Making Black Friday Green: A New Shopping Tradition
Black Friday has basically become a holiday in itself, and to be honest, it's really hard to resist a good sale: The pleasure of shopping, the excitement of a new purchase, that feeling of snagging a good deal... it's understandable, but have you ever wondered why shopping feels so good?
The cliché notion of "retail therapy" is actually rooted in fact. Buying new things gives us a dopamine hit, particularly when whatever we're buying is on sale. It's the same feel-good hormone that we get from enjoying our favorite foods or spending time with loved ones. So, in essence, our brains are kinda hardwired to enjoy shopping.
Even holding the social consequences of Black Friday aside (eg. the deaths and injuries that have resulted from stampedes and fights), the environmental tolls are sickening:
- Black Friday Online shopping was expected to produce over 380k tons of carbon emissions in 2021
- 25% of the clothing bought on online are returned, adding to shipping emissions, and many items are destroyed instead of resold.
- Black Friday encourages " a dramatic increase in highly toxic and polluting electronic waste"
While shopping might be fun and enjoyable, the state of our planet is anything but. Black Friday sales have been synonymous with overconsumption and waste but there is a way to turn our Black Friday's Green.
How to turn your Black Friday Green
Don't participate. Simple! But if you are keen on shopping, here are some tips:
1. Plan Ahead: Before heading out or logging in, make yourself a list of what you're in the market for. Stick to your list and don't fall victim to the frenzy!
2. Question Every Purchase: Before you buy it, pause and honestly ask yourself these questions:
- Do I really need this?
- Do I already have something like it?
- Would I buy this if it was full price?
- How often will I use this, and how long will it last?
- Can I get this second-hand?
- Was this ethically made, and how can it be responsibly disposed of?
If you're to purchase just because of a sweet sale price - abandon ship. Don't waste your money accumulating crap you'll regret later.
3. Budget Wisely: Give yourself a budget and stick with it.
4. Shop Sustainable: Focus your purchasing power on brands that put the work into sustainability. And consider that supporting local businesses is not just good for the environment; it’s a fantastic way to uplift your community.
5. BYOB: And for goodness sakes - bring your own bag!
6. Post-Purchase: Green Friday doesn’t end in the checkout. Once you're home, be diligent about waste. Dissect that packaging and ensure each part finds its right recycling bin.
With mindful shopping and conscious choices, we can turn it into an event that's both rewarding for us and respectful to our planet. So, please shop smart, shop sustainable, and make this Black Friday Green.