Caring less about consumer hypes, and more about considerate, social & ethical alternatives
Have we as consumers lost our minds?!? YES, well in the Western world at least!
As I sat down to write this article and research some statistics I soon realised there is a risk of this becoming a rant – so to calm you concerns and mine – I have limited myself to a 2 minute read (500 words from here) and there are some positive tips and alternatives at the bottom of this post 😉
Last week I was all set to cover the topic of food waste for my next challenge, but on 20 Nov – a whole 9 days in advance – the first ‘Black Friday’ advertisement sauntered into my inbox. Additionally there were adverts here in Germany, one of the newer countries to join the band-wagon, which made the topic of Black Friday, arguably one of the most transparent fake ‘deal’ days created by capitalism, un-ignorable!
Heres one statistic I want to keep in mind for my future purchases:
According to phys.org 80% of the items we buy will sooner or later end up as waste
Why I dislike Black Friday
- It’s a celebration of nothing. Only pure exploitation of a day to boost profits. This article from The Balance shows the history of the day was always just a ploy to increase revenue.
- It encourages excess and greed – impulse buy alert!
- It has sadly socialised thousands of otherwise normal shoppers to behave like absolute arses!
Shoving, snatching and shouting … seriously!
My tips for Conscious Consumerism on Black Friday and Christmas in general
I am not damning the act of buying things that you want or need and get enjoyment from, but I hope we can all be more considerate with what we buy and less excessive in procuring just ‘stuff’. The good news – there are loads of options!
Tip 1 – Buy with a smile
AmazonSmile gives 0.5% of any purchase value to a social cause of your choice. (This Business Insider article tells you more)
Tip 2 – Make a list & buy only what’s on it!
This Mckinsey report shows the majority (83% of Brits & 90% of Germans) do little to no planning. That means there is a huge amount of buyers who are falling prey to the all to common mistake-waiting-to-happen impulse buy!!!
Tip 3 – Give rather than get – then go for a walk
Instead of being sucked into herd mentality and shopping yourself silly, you could just buy nothing, or better still vow to not shop for the day give 10% of the money you think you would have spent to a charity, and then enjoy a nice walk in the great outdoors with someone you love. Take inspiration from this Guardian Upside article.
Tip 4 – Look out for socially / environmentally minded companies
We all know the dilemma of feeling the need to give presents, but not having a clue what might be desired or needed. When in doubt, look for items from social / ethical minded companies – heart-felt gift guaranteed! Other free and fantastic alternatives – bake some treats or give’em a great big hug!
The silver-lining, with my inbox free of Black Friday spam, up popped an email from Conservation International who will match any donations made until Tuesday. I know what I’ll be doing tomorrow on #GivingTuesday.
Thanks for reading
Your Better Me Greener
499 words – Boom 🙂