Please Skip Black Friday: Celebrate Green Monday Instead

Black Friday is almost upon us, and at Frogs Are Green, we’d like you to consider skipping this obnoxious super-shopping day and to participate instead in Green Monday, sponsored by the Nature Conservancy.

Rather than joining the throngs at the mall or the big box stores, why not feel good about the season by contributing time or money to a worthy organization, buying merchandise from these animal/conservation/green organizations, or giving a donation in someone’s name. Especially during a recession, these organizations really need our help. Here are some we came up with. Please let us know in the comments if there are others you would recommend:

Save the Frogs. Dr. Kerry Kriger is a one-man frog advocate. Go to the Save the Frogs site to check out all the activities going on there. How about adopting a frog for a frog-loving friend or family member?

Sea Turtle Conservancy. While you are it, why not adopt a sea turtle, too? When you adopt a sea turtle from the Sea Turtle Conservancy, you get a lovely personalized certificate, a plastic turtle, get to name the turtle, track where the turtle is online, and it all comes in a beautifully designed folder. This makes a really nice gift—Susan and I have given them to friends and family.

Continuing the herpetological theme, The Sea Turtle Restoration Project has some really nice sea turtle items. Who needs a Lacoste polo when you can get one of these nifty sea turtle polo shirts. Proceeds from the sale of the shirts will go toward sea turtle conservation:

The National Wildlife Federation. The NWF has some great gifts: cards, plush animals, plant-a-tree jewelry, books, and so on. Here’s a book we liked for the gardeners in your family. It’s full of information about gardening for wildlife (including our amphibian friends), as well as information about everything you need to know to create a Certified Wildlife Habitat.

Consider supporting Heifer International. This makes a great group gift from a school, Scout troup, church, or synagogue. It’s a fun and meaningful project for kids to raise enough money to buy, for example, a gift of a heifer ($500). When a family receives a cow, every morning there’s a glass of rich milk for the children to drink before heading off to school. Classes are paid with the income from the sale of milk, and there’s even enough to share with the neighbors. The sale of surplus milk earns money for school fees, medicine, clothing, and home improvement. Less expensive gifts include a “Flock of Hope” ($60).


image courtesy of Heifer International

Support your local animal shelter. Animal shelters need volunteers to walk dogs, socialize cats, raise funds, etc. Of course, you might end up with a new member of the family, just in time for the holidays. An alternative to bringing an animal home is to sponsor a special-needs animal from the North Shore (NY) Animal League or another shelter.

So many of our posts this past year came from Conservation Organization’s Lost Frog Campaign. They are doing wonderful work around the world to save amphibians. While they don’t have a store, you can donate money to honor someone and they will send a personalized e-card.

You might want to Adopt an Acre for someone (from The Nature Conservancy). Here’s one we liked: an acre in Costa Rica, where “howler monkeys greet the break of dawn with a thunderous roar while scarlet macaws wing over treetops as the sun begins its slow trek across the sky. The rainforest is alive with a wealth of magnificent plant and wildlife, including jaguar, puma, sloths, tapirs, poison-dart frogs and four species of monkey.”

Adopt an Acre in Costa Rica

The Farm Sanctuary. I visited The Farm Sanctuary in Watkins Glen, NY, with my family last fall and I can’t imagine a more bucolic place, with the most contented animals I’ve ever seen. We felt as if we were in a children’s picture book, but it was real. This organization provides a lifetime sanctuary for rescued and abused farm animals. Here’s their store, with books, apparel, etc.

A happy pig at the Farm Sanctuary, Watkins Glen, NY. Photo by Mary Jo Rhodes

Give your support to other less well known organizations: We were moved by last week’s guest post about The Beautiful Frog Association’s efforts in the Czech Republic to save the European Green Toad. Why not help support this cause or another cause that isn’t a household name, where your money will make a big impact? Some other causes we’ve featured on Frogs Are Green: Global Amphibian Blitz, Amphibian Rescue and Conservation ProjectThe Endangered Western Leopard Toad (South Africa), and The Frog Caller.

We would also appreciate any help you can give us here at Frogs Are Green. This year, for example, our kids’ art contest really took off. We’ve received entries from children all over the world, and we’re proud that we have been able to spread our message to so many new people. How about buying a few wristbands as stocking stuffers for your frog-loving friends or family, or buying one of our lovely posters, 2012 calendar, or the Ribbit t-shirt below? Your purchase will help us as we develop our offshoot organization, Frogs Are Green Kids.

Please enjoy a lovely, stress-free, and GREEN holiday!