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8 Ways To Have An Eco-Friendly Black Friday

The holidays are quickly approaching, and that means Black Friday is just a few days away. This year, the Eco Chic team is transforming the consumerist (and traditionally environmentally harmful) holiday into an opportunity to reform our shopping habits.

In this post, we're sharing eight ways to have an eco-friendly Black Friday. Using these helpful tips, you can enjoy the occasion, without harming the environment.

What is Black Friday?

Black Friday is an American holiday following the celebration of Thanksgiving. Retailers discount their goods to encourage consumers to spend in the lead up to Christmas. Brits and other nations have now adopted the holiday and view it as an opportunity to stock up on Christmas presents and grab a bargain.

Although saving money is an incentive that appeals to many, there's also a darker and more destructive side to the occasion. Black Friday has become a weekend, or even week-long event concluding on 'Cyber Monday'. Over this period, consumers splash the cash, often investing in items they don't need or want simply because they can't resist a good offer. Black Friday has become an opportunity to leave concerns about the planet behind and immerse yourself in the short-lived satisfaction of buying more.

8 tips for having an Eco-friendly Black Friday

If you’re interested in using Black Friday as an opportunity to better care for the planet, these eight sustainable shopping tips can help you reform your shopping habits.

1. Shop with your favourite sustainable brands

Big corporations spend a significant portion of their marketing budget preparing for Black Friday. It can be hard to bypass the deals popping up in your newsfeed and littering high street shop windows. But remember, Black Friday isn't all about the big brands. It's more than likely your favourite small sustainable businesses have promotions too. Make yourself aware of the offers these eco-friendly companies are running and prioritise shopping with these rather than big businesses who prioritise profit over the environment. This way, not only are you grabbing a good deal, but you're shopping with a trusted brand and looking out for the Earth too.

2. Only purchase things you actually need

Before you start scrolling online stores or wandering through the high street, make a list of things you require. These items might be Christmas presents or something you need to complete your wardrobe (a warm jumper for winter or a new pair of trainers to replace your old battered ones?) There's no shame in taking this opportunity to save a little money on items you genuinely have a use for. However, you should try and stick to your list whilst you shop. Purchasing outside your prepared list means you're more likely to make an impulse purchase and end up with items you don't truly need or want.

3. Make all your purchases in one transaction

An increase in online orders over the Black Friday weekend means more delivery lorries on the road. To reduce carbon emissions, try to purchase all your necessary items from one website. By buying in bulk, you can decrease the number of vehicles needed to deliver your order, helping reduce the carbon footprint of your purchase. In addition to this, making one large order means less packaging, minimising potential plastic waste.

4. Click and collect when possible

If you have to purchase from more than one retailer, you can reduce your carbon footprint by using click and collect. The click and collect option reduces carbon emissions by eliminating the need for your delivery driver to travel to multiple different faraway locations.

5. Consider the environmental impact of your items

Many of us consider how environmentally friendly something is through evaluating materials. We might consider something to be eco-friendly and sustainable if it's created using organic and natural materials. While these factors do contribute to the overall impact of an item, there are other determinants. For example, if you're buying a home appliance, you can see how energy efficient this item is. If its rating shows it uses lots of energy, you can search for the same product with better energy efficiency. Many people use Black Friday to purchase home goods and appliances at a discounted rate, so make sure to remember this hack if you decide to do so.

You can also evaluate the quality of an item by estimating how long it will last. We don't want to buy products with a short lifespan as these will break and end up in landfills. Sometimes it's worth spending a little extra and purchasing something that's going to last longer (and with the added Black Friday discount, there’s no excuse not to!)

6. Remember your reusable shopping bags

If you're going to the high street or supermarket, remember to bring your reusable shopping bag to avoid using plastic bags.

To learn more about the environmental impact of plastic bags, you can read our blog post here.

7. Invest in sustainable alternatives to your everyday essentials

Sustainable and eco-friendly items can come with a higher price tag. The manufacturing, materials and shipping of these products mean they often cost more. Many of us might not have the budget for these items under usual circumstances. Black Friday allows us to invest in these planet-pleasing products for cheaper.

You can use this opportunity to upgrade your daily essentials and invest in sustainable alternatives. Perhaps your work bag is deteriorating, and you need to purchase a new one. Why not buy one made from eco-friendly, recycled materials on Black Friday, so you can save the planet at a discounted price?

8. Shop with charity shops and small businesses

The rising popularity of charity shops and vintage stores means they function similarly to high street shops. Your local second-hand store will likely run a Black Friday promotion. Before going to the high street, browse these stores and see if you can grab a bargain.

Similarly, independent brands will have discounts during the Black Friday period. These smaller businesses usually have ethical and environmentally friendly approaches to manufacturing and selling. Instead of shopping with large corporations over the holiday, we can help support indie brands that prioritise doing better for the planet and people.

As we approach the biggest shopping season of the year, it’s important we don’t forget to protect the planet in pursuit of grabbing a good bargain. Using these eight sustainable shopping tips, we can save money and care for the environment at the same time.

These helpful hacks and mindset shifts aren’t just for the holidays; they are things we should consider every time we shop if we want to create a kinder and more compassionate retail industry.

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