In this post, we will talk about the black Friday environmental impact. Black Friday is the annual day of shopping that occurs every year on Friday after Thanksgiving. Its popularity and importance have spread worldwide because this is the time customers can find the biggest discounts on all kinds of products. According to the 2018 statistics, the period between Thanksgiving and Christmas is the busiest when it comes to online shopping.
During the Black Friday, sellers basically want to clear their unsold items with discounted prices. More discount means more sales and more sales means more production. So, it automatically puts a threat to the environment as there will be more fuel burnt, plastic produced, product waste, etc. It raises the question of how eco-friendly is Black Friday and isn’t there is a better way to get rid of unsold items. Here, we see some of the environmental impacts of Black Friday.
Let’s get started.
Escalation of Pollution
Black Friday and Ciber Monday are both quite polluting to the environment. The shopping by millions of people at the same time for different kinds of products generates massive quantities of CO2 and plastic in a single 24-hour day. Ciber Monday is not better. It might seem but the usage of the internet by so many people for the same thing needs a lot of electricity to work. It simply means we are using resources to generate profit which is the materialism we have been living in for the last century more or less.
That’s not the only problem is Ciber Monday. In order to get an item, you need to ship it. Firstly, people nowadays don’t like to wait which means they prefer fast shipping. Now the issue with that is that all those products are shipped in big diesel-fueled trucks that pollute more then you can imagine especially if they are in such large numbers as they are during this time of the year.
In reality, Black Friday is not about reducing the unsold items but about generating large profits in a time when customers have money because it’s holiday season and they have the mindset to spend them. One of the highest selling products is fast fashion which as you know is also among the most polluting industries and uses plastic as their main source of fabric. All kinds of industries use the impulse of buying in human nature to manipulate people to buy items that they don’t really need or will use for a very limited time.
Given the fact that Black Friday is a very aggressive event and it’s difficult to be attentive to everything you buy, sometimes there are products that have something wrong with them. But still, they make you buy them as they know you don’t have the time to check the products properly. This itself is a big issue because it means you are giving money for something you will throw away after two-three days which is bad for your budget and the environment.
Unfortunately, it’s not all. Having in mind all the different surveys companies make in the hope to understand the way the human brain works while shopping they often sell items people don’t really need but seem cool, practical or cute. Using different marketing strategies, they make us buy products that will be thrown away very very soon.
How to fight Black Friday Environmental Impact?
In order to fight it, Greenpeace has started the “Buy Nothing Day” when they convince customers to keep away from all the fuss about Black Friday/Ciber Monday and to not support this kind of consumerism attitude that is destroying the planet.
Another interesting initiative is the White Monday initiative that happens the Monday before Black Friday and encourages Circular Alternatives. The initiative is still a pretty small one and supported only in 9 countries. But, it was born as a middle point between Black Friday and Buy Nothing Day because it allows you to use services such as repairing or second-hand buying in order to reuse certain items or buy something new but in an environmentally friendly way.
So, what you think about the post. Let me know in the comments below.