The impact of Black Friday on the environment

Is it possible to shop by taking advantage of discounts in a conscious way and meanwhile protecting nature?

Black Friday in recent years has been increasingly successful in the western world winning the undisputed title of “Shopping Festival” and starting the race for Christmas gifts. It is a day, or more and more often a whole week, dedicated to discounted purchases which particularly after the devastating effects on the socio-economic fabric of the pandemic, it attracts the attention of many. The Black Friday week is therefore an opportunity to make purchases without exceeding the family budget and many are ready to draw up a “wish list” and fill their virtual shopping cart with the most varied products. But are these days really advantageous and convenient? But above all, what impact do they have not only on our pockets but on the environment?

This crazy rush for purchases reveals very serious repercussions on the environment, so much so that it has earned – following the report “Dirty Delivery” published by the English website – the title of “black day for the environment”. The report has not avoided making a sensation for the shocking data emerged: according to the study, Black Friday alone causes the release into the atmosphere of 429 thousand tons of CO2 which is equivalent to the CO2 emitted by an aircraft that performs 435 times the route from London to New York and vice versa! 

The greater problem of Black Friday – according to the report – is in the logistics. In fact, most purchases are online, assuming a massive use of road transport. Each delivery of medium-sized parcels from Asos, for example, using Dpd and Hermes as the main delivery companies, generates about 3.68 kg of CO2.

Millions of consumers are shopping these days, as many as 85% of the population in Western countries. In the face of this high percentage of people who take advantage of Black Friday to go shopping only 1 out of 10 wonders how much this huge consumer machine costs in terms of environmental impact.

The real question at this point becomes: Is it possible to go shopping, take advantage of discounts in a conscious way and protect nature? Yes!

The data presented are alarming and undoubtedly require you to review your consumption habits, but how? Sometimes just a few simple gestures are enough to reduce the climate damage left by shopping, such as, for example, avoiding opting for express delivery – which involves a further increase in the work of couriers and, as a result, more polluting emissions into the environment. Mindful shopping doesn’t mean you have to give up online shopping – which, in the digital age, would still be virtually impossible – but simply have more awareness in shopping. Therefore, it is better to prefer standard delivery methods or, even better, the click-and-collect system, which provides for the withdrawal of products purchased directly in the store or in a locker.

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