Black Friday is arguably one of the most wasteful days of the year. A stark reminder of the consumer culture we are all part of. It’s easy to see Black Friday as a great opportunity to grab a bargain or save money on some Christmas presents. But numerous studies suggest most ‘deals’ don’t save you any money. According to The Guardian, Which? retail editor is warning consumers to check they are getting a ‘genuine bargain’ before handing over their money. In fact, some studies have found a staggering 99.5% of so called ‘deals’ were cheaper or the same price at other times of the year. Green Friday, also known as the ‘anti Black Friday movement’ was started to help raise awareness about the impact of our shopping habits. With Christmas just around the corner, there are ways to shop responsibly and turn Black Friday green. Check out our top tips…
1. Only shop from responsible brands
If you really need to buy something, ensure the brands you are buying from are as ethical as possible. Check them out online to see if they have any accreditations such as B Corp, 1% for the Planet or Cruelty Free. It’s also good to support local businesses wherever possible.
If you’re shopping for a present for that difficult to please person, a gift voucher from a responsible business is a great shout. A gift voucher is more likely to be used for a present your loved one will use and is less likely to end up in landfill.
2. Buy Second Hand
There are a variety of sites selling second hand items. Buying second hand won’t just reduce your environmental impact, it will also cost less! Second hand sites such as Vinted are great places to find clothing. You could also try Ebay or your local online marketplace for other items.
3. Gift experiences rather than presents
It’s often the time spent together we value the most. By gifting an experience you can spend more time with your loved ones and avoid getting them a present that could quickly end up in the bin. But remember, you can still shop for experiences responsibly. Gift local experiences to reduce travel emissions and consider the environmental impact of your experience. Jumping out of a plane might sound fun but it will also produce a lot of emissions.
4. Hand make a gift
Show you care with a gift that’s been hand made. You might have a skill that lends itself well to creating gifts for your loved ones. You could try making jewellery, baking a sweet treat or creating a photo album of shared memories. Hand made gifts will have little to zero impact on both the planet and your wallet, yet they’re often the most appreciated.
5. Plant a forest / Donate to a good cause
If you feel the need to spend money this Green Friday, but you don’t really need to, why not donate that money to a good cause. Ecologi is a great platform which allows you to offset your carbon footprint for the price of ‘a coffee and a cake’ each month. When you sign up you’re given your own forest where you can watch your trees grow and see the projects you have donated to. You can give as much or as little as you want by signing up as an individual, family or business. Check out how we’re planting trees with our 2 Million Tree Challenge.
6. Buy Nothing
If you really want to have the greenest of Fridays, spend nothing this year. Sometimes it’s easy to get drawn in by ‘special offers’ or ‘deals’ but first ask yourself if you really need it. If not, simply put down your phone, turn off the laptop and go for a walk instead.
Both consumers and businesses are rejecting the outdated consumer culture of Black Friday and replacing it with something more responsible. From buying second hand to gifting experiences, there are so many ways to ignore the FOMO narrative of the big brands and choose a more ethical, sustainable way of shopping. Let’s turn Black Friday Green again!