In 2015 REI created the Opt Outside campaign, wherein they closed 143 of their stores on Black Friday, the biggest sales day of the year for many companies, in order to promote outdoor recreation and call attention to unsustainable consumption.
REI CCO Ben Steele explained that "#OptOutside was about sharing the idea that life is richer, more connected and complete outdoors." While CEO Jerry Stritzke shares his belief that the holiday time off should be spent “in the Mountains, not in the aisles.'' We at Friends of Nevada Wilderness agree, holidays should be for getting outside, getting recharged and inspired, and having meaningful experiences with the people you care about in the wild places you love.
Opt Outside focuses not only on opting out of consumerism for the day but also aims at the need for refocusing our culture of holidays and holiday time away from big box store sales and back to spending time with our families and communities, especially by spending time together in the outdoors or by volunteering and giving back. What began as an insular campaign has transformed into a movement with many other companies and organizations joining in. Many State, and in previous years National Parks, have joined in to offer free or discounted admission on Black Friday, with Oregon State Parks going so far as to label the day “Green Friday” waiving all state park parking fees for the day. In Nevada, Spring Mountain Ranch State Park is offering a free Ranger Guided Black Friday Night Hike. Here in Nevada we are lucky to have access to a vast amount of scenic public lands. From enjoying some of the fresh powder that has just fallen in Mt Rose Wilderness to hiking or climbing in Red Rock Canyon NCA there are plenty of experiences awaiting those brave enough to #optoutside this year!
So, will you opt outside this year?
If you and yours are going on an outdoor trek on Green Friday, we love seeing your adventures! Tag us in your post and remember to use hashtag #optoutside. Also, if you want a great opportunity to give back, beginning November 29th Patagonia will be matching 100% of donations made to Friends of Nevada Wilderness through their Action Works Portal. Double your giving power and make Black Friday Green this year. Follow the link on the website or through the Patagonia match article in this enews to give your Green Friday gift.