read a book basking in the sunshine of a park. But to Opt Outside does not mean you have to be super outdoorsy, super sporty, or a hipster. It simply means to take some time and enjoy God’s creation.
And if you are like me and have to work on Black Friday, you can chose to opt outside any other day of the week. The important thing is get outside and enjoy nature.
Protected wildlands are just as vital to our soul as our planet. As The Wilderness Society states, they provide us with clean air and water, as well as nourishing our soul. It is extremely important to get behind public lands and protect them. Some lawmakers are trying to take them away. They only see their monetary worth but fail to see the lasting effects of selling them. The Wilderness Society has more information about that here.
One great thing about public lands people of all income levels can enjoy them. They are not simply for just the wealthy.
By taking part in REI’s Opt Outside, you can show lawmakers how important these places are to us as a society, to us as an individual, and to our planet.
So if you want to relax, simplify your life, and help the planet, Opting Outside will be beneficial to all. Try it and let me know how you liked it.