Black Friday: How Does the Discount Season Affect the Environment?

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What price does the planet pay in discount seasons like Black Friday? Can we buy sustainably on these dates?.

Person holding a cell phone in front of a Black Friday sign

It is essential to implement effective policies that reduce excessive consumption in the market and the generation of environmentally sustainable products. Photo: Unsplash

LatinAmerican Post | Brandon Martínez Salazar

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Leer en español: Black Friday: ¿Cómo la temporada de descuentos afecta al medio ambiente?

Without a doubt, the environmental problems that the planet has been experiencing due to human consumption is a reality that cannot be ignored. Today various parts of the globe are beginning to feel the effects of climate change and according to the scientific community, the worst is yet to be seen.

Now, the industrialization of the great nations and the overproduction have brought humanity to the brink of the abyss. So from now on it is essential to implement effective policies that reduce excessive consumption in the market.

Discount seasons such as Black Friday and the Día sin IVA in Colombia are decisive for climate change since the acquisition of the products that are marketed on these dates has a negative effect on nature, either by the extraction of its primary materials, transportation, or disposal of solid waste that lasts over time.

How does Black Friday affect the environment?

Black Friday (or Black Friday) is an annual date that aims to reduce prices in the markets, where department stores benefit thanks to excessive sales. The point is that it has become a habit for people who buy things they do not need.

Advertising is a key factor in Black Friday, since it is the main theme on which brands stand to increase their profits through digital platforms without measuring the damage that this causes to the planet.

Also read: Five Environmentally Friendly Products

According to an article in El Confidencial, in 2019 this season was responsible for 1.7% of the annual pollutant gas emissions in the city of Madrid. Likewise, of this percentage of emissions, 81.1% corresponded to the production and commercialization of products, 15.4% to transportation and 0.44% to the use of packaging.

This is even more serious if the most demanded products on this date are analyzed, which would be electronics, technology, cosmetics, and textiles items. For example, smartphones are composed of various materials such as iron, aluminum, lithium, graphite, among others; and do enormous damage to nature. Why? Because to obtain these elements it is necessary to extract them from the ecosystems through mining, destroying everything in its path and at the same time, polluting the atmosphere.

Three sustainability tips for the discount season

The first thing consumers should do this season is to reflect on what they need and what they don't. Advertising and the market promote consumption, but humans are the ones who make the final decisions and this is why it is important to focus on the problem so as not to become an impulsive buyer.

We should also partake in the circular economy. As an alternative to Black Friday, an ecological movement known as Green Friday has been emerging. This event is essentially committed to recycling, supporting local businesses, artisan products, and second-hand stores. 

Third, as a sustainability strategy in the discount season, some brands have opposed this date by closing online commerce and betting on environmental education in their virtual channels. This is an alternative for companies and enterprises that care about the future of the planet.