This Friday is Black Friday, which means a day of shopping, great bargains, and irresistibly discounted items. The day is known to mark the beginning of the festive shopping period, with consumers heading to the shops in their masses. From clothing to electricals, homewares and everything in between, there are endless deals – people go wild for Black Friday, quite literally.
Our consumption habits are destroying our environment, and are leading to an overwhelming feeling of stuffocation among us all, hoarders or not. Beyond the discounts and bargains, Black Friday doesn’t help these issues. Black Friday purchases are typically impulse bought due to the heavily promoted deals and apparently unbeatable discounts. In 2017, 21% of people in Britain purchased something on Black Friday which they later regretted. Let alone ethical or environmentally friendly products. Our throwaway lifestyles, items manufactured with short lifespans, and excessive packaging all add to our environmental impact. Black Friday has even been described as ‘frying the planet’, fuelling climate change, pollution and the destruction of natural ecosystems. Even air pollution levels reportedly spike on the day.
Realistically, most of us will have our eye on something during the shopping season. If you are heading to the shops on Black Friday, or are shopping from the comfort of your home, try to avoid impulse buying products which you may later regret – kinder for your wallet and the environment! Do your research and find environmentally responsible and ethical brands – see what deals they have on, and try to purchase locally sourced products. And remember to bring your own reusable shopping bag with you to carry your bargains home! For more tips on how to have a green Black Friday, click here.
You could go one step further and avoid the shops altogether. Take part in Buy Nothing Day, a campaign urging us to boycott Black Friday – can you resist the urge to splurge and simply buy nothing?
Our engagement programmes encourages responsible purchasing, for both ethical and environmental reasons. Participants earn points for buying locally, seasonally, and for choosing certified products such as those that are Fairtrade. We also encourage reuse and repair, buying second hand items and upcycling! There are so many things we can do to reduce the impact of our consumption – we choose how and where we spend our money, it’s really up to us.
Whether you’re heading to the shops, bagging yourself a bargain online, or opting out of shopping altogether, we hope you can make your Black Friday a little bit greener.