Last year, around 180 million people worldwide made a purchase during Black Friday and Cyber Monday.
Shopping and gift-giving are huge aspects of the holiday season. Everywhere we turn, advertisements of sales and deals are shoved in our faces, making us feel like we’re missing out if we don’t take advantage. While buying gifts for loved ones is a great thing, the true problem lies in the guilt we feel for not buying these great deals for ourselves.
Unfortunately, up to 80% of impulse purchases made during these sales are thrown away after just one and sometimes no use. Not only is this counter-productive for your wallet, but it’s horrible for the environment. With all of this waste building up in our landfills year after year, it’s clear that there are some real problems with these holiday sale events.
That’s why it’s important to stop and think before you shop. Ask yourself “do I really need this?” or are you just buying it because it’s on sale? After all, that deal you see advertised might not be such a great deal at all. Websites will often advertise a certain percent discount on sale prices, but fail to mention that the “original price” is only the manufacturer's suggested retail price, which few products are actually sold for. Some stores will even raise their prices right before Black Friday and Cyber Monday just to mark them back down at “a discounted price.”
With this deceptive marketing, it’s no wonder so many people are tempted to take advantage.
“Websites will often advertise a certain percent discount on sale prices, but fail to mention that the ‘original price' is only the manufacturer's suggested retail price, which few products are actually sold for.”
The amount of waste isn’t the only problem with these sale days, though. All of these products need a way to get made and delivered to consumers, and unfortunately, this means creating a ton of carbon emissions.
Shipping isn’t the only thing that produces carbon emissions, through. Creating all of these products can result in CO2 weighing double the amount of the product itself.
Because we don’t have any more Earths to spare, it’s critical that we get this consumerism under control before it’s too late.
“Shipping products during the holiday season accounts for nearly 4% of human-caused carbon emissions, with studies estimating that this number could rise to as high as 17% by the year 2050.”
This holiday season, don’t be tempted by all of the advertisements you see. Remind yourself that deals aren’t always real, and they’re often on items you don’t really need.
However, when it comes to gift-giving and treating yourself, there is a way to do so sustainably.
Shopping at a small business near you is a great way to support your local economy as well as eliminate the need for shipping. If you do choose to shop online, make sure you’re choosing a store that is proven to be sustainable.
Here at Verte Mode, we have a rigorous vetting process where each of our brands are evaluated for sustainable and ethical practices throughout the supply chain, making sure every product and brand meets the highest of sustainability standards.
Check out some gifting ideas below to treat your loved ones as well as yourself this holiday season, and know you’re not only investing in pieces that are good for you, but are also good for the planet!