California is trying to make #GreenFriday a thing and we are ON BOARD

California is offering an alternative to the crazy shopping scene that is Black Friday — #GreenFriday. And no, that’s not green as in money, it’s green as in the earth. Because the day after Thanksgiving, California state parks are having Green Friday, a day where you can get a free, day-use parking pass to go visit the parks for no cost. Rather than spend your time inside shopping, Green Friday encourages people to go outside and enjoy the beauty of nature.

Regardless of how you feel about holiday shopping, you can’t deny that Black Friday has gotten a little out of hand (HUGE understatement). And while we love Small Business Saturday as a counter to Black Friday, Green Friday really is the antithesis to the consumer chaos. Because it’s not about spending — it’s just about embracing the great outdoors.

This initiative is sponsored by the Save the Redwoods League, California State Parks Foundation, and California State Parks. And the Green Friday website wonderfully explains why they chose Black Friday for this event:

“Thanksgiving is about spending time with friends and family, and appreciating our many shared blessings. State parks are uniquely suited for both! Experience joy, renewal, and inspiration among our natural wonders.”

As nature lovers ourselves, we couldn’t agree more!

You should still be spending time with your friends and family the day after Thanksgiving. While shopping can be a bonding experience in its own right, Green Friday seems like a more peaceful way to hang out with your loved ones.

Taking in the beautiful sights on a hike rather than being bombarded by crowds in an effort to reach the bargains sounds better to us at least. Plus, the deals on Black Friday really aren’t all that great anyway.

We also love the focus on connecting to the environment — especially when so many products are not green-friendly. And it’s not like stores are good for the environment.

If you do want to participate in California’s Green Friday — and we think you should if you can swing it — there are some things you need to do beforehand.

Not every state park is participating and there are a limited amount of free parking passes for each park. Still, there are 116 parks with 13,000 passes that were initially made available. Make sure to visit beforehand to see which parks still have passes, then download and print your pass to spend November 25th, 2016 in nature with some delightful animals.

Not only do we hope Californians will participate in #GreenFriday (it’s in its second year), but we hope to see other states come up with a similar plan for Black Friday next year. Even if you don’t live in California, you could celebrate your own Green Friday by doing some earth-friendly physical activity outside.

So don’t sweat the holidays — sweat it out in nature on #GreenFriday! You’ve got at least another month to do your holiday shopping.