10 tips for environmentalists on Black Friday

Hello everybody! It is that time of year again.. the time of black Friday is upon us, and every year I get seriously anxious looking at the amount of advertising creating excuses for consumers to buy even more than normal. Did you know that the time from Black Friday to Christmas the average consumer in most of Europe and the US spends more, and wastes more than any other time of the year? let’s fix that. I have a few tips to get through this season in the most sustainable fashion.

Also check out: A Low Waste Gift Guide That Works For Everyone

  • Boycott, and don’t buy anything: If you don’t need anything, then don’t buy anything. I know it is literally the most obvious advice, but what would this post be without it? However, I often think that the people who need to hear this the most are most likely not my most loyal subscribers, which takes me to advice number 2.
  • Communication: Talk to your friends and family about overconsumption, share your reflections on social media, or share content from news platforms, or content creators, about unsustainable effects of overconsuming. Talking to people we disagree with can be some of the most important activism. If the conversations are difficult for you to have, you can also suggest other activities than shopping, so you can spend time together without buying new things.
  • Never buy on impulse, research, reflect, make sure you actually need it
  • Ask yourself if you already have something similar at home before you buy
  • Avoid cheap electronics and fast fashion shops
  • Buy timeless goods rather than trendy pieces that won’t feel relevant forever
  • Don’t buy more than you need because products are cheaper than normal
  • Keep refusing unnecessary disposables like plastic bags and gift wrapping
  • Supporting green companies: buying things you don’t need will always be unsustainable, but if you want to direct your money in a more sustainable direction, you can use the time to invest in some eco products that would perhaps be too expensive on a normal day. I have friends who have bought their first safety razor on a black Friday discount in order to afford it, so the bottom line is, if you are spending money, make sure they go somewhere good.  
  • Disposables: when shopping, remember your own bag, and when the cashier asks if you want it wrapped remember to politely decline, if you’re buying gifts, wrap them at home, and if you want some zero waste gift wrapping inspo, check out this post.  

Also check out: Zero Waste Gift Wrapping

  • The problem with cyber Monday: There is a big issue with the accessible and easy purchasing, and returning of goods online. On black Friday, and often in general actually, many online shops, especially fast fashion and electronic stores are advertising free returns which makes many consumers buy much more than they need, only to return whatever that didn’t work out. However, a lot of goods that are returned are actually thrown away. I have made a whole video about this issue, which I think you should watch if you shop online.
  • Cheap electronics: the fastest-growing category of waste in 2019 was e-waste. With planned obsolescence (devices with build-in death dates) and new models coming out every 6 months we discard perfectly good electronics like never before. Black Friday’s biggest market is also for electronics, but don’t buy into the hype of new models of televisions or cell phones if the one you have is in good condition. It’s often still cheaper to buy a second-hand cell phone that is 1-2 years old than buying the brand new version on sale. So think about how old your phone is, if it still works, and how you plan of discarding it before replacing it.

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