Save money and the planet by ditching Black Friday

This week, we are substituting Tete-a-tete with a post on Black Friday and the consumer madness that follows. Last year, shoppers spent on average over £200 on Black Friday, and intend to spend more this year. This means £200 worth of things we don't really need. £200 that could be invested or put towards your debt. 

 

Over the last decade or so, we have seen sustainability growing from a corporate buzzword to a global movement. However, it seems like the main consumer change is that we buy greener products rather than buying less. 

 

Instead of making us buy fewer things, the sustainability movement has created a new category of things we "need" in order to be environmentalists. This category is the zero-plastic products that are made of a biodegradable material or can be reused. While it is great to change to washable cotton rounds and bamboo toothbrushes, the whole point of the movement can seem to be lost in the joy of buying with a clean conscience. The biodegradable toothbrush won't be much better than one of plastic unless you actually ensure it will compost in nature. Your canvas bag isn't better than a plastic bag if you have fifteen of them lying around, and forget to bring them to the supermarket. 

To be a greener consumer, we must look through marketing claims and embrace a minimalistic approach to owning things. Have a think of the fact that every piece of plastic you have ever owned still exists somewhere. That includes every chocolate bar wrapping, every lipgloss, every plastic bottle. All those seemingly small things are sitting in landfill emitting CO2 or in the ocean, and won't decompose for hundreds of years. The only way we can make a real difference as consumers is to buy less. Buy way less. 

This Black Friday, please remember one thing: You don't need anything new. If you want to take advantage of good offers, buy experiences to share with people you care about or courses and books to develop your knowledge and understanding. Our need for retail therapy often comes from a need to fill a void which will disappear if we focus on inner fulfilment and quality time with loved ones. Your money can be much better spent than in the high street! 

Are you planning on partaking in Black Friday this year?

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