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When November comes, it’s impossible to miss “Black Friday” sales and offers as we walk around or visit any webpage.
The concept of “Black Friday” started in the United States, on the day after Thanksgiving, to send out the goods and open space for the Christmas shopping season. In recent years, it has grown in popularity and has turned into a worldwide festival of “over consumption”, with fire-sale prices on various products.
As a consequence of this exponential increase in consumption during this period, a significant amount of solid waste is disposed of in the form of packages and old products that the new ones will substitute. The “Black Friday” is not inherently bad, it might be the only chance for someone to buy something that they need at an affordable price; however, the waste created and its environmental impact can’t be ignored. So, can we be more conscious and turn “Black Friday” into a “Green Friday”?
We believe it's possible! The first step is to stop and ask yourself this question: “Do I really need this product?”. Sometimes it is easy to fall into the trap of discounts only to realize later that we never used the product or used only a few times and eventually it goes to garbage. If the answer is yes, though, then you can look for alternatives including products designed with creative reuse, upcycling ideas or products made with recycled materials. You also could shop from stores who are known to be concerned about environmental issues. And don’t forget to carry a reusable bag if you are planning to go out shopping!
Online buying particularly creates a great deal of garbage due to extensive packaging. Keep in mind to dispose of these packages in the proper way. If you have a choice, instead of ordering an item from far away making it travel thousands of kilometers, buy locally, it's more sustainable. In case you are buying new clothes and you still have some old ones in good condition, you can donate to a socially responsible charity or sell it on a second hand market.
Unfortunately, consuming is synonymous with polluting the planet. Therefore, this “Black Friday” brings the opportunity to think about the way we want to consume. We will continue to buy things since we need things, but we can start becoming conscious about the waste we produce and find greener alternatives. In the end, we as consumers have the power to change the way we consume, so, this black Friday, try to make it a Green Friday!