By Emily Cato-Symonds - There is one day in November that brands and merchants profit from year after year: Black Friday.
In the United States, the Friday following Thanksgiving is when huge sales are promoted in preparation for Christmas. Despite being American, this consumerism-fuelled tradition has spread over the world including New Zealand.
Black Friday deals can be good if you’ve been waiting to buy something you really need for a good price. The problem doesn’t lie here, it’s the consumption of unnecessary or unethical goods that needs to be addressed. This results in waste and unnecessary CO2 emissions, which is not so good for our planet.
Last year, Kiwis spent $248.2 million during Black Friday sales, with 76% of Kiwis saying they bought something. Marketers know how to get us to spend more than we intend to - they do this for a living!
You may notice Black Friday deals and think they are too good to be true. This is because they most likely are. According to data from a U.K. consumer organisation, 61% of the items promoted in Black Friday sales from the previous year were less expensive or remained at the same price both before and after the event.
The good thing is you don’t have to play the game.
An agreat alternative to Black Friday is its sustainable sibling: Green Friday. Green Friday encourages you to shop mindfully and sustainably. It’s as simple as taking a moment to think about whether you actually need an item. Or if it's a gift, will it be used?
Here are some tips to help make your Black Friday green - especially if you are thinking you’ll get your Christmas gifts sorted in the sales:
- Make sure you know what you need before going into the store (whether it's a physical shop or online). You'll save time and ensure you only buy things on that list.
- Spend the day in nature with friends or family. Green Friday can’t get more greener than spending it outside!
- For sustainable Christmas gifts, plan eco-experiences instead of stuff from the sales. Plan a picnic at the beach, learn to cook together or take a trip out of the city and book an Airbnb in the countryside.
- Buy friends and family seeds so they can grow their very own veggies in their backyard.
- Give Good Gift Cards so that your loved ones can donate to causes they care about this festive season.
This year let's favour the cooler, kinder, more sustainable sibling, Green Friday!