Lets Start With Black Friday...
It’s almost that time of year again, where shops across the country are preparing to massively slash prices and introduce mind-blowing, one-off deals, known as Black Friday. The US phenomenon has been largely adopted in the UK, which has famously caused a rush of shoppers to both online and high-street stores, encouraging lots of frantic and perhaps needless spending. Even customers fighting over half-priced electronics! In fact, Brits plan to spend an estimated £4.8 billion on Black Friday and Cyber Monday purchases this year.
Though highly profitable it may be for retailers, Black Friday is not very profitable for our planet, which has been criticised due to promoting overconsumption. Green Alliance found that up to 80% of items bought over the weekend – and any plastic packaging they are wrapped in – will end up either in landfill, incineration or at best, low-quality recycling after an often very short life. In response, the movement Green Friday was started to help raise awareness about the impact of societies shopping habits.
What is Green Friday and How Can Consumers Get Involved?
Green Friday proposes an environmentally effective alternative of responsible and conscious consumption on that same day, challenging consumers to not rush to the shops and instead make conscious choices that will have a positive impact on the planet; such as buying from sustainable brands, donating to charity or volunteering. The idea of creating this world day that counteracts Black Friday was conceived by NGO’s, environmental groups, small companies and sustainable brands that promote ethical lifestyles.
To align with our sustainable values, this year we want to replace Black Friday with Green Friday by focusing on changing how we see this day and shifting the mindset from “buy, buy, buy” to finding a different outlook that doesn’t cause any further damage to the Earth. Thereby, instead of boycotting the holiday completely, we are aiming to encourage everyone to shop consciously instead. But with a few discounts and offers, considering the pandemic which has led to job losses and low-income households. And being a green alternative to other toy brands on the market!
How To Make Your Black Friday… Green?
There are many ways you can contribute to this countermovement, whether shopping ethically, donating to a charity, buying second-hand or even using a giveaway app. Here are our top choices for ethical purchases this Green Friday.
1. Shop Second Hand – Whether it’s clothes from charity shops or off Facebook Marketplace, Depop and Vinted
2. Make A Shopping List And Stick To It – It can be easy to impulsively buy with the big red sales tag looking at you, but sticking to a shopping list will help you avoid unnecessary purchases that may have a short life span.
3. Research Ethical Brands - Spending time investigating a brands credentials, reading their ‘About Us’ page, checking what materials they use and if they are working with any green charities are all good indicators of how sustainable a company is.
4. Shop Locally – To reduce your carbon footprint and minimise the distance your package would need to travel. Big brands such as Asos and Amazon have thrived in the pandemic, but with one-day shipping and large amounts of plastic packaging they have has a serious detrimental impact. Amazon emitted 51.15 million metric tons of carbon dioxide last year, that’s a lot more compared to your local clothing store.
5. Get Items Delivered Together And Opt For Slow Delivery - Shop at the same time from the same place to allow multiple local orders to be completed at once.
6. Recycle Packaging - Recycling significantly reduces the impact that manufactured materials have on the environment. It’s even proven to reduce littering, as well as air and water pollution. Even better, if you’re to buy something opt for products that are made of recycled materials that can be recycled again.
7. Buy Experiences – Instead of buying material items that may only end up being single-use, why not buy memories? Treat yourself or someone with an experience like a massage, cinema, theatre or a concert. Perhaps get out into the green with national parks and a national trust membership and even buy a forest getaway.
8. Volunteer - Help preserve our green spaces by giving your valuable time and energy to The Conservation Volunteers. They bring people together to create, improve and care for green spaces, from local parks and community gardens to local nature reserves and sites of special scientific interest.
9. Donate To Charity – With the money you would be saving from resisting the deals, you can use the money to donate to charitable causes such as Climate Coalition, WWF, The Wildlife Trusts and many more!
10. Find Activities To Replace Shopping – Whether it’s testing out that new recipe, getting out in nature for a long walk down a new trail or spending quality time with family these are great ways to take your mind off of the hustle and bustle of the holiday.
Lastly… Spread the Word! Share this post with friends & family, encouraging them to join you in supporting #GreenFriday