Sales can be tempting, especially when it feels like the whole world is participating in one. Black Friday has become one of those sales that takes over advert messaging for what feels like all of October and November, and shoppers plan to spend even more than they did last year. This global sale can have a negative impact on the planet. Air pollution goes up thanks to all those extra deliveries and waste increases as a result of packaging and discarding unwanted items.
But there are things you can do instead of participating in Black Friday. Read on for six alternative ways to spend your Friday that will benefit you and the planet.
Why not have a digital detox and spend the day hiking, walking your dog or visiting a park? Reconnecting with nature serves as a great reminder of what’s really important in life, and it has proven benefits for mental and physical wellbeing. You’ll be grateful for the open space and fresh air when you see all those images of overcrowded malls and shops.
A big part of the holiday season is gift giving, so if you do need to shop, we understand. But, opt for locally-based brands and retailers instead of heading to those bigger shops if you can. With a local brand, you’ll likely get more transparency and traceability, and you’ll be supporting the local economy.
Choose a brand that’s doing something different
Again, this is a big time of year for shopping, but there are ways to do it better that don’t involve blow out Black Friday sales. Many brands are taking part in Black Friday alternatives, like Blue Friday. Our Brand to Trust, Baume, is partnering with a platform called Wren to offer customers a six-month carbon offsetting subscription when they purchase a watch. Another of our brands, Santicler, participated in a United Way fundraiser last week that will support victims of the California wildfires. Find brands who are using their time and energy to make a difference to both people and planet, and buy from them as much as you can.
Have a self-care day
It is such a busy time of year, and we often lose ourselves in that business and get run down. So use Black Friday as a personal day, and take time to do whatever you love. That might mean catching up on your reading, visiting a spa or heading to a yoga class. Whatever you do, you’ll be grateful that you focussed on your own wellbeing instead of subjecting yourself to the stress of a big in-store sale.
Celebrate Buy Nothing Day instead
Buy Nothing Day falls on 29th November, just like Black Friday, and its mission is self-explanatory: you are meant to buy nothing all day on Friday. Along with being a protest against consumerism, the hope is that Buy Nothing Day will affect the numbers on Black Friday sales so brands will start to take notice.
Give your time instead of your money
So many shelters and soup kitchens need extra help this time of year, so why not spend this Friday volunteering your time? Gather up your colleagues or your friends and make a day out of it. If you’re interested in helping the environment, you can also spend your day planting trees. The options are limitless, and a little research on what your community needs most will help you decide.
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Written by - Tara MacInnis