Over the past five years, U.S. outdoor gear retailer Recreational Equipment Incorporated has been closing their stores and web sales platform on the busiest retail sales day of the year, while paying their 13,000+ employees to go enjoy the great outdoors. REI’s decision to OptOutside on Black Friday is an example of the company’s commitment to the natural environment, above their retail sales numbers.
This year REI is taking its OptOutside campaign a step further by asking thousands of members and employees to engage in some environmental cleanup and protection activities. Folks can choose to join a nationwide cleanup day organized by the Leave No Trace Center for Outdoor Ethics and United By Blue, or set up their own cleanup (basically, bike plogging). Alongside these one-day OptOutside events, REI has created a series of calendar notifications that anyone can download to remind them of different ways to leave the world better then they found it.
In addition to skipping Black Friday and cleaning up some heavily trafficked natural spaces, REI says:
As we ask you to steward the outdoor places you love this Black Friday, we’re also announcing a series of our own commitments. We’re rethinking the future of retail and finding ways for every REI member to take part in the circular economy with more used and rental gear choices. We’re tackling waste in our own operations and in communities across the country. And we’re redoubling our efforts to eliminate unnecessary packaging in our industry.
Check for cleanup events in your area, along with resources and info on setting up an event on REI’s OptOutside page.