Black Friday: Saving or Damaging?

Black Friday:  Saving or Damaging?

There’s always one specific time of the year that brings the most joy to our hearts. Some long for Christmas, others for their birthdays. In the midst of the longing excitement, there’s a large group of people that just love the 25th of November! The day the invisible hand, in unison with the market, gives our wallets a break through some significant discounts. A day for those who love urban camping outside stores, waiting for the sunrise of shopping frenzy. We love to see it.

This year, we hit a new world record, reaching 9.12 billion dollars in sales made online! As usual, despite the horror stories we hear from this bargain hunting season originated in the United States, the profit has always spoken for itself in the millions. The tremendous increase in annual revenue seen each year is due to the fact that, in recent years, the trend has caught on in other countries as well, becoming a worldwide phenomenon. But at what cost to the environment?

In light of growing environmental awareness, this day should not exist; that is just an inconvenient truth for many out there. They managed to make it even worse with the creation of Cyber Monday, designed to extend the hysterical consumerism through online shopping!

So, some might be wondering, why am I being unpleasant towards it when you managed to get a TV that serves you coffee at the same time for half the price? Let’s have a look at some facts:

  • The global transport sector is responsible for about 4% of carbon emissions. Research from Phill Purnell, a professor from the University of Leeds, concluded that 400,00 tonnes of emissions (UK) were released into the atmosphere on this day alone;
  • The majority of goods bought during the 25th is not destined to have a long life, feeding into consumerism behaviour;
  • More than half of the products bought are used a handful of times and then discarded - 1.4 million tonnes of e-waste is already sent to landfills every year;
  • Optoro, a logistics company (US), claims that returning products bought during the sales used over 1.2 billion gallons of diesel, emitting 12 million metric tonnes of CO2 in total.

When we think about it, we already live in a society where buying gives us some kind of happiness and fulfillment. It’s not a coincidence that lots of people love shopping, it makes them feel good. The problem is, not all of us think about what happens behind the scenes, which isn’t looking good on a normal basis, much more when we have days dedicated to profit, disregarding environmental responsibility!

Next year, let’s all take a step back and think about what we really need. Is it worth it to save a little money if you’re contributing to a culture that seems to be in a rush to damage the environment? Are you saving or damaging?


We’ll see you next week!