#Optoutside vs Black FridayToday marks the second year that REI, an outdoor equipment and clothing retailer, has practiced its #OptOutside movement.

Last year, REI decided to use Black Friday as a way to convince people to enjoy the great outdoors the day after Thanksgiving instead of shopping indoors. Not only that, but REI closes all of its doors on Black Friday and gives a paid vacation day to all 12,287 employees.

REI's chief executive, Jerry Stritzke, reported that although Black Friday is a significant retail day for the company, REI didn't experience any negative financial consequences.

"As a co-op, we share a simple belief that time in the outdoors makes us healthier and happier –- as individuals and as a society," Stritzke said.

In 2015, an estimate of 1.4 million people participated in #OptOutside, and it's expected that even more will participate this year. National Parks have even jumped on the outdoor movement by waiving their entry fees for Black Friday. Many state and national parks, or other outdoor centers, have also offered special activities and programs for Black Friday. Arizona, Arkansas, California, Delaware, and Minnesota have all pledged to have their state parks join #OptOutside.

Some participants have even decided to start calling this day "Green Friday" as a way to further combat Black Friday. One company, United By Blue, has even dubbed their efforts as "Blue Friday." United By Blue removes one pound of trash from bodies of water for every item purchased from their company. For Black Friday, the company has encouraged people to go out and clean up the bodies of water in their local communities.

This trend of going outside and enjoying nature is expected to become more and more popular over Black Friday, since many people choose to shop online anyway. Retail analysts have reported that more and more people are moving towards cyber deals and online shopping rather than standing in line for hours at a brick-and-mortar store. For this reason, some media outlets have suggested that the days of Black Friday may be coming to a close altogether. It's unclear whether or not this will become true, since many retailers make incredible amounts of money on Black Friday, Cyber Monday, and through the holiday season.

However, one study shows that 49% of people disapprove of stores being open on Thanksgiving Day; and nine out of 10 people surveyed claimed they did not intend to shop on Thanksgiving. Black Friday is a different story, however.

Although Black Friday likely won't go away (cash is king, after all), it's popularity is likely to go down. Some stores, such as Home Depot, Nordstrom, Mall of America, and Staples have all opted to stay closed on Thanksgiving Day, but are open for Black Friday.

Stritzke hopes that the #OptOutside movement will not only unite people with the great outdoors, but with each other as well. In light of the recent political climate and presidential election, Stritzke stated that the outdoors helps in bringing people together.

"We tend to put aside differences when we are presented with the magnificence of being in nature, no matter our beliefs or allegiances."