#MakeFridayGreenAgain, #GreenFriday and #ShopLocal are tags that are trending as Black Friday looms and we need to jump on the bandwagon of this movement.
Companies post the deals straight to your smart phone promising you the latest tablet, tv, winter coat or party shoe – at a cut price, next day delivery and all at the click of a button. It’s cheap but even more than that, it’s so convenient. Exhausted after a day of work or kids or both, how tempting is it to sit down on the sofa to click your way through your Christmas shopping list? Never more so as the spectre of Black Friday begins to nibble at the edges of your consciousness, telling you must buy, buy, buy!
And it’s not just Black Friday, now we’ve also got Cyber Monday. According to GSUK – technology recovery and re-use experts – £7bn is expected to be spent on Black Friday and Cyber Monday, much of which will be electrical. 85% of all e-waste ends up in landfill and equals 70% of overall toxic waste. The UK is the 2nd worst e-waste producer in the world with most of our e-waste being shipped over to developing countries. A nice way to pass the (very toxic) buck. And of course, the production, shipping and then destruction of so much electrical equipment has a heavy carbon footprint.
Over the past decade the voices of scientists have been getting louder and louder regarding carbon emissions. Alarm bells are well and truly ringing as the world wakes up to the climate emergency. It has been reported this month that levels of carbon dioxide in our atmosphere have reached their highest levels since records began – and show no signs of slowing down. Even more shocking, perhaps, is that petrol-head Jeremy Clarkson has finally admitted that climate change is happening!
With a growing understanding of the perils of unfettered consumerism to both community and climate comes a growing resistance to Black Friday and everything it stands for. The UN states the fashion industry consumes more energy than the aviation and shipping industry combined. #MakeFridayGreenAgain hashtag, a movement begun by a French clothing store, has gained momentum and now a collective of over 300 clothes manufactures asking consumers to become more mindful shoppers. #greenfriday is another hashtag that is gaining traction. Both urge people towards shopping consciously, sustainably and locally.
One rule of thumb is that if it hasn’t travelled far, then the carbon footprint is greatly reduced, so whether it is local spuds for your Christmas roasties, or a locally crafted scarf for your mother-in-law, buying from nearby supplier means you are helping the community and reducing your planet guilt into the bargain. A no-brainer. You’ll be surprised what you find, and the friends you make, when you take the time to explore your local shops more thoroughly. These things take a little more time, but it will increase your festive cheer tenfold. For more info on how to shop sustainably check this out: https://www.readersdigest.co.uk/lifestyle/home-garden/how-to-shop-sustainably
It is a movement we need to embrace and put into practise throughout this year and every year to come if there is to be any hope of leaving our own children with not only a thriving community but a habitable planet. These will be the most precious gifts we can leave them.