How to help save the world while shopping for Black Friday deals

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As you go crazy saving money this Black Friday, one organization wants you to think about how you can help save the planet — at the same time.

The average person spends about $420 on Black Friday, according to Heifer International, a charity that supplies livestock, seeds, tools, and small-business startup help to poverty-stricken people in developing nations. As we’re scoring TVs, surround sound systems, tablets, and other goodies, we’re saving an average of $126.90.

Screen Shot 2013-11-29 at 9.03.36 AMThat $126 could go a long way to helping a poor family:

  • One goat: A goat means four quarts of milk a day, which means eight kids get their milk, protein, and calcium.
  • One women’s group: One women’s self-help group plus a biogas stove helps 30 women provide for themselves and their families.
  • Six flocks of chicks: Six flocks of baby chickens end up producing about 1,200 eggs per month, supplying a reliable source of food and protein
  • One family farm care package: Seeds, tools, and trees so families can feed themselves, and preserve the Earth.

Here’s the Heifer International gift catalog, with a few ideas to help us give thanks in a very tangible way, while we’re also getting as much cheap stuff as we can.

“Nearly 80 percent of Americans say they would rather have a charitable gift given in their name than something they don’t need,” the charity says. “Heifer International gifts bring real, sustainable change. Our animals provide life-sustaining, nutrient-rich products. They empower women to be equal players in their communities, increase family incomes and enable education.”

That just might be better than a bigger big-screen TV.

Black Friday gift-giving