Black Friday will soon be upon us, and we are already beginning to see some Black Friday deals going live. Black Friday is often regarded as the beginning of the Christmas shopping period, as it follows from Thanksgiving Day in the US. This day quickly became adopted in the UK as well, and now we are well versed in gearing up for the mania of sales in the lead-up to Christmas Day.
While many of us will be hunting for gifts during this time, we ought to be aware that there is an environmental cost to the rampant consumerism of this time of the year. The manufacturing, shipping and delivering of our collective gift shopping adds up to colossal carbon dioxide emissions. However, there are ways that we can cut down on our CO2 emissions and have a Black Friday which is less detrimental to the environment overall. Read on to find out what our top three recommendations are for reducing your carbon footprint this Black Friday.
Think Twice Before Getting Next Day Delivery
While many of us are currently appreciating the convenience of rapid deliveries from retailers such as Amazon, these come at an environmental cost which is not discussed enough. Next-day or two-day deliveries mean that companies do not have as much time to organise the efficient transportation of multiple items. There may be more trips for less cargo, delivery vehicles that are not full, and items may even have to be flown into the UK from another country to arrive in time. All of these variables make CO2 levels significantly rise.
While retailers should do more to incentivise consumers to not always select the next-day delivery option (perhaps by creating a ‘green’ delivery option) without thought; as individual consumers, we can do our part by being more mindful when selecting exactly when our gifts will get delivered.
All Items Together
If you are shopping for Christmas, chances are you will have multiple items on your list. If you are buying from an online retailer, you should ensure that that you do it all in one order if you can, rather than in multiple separate orders. This will group your items together, which means less delivery vehicles on the road (or potentially only one). If you are shopping specifically for electronics, take a look at our recommendations for choosing a more environmentally friendly item.
Buying from local boutiques can be a great way to not only cut down on CO2 emissions (if you live close to where the shops are) but it can also help to support small businesses in your area who are having to compete with multinational companies. The same goes for buying your electronics online. While your items will still need to be delivered, they will not have to go as far, plus they are unlikely to need to be flown to reach your doorstep. This is preferable if you can find what you are looking for from within the UK.
There are many simple ways that we can be more mindful consumers while we are preparing for Christmas, and they do not need to be costly. Green Tuesday on December the 3rd follows Black Friday and it is a great opportunity to recycle the old tech that you have lying around at home after Black Friday shopping. This is an ideal way to help to reduce electronic waste. You can recycle your mobile phones, tablets, smartwatches and digital cameras with us at Compare and Recycle. Enjoy your shopping, but be mindful of how the process can affect the environment.
Cover photo by freestocks.org