Sunday, April 14, 2024

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Back Friday Needs to Go Green

For decades, Black Friday has been the largest shopping event of the year. But has anyone ever thought about the environmental impactor of this shopping extravaganza? If you have, you’ll realize it isn’t a pretty sight.

In recent years, Black Friday has transformed from a single day to a weekend, then to an entire month. And with the recent global pandemic, online sales have never been higher.

In fact, in 2020 nearly twice as many shoppers stood home and shopped online.

This is having a direct impact on emissions as more shipping means more transportation. Let’s see how Black Friday can become Green Friday.

How to Make Black Friday Go Green

1. Companies Can Use Smaller Packages

Big Box

Sometimes, it may seem strange to receive a huge box for a small item, but it happens a lot. And this is because it is by design.

Research conducted by the largest online retailers found that by using bigger boxes, there was a smaller chance of damaging the package contents. This is because bigger boxes are easier for a delivery person to handle.

The air in the box, along with any other protective items (bubble wrap, packing peanuts, etc.), helps protect the item because the box is likely to get slightly crushed or dented during the shipping process.

Yet, this means that fewer packages fit on a truck, which means more trucks and trips are needed.

While it may raise the shipping costs slightly, companies can use smaller shipping packages with better protective equipment to reduce the number of trucks on the road.

Many shoppers have already said they are willing to pay a little extra for greener practices. So, there is demand.

2. Electric Vehicles

Another way around the same problem is to just use electric vehicles to deliver packages.

The good news is that many shipping companies are already making the switch. Amazon, FedEx, and UPS all have plans to electrify their delivery trucks. This by itself eliminates the lion’s share of emissions that come from Black Friday.

However, it will still take years before they can electrify their entire truck fleet.

3. Shoppers Need to Buy Smarter

Many shoppers tend to buy more items than they need, and in many cases, just throw out what they buy before they use it.

Now, this might sound far-fetched, but data indicates that 80% of items bought on Black Friday either don’t get used or get used only once before they are discarded.

That’s a lot of waste entering landfills.

This is because some shoppers can’t refuse a good deal. Trust me, everyone has bought that one item for a few dollars because it was on sale, not because they need it.

This isn’t something that stores can control, but better self-restraint by shoppers can go a long way.

4. Recycle Everything

Another major problem is the lack of recycling that takes place. However, this is a problem that stems from both the retailer and the shopper.

Many products are shipped with material that is not recyclable, or at the very least, is easy to recycle. Yet, even if it is recyclable, many buyers do not bother to recycle it.

A good indication of this is the poor recycling rate most countries have.

In 2018, the United States had a recycling rate of 32%., or just under a third. Shoppers need to do a better job of recycling, while retailers need to use recyclable material.

This will significantly reduce the amount of waste that ends up in a landfill.

Get Those Black Friday Deals With A Clean Conscious

As environmental concerns bleed into every facet of life, even Black Friday shoppers are looking for environmentally friendly options. Companies that can deliver on these demands stand to make a lot of money and help fight climate change.

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Robert Giaquinto

Robert has been following and writing about environmental stories for years at GreenGeeks. He believes that highlighting environmentally friendly practices can help promote change in every household.

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