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Le Black Friday, a commercial event that originated in the United States, is now an important date in several countries around the world with its huge in-store and online sales. Although this event may seem beneficial at first glance, Black Friday leads to overproduction and overconsumption of goods. Let's take a deeper look at it..
For my part, and I dare to think that it’s the same thing for many of you, discounts often make me want to consume and buy things... even if I don’t need them at all. Unfortunately, during the huge Black Friday sales, many people feel the urge to spend simply because of the consumer culture around them.
The huge sales, which now last for over a week, lead to overconsumption as the discounted prices encourage and allow people to upgrade their current possessions (electronics, clothing, etc.) for newer models or trendier items. But is it really necessary? Do we need to replace our phone, which is still working great, for the new model that just came out? Do we really need to add new sweaters and pants to our wardrobe? When you think about it, the answer is often no. And that's the problem with overconsumption…
Our consumption habits have a direct impact on the environment, over-consumption is even at root of the planet’s environmental crisis. “We are devouring the planet's resources at a rate 1.7 times faster than it can regenerate. The US population is 60 percent larger than it was in 1970, but consumer spending is up 400 percent.”  Keep in mind that other countries are not doing better …
Whether we realize it or not, the products, services and energy that we consume and use on a daily basis require natural resources that are not endlessly renewable. We have to understand that the faster we consume and replace our goods, the greater our environmental impact.
Think of the fast-fashion industry which uses astronomical quantities of water in addition to generating tons of textile waste containing chemicals. Think of the electronic devices often ending up in the fastest growing waste stream on the planet, e-waste, which contains toxic components such as lead, mercury and bisphenol-A (BPA) that can leach into the soil if not disposed properly . Let’s think about the enormous amounts of greenhouse gases emitted during the manufacture and transport of products shipped to stores and consumers' homes all around the world. And the amount of waste associated with the packaging of new products... Don’t forget that throwing something in the bin or giving it away does not make it disappear, it is still somewhere.
Buying and consuming less is the best way to achieve immediate and significant reductions in emissions, resource use and pollution.
With that being said, it's important to not put down people who decide to participate in Black Friday sales. As mentioned above, this event can also be a good opportunity for people who can’t afford items they really need or want to support local and/or sustainable brands that are normally too expensive for their budgets.
Here are a few tips to help you consume better and more responsibly if you decide to participate in Black Friday sales.
Good tips to avoid overconsumption during big sales is to make a list of the items you really want and need and set a budget. Sticking to this list and not exceeding the budget will help you avoid impulse purchases. It is possible to profit from this kind of event without excessive shopping which not only hurts your wallet but also impacts the planet.
A good way to reduce the environmental impact of your purchases is to consume more responsibly. A great way to switch from harmful and wasteful consumption to responsible consumption is to buy from sustainable businesses! To do so, start encouraging small local businesses that care about their workers, care about the environment and source responsibly instead of buying from big corporations.
Consume with intention! When you really need something, try to buy from small businesses that want to make a real difference. By doing so you will not only consume more responsibly, you will also support a dream and have a direct impact on the daily life of an individual rather than adding wealth to large corporations.
If you really need certain products or take advantage of Black Friday sales to shop for gifts, why not purchase from local brands that are giving back to an environmental or social cause? Blue Friday initiative pioneered by a group of small businesses is a good example of purchases that make a difference. In recent years, the participating businesses have been donating part of their sales to an environmental organization protecting the oceans, the coasts and the ecosystems. And so many other great brands are doing the same!
Samara & Co is a Canadian company promoting sustainable and local consumption throughout the year. One of our main objectives is to reduce the consumption of Canadians as well as their ecological footprint by encouraging them to consume better and consume less!
This year, our team decided to do a Green Friday by granting a price reduction on gift-sets filled with local and eco-friendly products. We do this to support more conscious consumption and believe it is a great opportunity to offer a more accessible price to those who are interested in sustainable products and want to start their shift towards a more responsible lifestyle. We want more people to be able to access sustainable products that will ultimately help them consume less - fewer items, less plastic and fewer ingredients that are harmful to humans and the environment.
In other words, Samara & Co’s vision is to give discounts for the planet. We believe that encouraging the purchase of local and sustainable products can help to reduce pollution by minimizing the transport of products, reduce the waste, encourage the local economy and make a real difference in the daily life of people behind small businesses!
During Black Friday weekends (or other commercial events), choose to make a difference by reducing your consumption, encouraging small and local businesses, and supporting sustainability!