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Make Black Friday green

In the run-up to Black Friday, many retailers are already offering big discounts.

It can be hard to resist these price cuts, but spending splurges cost more than just money: our planet is paying the price.

We've pulled together five top tips to help you reduce your environmental impact this Black Friday:

1. Make a shopping list and stick to it

You can save a lot of money by buying things you need on Black Friday.

However, the huge price reductions encourage impulse buys. Many of these are returned to shops. The returns are not always in a suitable state to be resold, creating tonnes of extra waste.

Make a list to help you steer clear of impulse buys, and to save your wallet and the planet from unwanted purchases.

 

2. If you buy online, try to get your items delivered together and opt for slow delivery

To be delivered in one or two days, items often have to travel by road on gas-guzzling trucks. Choosing slower delivery will allow for more environmentally friendly delivery options like shipping.

Try to bundle purchases, too, to reduce the amount of packaging needed. 

3. Buy from sustainable brands

Some businesses are more sustainable than others. Do your research and learn which brands to look out for.

Remember, things can be sustainable in different ways. For example, energy-efficient electronics need charging less frequently. Meanwhile, products from local businesses may have travelled only short distances.

You can also check how things are made – do workers receive a fair wage and have good working conditions?


4. Keep an eye on packaging

Packaging can be responsible for much of your purchase’s environmental footprint. For example, plastic containers are made from non-renewable resources. They also add weight and volume, increasing carbon emissions from transport. Lots of the packaging will end its life in landfill, as much plastic isn’t recyclable.

To combat this, try to choose items with limited or sustainable packaging.

5. Opt out

The best way to reduce your climate contribution this Black Friday is to opt out entirely.

Initiatives like Buy Nothing Day encourage you to stop spending on Black Friday. You could also buy second-hand, or from small, local businesses.

Moving away from ‘stuff’, there are plenty of alternative gift ideas. For example, you could buy an experience, promise someone your time, or donate to charity.

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