By Farah Stack
As we approach yet another manic Black Friday this year, we want to encourage everyone to focus on a conscious, mindful Green Friday.
It may not be so easy being green when everyone around you is on a constant shopping spree during the holiday season, buying just about anything and everything that meets the eye, but going green during the holiday shopping season will be extremely helpful in preventing more waste and pollution from entering into our environment.
While Black Friday might be an American tradition of shopping madness, associated with the glory and glamour of new clothing, furniture, makeup, toys, and cooking ware, it is also one of the darkest days for our planet.
Why is Black Friday bad?
Black Friday perpetuates a consumption-oriented society which has adverse effects on the health of people and the environment. It is also capitalism’s biggest win. Our world’s greatest environmental problems are rooted in capitalism and the exploitation of our Earth’s resources and the most vulnerable communities around the world.
It’s easy for the world to stay green and healthy when we’re not purchasing items that will just end up in landfills. Even if it’s not the physical item itself being discarded in the trash a couple years from now, the microplastics from the clothes, shoes, kitchenware, toys, makeup, and furniture all end up in our oceans, soils, and even our bodies.
The reality of it all is that we simply do not need all of this stuff!
Here are some trips and tricks to prevent yourself from feeling any of the guilt associated with Black Friday and other holiday shopping:
Tip #1: Shop Consciously
Instead of shopping from major brands, say clothing brands for example like Zara, H&M, or Forever 21 (all companies with major unethical and unfriendly environmental standards) try to support smaller and local brands, if you are able to. Do your research into the brands, companies, and people you are buying from. Know where your product is coming from, the people physically making it, and question if the $10 top you just bought was made by people receiving fair wage and labor standards. Everything we buy has some impact on both the people who hand make it and the environment which provides the resources in order to make goods. Say no to fast fashion this holiday season and choose Green Friday!
Tip #2: Shop Local
Shopping locally is not only a great way to directly support the people in your community, but it is also a great way to mitigate any part of your carbon footprint. Driving far away to shopping malls or outlets takes a toll on the environment.
Tip #3: Say No to Online Ordering + Shipping!
Ordering products online has quite the carbon footprint. Shipping via plane, boat, or truck each have their own carbon footprint. For products that are delivered right to our doorstep, some of them require all three modes of transportation! When you add in the footprint of extraction of resources and refining of chemicals or materials to make that brand new TV you've been wanting for a while, a single product’s carbon footprint grows astronomical. Be conscious of these secret costs to our environment and question whether you really need it shipped or not.
Tip #4: Opt Outside if You’re Feeling the Shopping Spree Stress
There is no better way to spend your time during the holiday store sales than outside! Opt outside and enjoy the fresh air whether it’s a walk in the park, bike ride around the neighborhood, or camping under the stars. Green is the new black anyways in outdoors environments. Opting outside is also the best way to work off that turkey and pie!