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  • Writer's pictureMichal Garvey

Questions to ask before you purchase this Black Friday

As the holiday season rolls around, so too does the annual festival of mass consumption - Black Friday and Cyber Monday.

Black Friday began in the United States in the1950s as a day workers would take off after Thanksgiving. It soon transitioned to mark the beginning of the Christmas shopping period and over the years has grown globally.

Jump to 2022, and what was once an in-store only experience, has become an online purchasing frenzy. As a consumer, the amount of Black Friday/Cyber Monday advertising that comes our way over these weeks can become overwhelming and can drive us to consume beyond our needs and means.

On top of that, the impact this is having on the planet is a reason for concern. From sourcing raw materials through to production, transportation through to packaging. And then there’s the question of how long products are actually even used for. A Green Alliance report stated that 80% of clothing, electronics and plastics (and their packaging) end up in landfill or incineration after minimal use and/or recycling. Not ideal!

So how can we do our bit to make a change when it comes to Black Friday? Here are some questions to ask yourself before purchasing.

  1. Do I need it or do I want it? It seems like a very simple question, but often it is the desire to grab a bargain that is driving us to purchase and not the actual product itself. Sit with this question for a little while - you might be surprised by the answer!

  2. Would I still want this if it was full price? When you are looking to buy something, make sure it is something that you love and want to hold onto for years to come. Think quality and look for items that bring you joy.

  3. Could I get a quality second-hand version of this? There are some awesome platforms out there to buy and sell second-hand goods. Not only can doing so save money but it also reduces the amount of “stuff” in circulation, ensuring that products already out there get used and re-used time and time again.

  4. How am I paying for this? Seems a funny question, but with the cost of living as high as it is, taking a moment to think through how you are paying for things and if you can actually afford them, is an important question to ask.

  5. Will it be used? This question can be either for yourself or the person you are buying it for. Will this be used and if so, for how long? As consumers, our mindsets do need to shift to purchasing for longevity. If the answer is no and you are looking for a gift, giving an experience is a great alternative or looking for quality, sustainable products they will use for years to come.

However you decide to approach Black Friday & Cyber Monday this year, be sure to keep the planet in mind and purchase (or don’t purchase) accordingly.

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