Everyone loves a good deal right? Nothing better than knowing you didn’t have to pay full price for an item, but do you know why it is called Black Friday? Lets just say that Mother Nature considers it to be quite an appropriate title.
A brief history.
The term was first coined during the market crash of 1869. It wouldn’t be until the 1950s that the term would be used to describe the intense crowds and consumption of the post Thanksgiving sales. The Philadelphia Police department is believed to be one of the first groups to give Novemeber 25th this title as additional law enforcement was required in retail areas of the city.
"Happiness is not in money, but in shopping"
- Marilyn Monroe
Impact on the planet.
Increased shopping means increased manufacturing, which in turn leads to greater transportation. The Guardian revealed that in 2017, a truck left the Amazon fulfillment center every 93 seconds during Black Friday 🤯
In the UK alone, the 2021 Black Friday carbon footprint was estimated to be 386,243 tonnes of greenhouse gases. Don’t know how much that is? Well, its about the weight of close to 4,000 blue whales.
An increase in online shopping also increases the percentage of items returned. This leads to higher shipping emissions but these items are often not resold, and simply sent to landfill.
And it is not just the environment that takes a hit. A great deal of stress is placed on retail and warehouse workers. In the United States, since 2006 there has been 11 deaths and over 100 Black Friday related injuries. It is definitly not humanity's finest hour.
I need something positive please!
Fear not! There are still postivie actions that can be taken during this time. If you can’t borrow or find something secondhand, support ethical brands with sustainable products and services.
Use the Good On You directory to see which brands deserve your support.
Finally, participate in ‘Giving Tuesday’ by donating your time or money to charity.
The one thing we cannot get back is time, and it is better to spend it with friends and family, than waiting in a shopping line.