For most retail businesses, Black Friday is like the Super Bowl. It’s their biggest sales day of the year, and requesting the day off can be a pretty dicey proposition for an employee. But for five years in a row, outdoor retailer REI has closed its stores, processed no online sales, and given employees a paid day off to spend outside with friends and family — and encouraged customers to do the same. This year, they’re taking their campaign to the next level by launching cleanup initiatives all around the country.
In addition to the #OptOutside program for its employees on Black Friday, REI is also encouraging people to “Opt to Act.” Several nationwide cleanups are being organized this November 29 in conjunction with the Leave No Trace Center for Outdoor Ethics and United by Blue. The goal is to come together to clean up parks and other public spaces in your community.
Cleanups are happening all over the country, in cities like Seattle, San Francisco, Austin, Denver, New York, and Philadelphia, but if your city isn’t participating, REI is encouraging you to organize your own DIY cleanup with friends. Just share photos of your efforts on Instagram with the #OptOutside tag to join the campaign.
So when Black Friday rolls around, by all means, #OptOutside, but also do your best to lend a hand and clean up your local community.