Greening Black Friday: A Guide to Sustainable and Eco-Friendly Shopping
Black Friday, a day synonymous with massive sales and frenzied shopping, has long been a symbol of consumerism. It originated in the United States as a post-Thanksgiving sale characterised by bargains and impulse buying.
However, in recent years, there has been a growing awareness of the environmental impact associated with this shopping extravaganza. From excessive packaging to fast fashion, Black Friday can contribute significantly to waste and environmental degradation.
In this blog, we'll explore the importance of Green Friday to counter the detrimental, environmental and social impacts of Black Friday and how to find more sustainable and eco-friendly alternatives to traditional Black Friday shopping. Artwork courtesy of Moonface Maddy ©
What is Green Friday?
Green Friday was launched in 2015 as an anti-Black Friday movement to create awareness about the negative impacts of society’s shopping habits. Interestingly, the first version of this event was in Canada in 1992 and referred to as “Buy Nothing Day”. The movement encourages consumers to embrace ethical and mindful shopping by buying either from sustainable, ethical brands or by not buying anything at all. This initiative has grown and transformed around the world to Green Friday as more retailers and consumers stand in solidarity with eco-conscious shopping.
By adopting a more mindful approach to shopping instead of succumbing to the allure of impulse purchases encourages us to really assess our needs and prioritise items that will add long-term value to our lives. This small shift in mindset can help reduce unnecessary purchases and, consequently, minimise waste.
Support Local Businesses
Supporting more local businesses during the holiday season is another way to be more mindful of reducing our footprint when buying gifts or shopping for family feasts. Local businesses and farmers markets have a smaller carbon footprint compared to large corporations, and purchasing from them also helps boost our local economy. Consider attending community events such as local farmers and monthly markets that highlight and support local growers, producers, artisans, craftsmen, and entrepreneurs. This not only promotes sustainability but also strengthens the sense of community.
Embrace Second-Hand Shopping
Second-hand shopping is another sustainable alternative to buying new items. Thrift stores, vintage shops, and online platforms for second-hand goods like Facebook Marketplace provide an opportunity to give pre-loved items a new home. By extending the lifespan of products, we reduce the demand for new manufacturing and minimise the environmental impact associated with production and transportation.
Ethical and Eco-Friendly Brands
Look for brands that prioritise sustainability, ethical practices, and eco-friendly materials. Share information about these brands, their values, and the positive impact of supporting businesses that prioritise environmental responsibility. Always choose quality over quantity and invest in products that are well made and made to last.
Green Gift Alternatives
Consider the idea of experiential and sustainable gifts rather than physical goods. Encourage the gift of experiences, such as concert tickets, workshops, or subscriptions to eco-friendly services. Additionally, suggest DIY gifts or items made from sustainable materials or home cooked organic jams and preserves. This not only reduces the environmental impact but also adds a warm and personal touch to the gift-giving experience.
The Importance of Awareness
Social media platforms and other channels are a great way to learn about the environmental impact of traditional Black Friday shopping. There are many interesting and inspiring stories, statistics, info graphics, and successes of individuals and communities adopting sustainable practices. Awareness is a powerful tool for change, and informing ourselves about the consequences of our choices can lead to transformation.
Transforming Black Friday into a more sustainable and eco-friendly occasion requires a collective effort. By being more mindful, supporting local businesses, embracing second-hand shopping, finding ethical brands, opting for green gift alternatives and educating ourselves, we can foster a shift towards a more sustainable and responsible approach to holiday shopping. Let's make Green Friday a day not just for deals but for positive change and conscious choices. For some suggestions on creative shopping and gifting 2023, also see our Sustainable Gift Guide 2023 blog and you can always offer our Santos Organics Gift Certifcate/Voucher so your gift recipient can decide.