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Sewing Jeans in Guangdong Province © Lu Guang / Greenpeace

Black Friday – please go far far away!

I dream of the day when Black Friday will become the Buy Nothing Day. Not `buy as much as you can or want`, not `Shop till you drop day` or `Spend all your money day`. I dream of the day called Buy Nothing Day. Or better a month. Or even a whole year.

I imagine it must be hard, but by the way, have you ever tried not to buy anything new for a whole year at some point in your life? Disregard the times you had no money, but have you ever refused to purchase anything new for a whole year even when money were not a challenge for you? One of my colleagues at Greenpeace wrote an article on this topic and is giving some eye-opening and smart pieces of advice on how to go a whole year without buying new clothes.

Why is this important? you`re probably asking at this point of reading this article. Well, the answer is quite simple. For the sake of our Planet`s health and ours in the end. In this era of over consumption, where almost everything we ever dream for is available at some clicks or kilometers away, it`s worth asking ourselves Do I really need this? If there anything I already own which I can revive that will satisfy my need for this product/thing? I have this essential questions always on top of my mind when I start thinking about purchasing something new. Most of the times I can repair or revive that item or I can ask around and find it at some friend or even second hand shops. So it is not really needed for me to make another purchase and contribute to the gap inequality in the world.

In this era of over consumption, the responsibility stays with us also to improve the situation of our amazing and incredible Planet. It is not only the corporations or politics responsibility to solve this issue – and how we see some politics are going, it is really not the ideal situation to wait for them to fix this. It also stands with us, the consumers, to refuse buying at the rates the big magazines are producing items.

And if you are thinking Well, I am pretty sure it`s not that bad I dare to disagree with you. IT IS THAT BAD! The oceans are full with plastics, some even have the dimensions of existing countries and this also affects the marine life. These days, most of my social media feed is full with articles about marine animals dying because plastic invaded their areas. Another huge problem of the over consumption is that big corporations help create and maintain inequality. Most of the times, our beloved phones or clothes are created by some people living in very bad conditions and paid poorly. Also, they have to live with the pollution created by manufacturing these products, which is definitely not something most of the people would agree to live with.

But we can make better and smarter choices. That is the good side of the problem. We can ask for more transparent production and purchases chains from the corporations, we can refuse to buy what we know for sure is harming the Planet and ourselves in the long run, we can support small and local producers by buying from them and promoting their work. In the end, here`s a check list which always helps me decide if I really need to buy a brand new product. Maybe you will want to have a look on when you prepare for next year`s Black Friday.

  • do I really need that new thing or can I repair or revive some old items? Especially if you easily attach to the things you own, it is better to try and fix them rather than throw away and buy new ones.
  • is this thing I am interested in really having a discount or it is just a marketing thing? Lots of shops have false discounts, so try following the products some time before the big `black day` and compare the prices.
  • am I buying just because this has a discount and everybody does it? The temptation is big! We all want nice and beautiful things in our wardrobe, but sometimes it`s worth thinking twice about the reason we are making a purchase.

And until Black Friday really goes away, I dream of a world where we compete on who is the most environmentally friendly company/ brand/ country/ politician/ artist and not the most environmentally damaging.

This article was initially published on author`s LinkedIn profile.  

cumparaturipoluareshoppingsupra consum

Andrada Radu • 28/11/2017

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