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The environmental impact of Black Friday revealed

With consumers expected to spend a total of £9.42 billion throughout the Black Friday weekend and Cyber Monday in 2021, experts from eco-friendly nappy providers, The Nappy Gurus, reveal how to think more sustainably as you shop this year.

With so many tempting deals released during the Black Friday period, it can be easy to just buy products for the sake of it. But frantic overconsumption and buying unneeded goods poses a significant threat to the environment. From the production of the items, the packaging and the shipping, to the waste generated from the products themselves, the planet will suffer due to increased carbon emissions over Black Friday and Cyber Monday.

So this year, The Nappy Gurus launched Green November which will be a dedicated sale offering up to 30% off selected sustainable ranges and for every sale made, one tree will be planted. The initiative for this year is made possible by JUST ONE Tree, a non-profit organisation that removes CO2 from the atmosphere and reverses biodiversity loss through global reforestation.

CEO and founder of JUST ONE Tree, Amanda Bronkhorst, comments on Black Friday and the environmental damage it poses: “This year, Black Friday home deliveries will be responsible for hundreds of thousands of metric tons of greenhouse gas emissions, while the waste generated will have an impact on everything from increasing ocean plastic to filling landfill sites.”

On top of the devastating impact Black Friday has on the environment, shoppers will be spending a considerable amount of money on products they don’t necessarily need. The average shopper is set to spend £275 on the Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales, and the region expected to spend the most is London, spending an average of £468.

Amanda Bronkhorst adds: “Black Friday is clearly not good for the planet, and it’s up to each one of us to take action, even if it’s as simple as agreeing not to participate. If you are a consumer and decide to participate in some way, we recommend making greener choices.”

For consumers looking to save some money this Black Friday, experts from both The Nappy Gurus and JUST ONE Tree share their top tips for a more sustainable shopping experience:

  1. Place one order. Avoiding multiple orders from one retailer can help reduce the number of delivery vans and therefore reduce the amount of potential air pollution.
  2. Shop with sustainable retailers. By doing this, you will be increasing the demand for sustainable products, and it will encourage more retailers to rethink their eco-friendly offerings.
  3. Purchase items that are sustainably sourced and produced rather than products made from virgin plastics and fossil fuels. This will reduce potential plastic pollution and reduce carbon emissions.
  4. Research what you want to buy before making a purchase. In doing this, you are more likely to make a considered purchase decision, which will likely mean the product you are buying is something you genuinely care about.
  5. Ditch single-use products. In doing this, and choosing reusable products, you will help reduce plastic pollution, waste, and you will be contributing to reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

Founder of The Nappy Gurus, Laura Davies, comments on sustainable shopping and the Green November initiative: “With the recent COP26 conference highlighting the urgent need for action, it’s the perfect time for consumers to reconsider their Black Friday and Cyber Monday buying habits, and to take steps in making more considered and sustainable purchase decisions. However, it’s not just up to the consumer to make greener choices, businesses also need to do their bit, and taking part in an initiative like Green November would make a good starting point.

“By taking into consideration the five steps to sustainable shopping, we hope it will make a lasting impact and difference to the way consumers choose to shop, not just during Black Friday and Cyber Monday, but with every purchase decision made going forward.

“Choosing to shop with businesses that take part in initiatives like Green November will help offset the carbon emissions of any purchases too, which is an added bonus, as for every purchase a tree will be planted. At The Nappy Gurus, we believe we all have a responsibility to safeguard our futures, and by working with partners such as JUST ONE Tree, we can go some way towards fulfilling that responsibility.”