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Earth Day has been a "holiday" for nearly 50 years, and just like the environmental concerns it considers, it's gotten a lot more attention in recent years. People all over the world celebrate it, and that includes retailers who may seize the occasion to not only usher in some hot sales, but also bring awareness to a noble cause.
"Lots of retailers pledge their support to the environment on Earth Day, and depending on where you shop, some will even pass along a portion of your purchase to charity," noted Courtney Jespersen, retail expert at NerdWallet.
Here's a roundup of some of the best deals and charitable gestures retailers are offering this weekend in honor of Earth Day, Saturday, April 22.
The Freebies: National Parks, LED Light Bulbs, Coffee, and Workouts
"The best Earth Day deals are completely free, no purchase required," asserted Benjamin Glaser, featured editor with DealNews.
"Ikea is giving away LED light bulbs and coffee to the first 500 "Ikea Family" members in store on April 22. You'll have to join their family loyalty program if you're not already a member, but that's free too," Glaser added.
Also keen on caffeinating tree-huggers is Caribou Coffee, which announced on Twitter that it would be giving out unlimited free coffee for the month of April. The catch? In order to qualify you have to purchase the Earth Month Tumbler for $40.
YouFit Health Club is offering free workouts at its Earth Day Open House on April 21 — a great opportunity to get pumped for that weekend hike! You can also head over to Planet Fitness, for a free HydroMassage. Make sure to bring a coupon with you, which you can download here. Valid now through April 22.
Vendors falling under the Natural Grocers umbrella are giving out free reusable shopping bags. These stores include Alter Eco, Equal Exchange, Seventh Generation, Pacific Foods, Guayaki Organic Sweetwood Cattle Co. Wild Planet, and Ah Cacao. You can also get a free reusable tote and A Perfect World Deluxe Duo from Origins with orders of $45 or more through April 22 with code APRIL.
Perhaps the best freebie of all is the one that seems to resonate most with Earth Day and its purpose: Free entrances to National Parks, which spans the entire weekend.
Another particularly meaningful freebie comes from Burt's Bees, whom Glaser notes will be distributing free wildflower seeds with certain purchases this Earth Day.
"This calls attention to the global decline in the bee population (and hopefully gives bees some more habitat)," said Glaser.
Recycled Clothing, Car Seats, and Donations Made With Your Dollars Spent
Spring shoppers, as well as those looking to clear some room in their closet for new buys, may appreciate the various Earth Day in-store recycling programs.
"Target is offering to recycle old car seats and extend a 20 percent discount for the purchase of a new car seat through April 30," said Kendal Perez, savings expert at CouponSherpa. “Old car seats will be recycled through Target's partnership with Terracycle.”
H&M is releasing this year's Conscious Exclusive collection on April 20, featuring apparel and accessories made from organic and recycled materials. Keep in mind that these limited edition items aren’t available for the typical H&M prices, and can cost up to $400.
Fashion designer Theory is unveiling Theory For Good, its first garment recycling program, on April 22. Customers can donate their old Theory garbs to get credit for brand new Theory apparel. We’ve seen this with stores that are famously eco-conscious, such as Patagonia, but it’s unusual for a brand like Theory.
Some stores are using proceeds earned on or around Earth Day to help fund non-profits. American Forests will match every dollar donated, up to $50,000, by Eddie Bauer shoppers during Earth Week (donations can be added to online orders or separately through Eddie Bauer's website). And the thrift store chain Buffalo Exchange will sell a selection of apparel items for $1 each on Sunday, with all proceeds going to the Humane Society of the United States. Hey, cats and dogs are a big part of this Earth!
Skincare, Eco-Friendly Cleaning Goods, and Amazon Steals
Earth Day is a great time to get a discount from just about any company on select products or services. In the beauty and home-care department, consider the following:
BeautyStoreDepot.com is touting 20 percent off on select orders (brand exclusions apply) of $60 or more through April 25 with promo code NOURISH. Over at The Honest Company, take 40 percent off your first month's bundle through April 26 with promo code EARTH. At Kiehl's, you can get four free deluxe samples with orders of $65 or more, plus a reusable water bottle with orders of $100 or more, through April 28 with promo code EARTH. Jet.com is slashing 20 percent off select eco-friendly grocery and household products including Method, Meyers, and Seventh Generation cleaning products, KIND, Pacific Foods, and Annie's Homegrown Organic food items through April 28 with coupon code EARTH20.
In the area of photography and printing supplies, check out Photos.com, where you can nab 15 percent off your order through April 24 with promo code EARTHDAY, and at BorrowLenses.com, you can get 20 percent off rentals through April 25 with coupon code EARTHDAY2017. National Geographic is hosting a signed prints flash sale, saying that it will donate 27 percent of its proceeds to the non-profit National Geographic Society.
In the world of office and school supplies, Staples is offering 25 percent off select Earth Day products including seed packets, canvas bags, and eco highlighters through April 30 with promo code 17EARTHDAY.
Brent Shelton, online shopping expert at FatWallet, adds that Amazon is offering 20 percent off select Amazon Warehouse items for Earth Day, while eBates is offering double cash back on Earth Day on purchases made at more than two dozen stores.
Check Social Media and Research Charities
There are tons of Earth Day campaigns taking place all over the world, most at a very local level. Take Evos, with locations in Florida: According to its Facebook page it is continuing its Earth Day tradition of giving out free organic milkshakes this year.
If you want to find something in your area, your best bet is to scan any local news outlets, as well as to do a quick search on social media. Search #EarthDay to see the latest results on Twitter and Instagram, and also follow your favorite neighborhood establishments to be kept in the loop for any last minute offers.
If you're interested in making a charitable donation this weekend, NerdWallet's Jespersen recommends that you use a website like Charity Navigator to "evaluate a particular charity before you give."