Happy Monday News Viewers, a Monday also known as “Cyber Monday”, another day to “buy things I don’t need with money I don’t have to impress people I don’t like. . .” as my Dad says 🙂
Free Range is the place for free ranging discussions on whatever is on your mind, whatever is going on in your world, and whatever thoughts and deeds are on your horizon today. Shopping may be on the horizon for many; the rest of us may be stopping before shopping to ask “how much STUFF do I really need to have made just for me, packaged up and delivered to my tiny spot on the planet and hauled off on my behalf on trash day just so I can get it out of my house because I don’t really need it after all?”
Black Friday is originally an (unofficial) American holiday, but in recent decades, the US phenomenon has spread its tendrils across the globe, in-store and online.
During Black Friday and its online cousin, Cyber Monday, retailers have one big goal: attract consumers to their store and website with one unmissable deal, hoping that you’ll fill your cart with more things you don’t need once you’re there.
What started as one day of shopping has become a whole season, with offers and discounts beginning as early as October.
More global consumer spending means more products being manufactured and shipped worldwide, so it’s no surprise that Black Friday’s carbon footprint has grown accordingly. According to one report, online shopping for Black Friday 2020 in the UK alone emitted 429,000 tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions, the same weight as 61,308 elephants. Just picture that for a moment.
Because so many transactions are made, more emissions are created, more waste is generated, and more trucks are dispatched to meet the demand. The Guardian even revealed that in 2017, a diesel truck left an Amazon fulfilment centre around every 93 seconds.
But Black Friday’s environmental impact doesn’t stop the moment the products land on our doorsteps. No—Black Friday promotes overconsumption, pushing consumerism to its extremes by telling us we need more unnecessary, unwanted, cheap goods made from poor-quality, unsustainable materials. And what happens when we realise that juicy deal is falling apart? Most of us throw it away. In fact, one study has suggested that up to 80% of our Black Friday purchases are thrown away after just one or even zero uses.
Black Friday doesn’t just impact the planet we live on. It also affects all of us, starting with the workers who produce the goods we’re buying.
Production at a large scale often comes with outsourcing labour to nations where brands get away with paying pennies, depriving workers of access to a living wage and safe working conditions, and trapping them in an inhumane cycle of poverty. And as you might have guessed, the extra profit generated by the sale of even cheaper goods during Black Friday doesn’t end up in the workers’ wallets.
Tell us all about your Monday plans, ideas and perspectives; this is an open forum free chat where civil exchange is the order of the day; so give us the good dirt — what’s happening in your world?