The Impact of Black Friday and Cyber Monday
These days it’s not uncommon to see Christmas stock in the shops in August. However, when it comes to Christmas shopping, things really start to kick off towards the end of November. However, the arrival and the impact of Black Friday and Cyber Monday can be felt long after the day has ended.
The online women’s lifestyle magazine Bustle explored the hot topic of the week, “Should Black Friday Be Stopped?“. We are pleased to say that Earth Rewards was featured in this recent article by Lauren Sharkey. Our very own Zachi Brewster gave them some insight into the most environmentally harmful impacts associated with the long weekend.
Save money. Save the planet.
We always encourage individuals to rethink their purchases both on these two days, but also throughout the Christmas period and beyond. This is especially true as much of what we buy is based on wants rather than needs.
Being environmentally-mindful of the purchases you are making and asking yourself if you really need it is a great place to start. This simple thought process may result in you taking a step back and stop you from making an impulse purchase. Not only will this have a positive impact on the environment, but it’ll also be good for your wallet too!
A lot of people don’t realise that many environmentally-positive actions can also be money-saving too. For example, switching to energy-saving light bulbs can save you up to £100 per year.
For more green lifehacks, see our previous blog post.
The biggest impacts of Black Friday
As we shared with Lauren, our concern with this discount-centred weekend is that it fuels our consumer culture, making impulse purchases that we don’t really need. She describes it as ‘a frantic period of sales characterised by a hectic dash for deals, deplorable consumer behaviour, and a need to buy more, more, more’.
According to Adobe Analytics, this makes them two of the busiest shopping days of the year! Although it makes things more affordable, it encourages overconsumption of goods. The high impact lifecycle of said goods causes spikes and increasing strain on our already struggling environment.
The biggest impacts of this incentivised buying arrive from 4 main areas:
- Production of items
- Packaging of the item plus added packaging used for shipping
- Delivery of the item
- Waste and lack of recycling of our existing products which we are replacing as well as purchased products that go unused
Breaking it down like this, it’s easy to see that the footprint of these single items is much bigger than it first seems. Their journey, existence and impact exist long before they even arrive at our doors and many of them will outlive us, ending up in our oceans or buried underground. Just think, every single piece of plastic that has ever been created is still in existence today. This is especially true for electrical waste and plastics, which is particularly significant as TV’s and toys are the biggest purchases each year.
Our top Green Purchasing tips
For those who really feel the need to purchase items but want to reduce the impact of their buying actions this season, there are a few things you can do to reduce your impact including:
- Buying pre-loved or upcycled items.
- Opting for standard shipping options – not express as this will take a little longer but save on fuel emissions.
- Buying from companies who have green initiatives from recyclable packaging to green vans or offsetting.
- Offsetting your own impacts with the Earth Rewards app. Available on Google Play and the App Store, our app helps you to understand, measure and reduce your carbon impact. You’ll be rewarded for your green actions when you complete our E-missions (quizzes) and Academy lessons. You’ll also soon be able to earn Earth Rewards with our partner retailers. PLUS, your actions help to support the Trocano Araretama Project in the Amazon. This project brings social, carbon and environmental benefits to the area.
What are you waiting for?
Download the app today and start earning your first Earth Rewards!