Environmental NGO Friends of the Earth has called on people to consider the costs to the environment in making purchases on Black Friday weekend.
Surveys have shown that huge numbers of people regret the purchases that are made in the rush of the sales, and that they find it a stressful experience, the non-profit said in a written statement.
“This drive towards consuming more means that even more resources are extracted from nature, generating climate-wrecking emissions,” the statement said.
Meanwhile, smaller retailers with more sustainable, local, personal services find they can’t compete with the artificially low prices of retail giants. “Last year, 85 per cent of independent retailers opted out of Black Friday.”
Friends of the Earth listed a number of measures to consumers and authorities to tackle overconsumption which harms the environment.
“Governments need to hold big businesses to account,” the NGO said. They should also support small shops, focusing on DIY, repairs and product exchanges, spread awareness and create incentives for a more sustainable lifestyle and promote environmentally-friendly policies such as reusable packaging, transport, and public green spaces where people socialise and recharge.
“Changing our culture of consumption is an essential part of tackling the climate crisis,” they added.
Consumers should be mindful of their purchases, consider repairing items before buying something new or buying second-hand but also support small and local businesses and avoid online orders that “raise the carbon footprint considerably”.
People should also push for policy change according to the NGO.