Holiday season is finally here and not only does it mark the beginning of lots of time with our loved ones – but it is the beginning of the season for … shopping. That’s right, it seems like the second the leaves begin to turn, so do all of the ads across TV, radio, and social media to urgent reminders to shop the latest and GREATEST sales, lest you miss all the deals of Fall/Winter. While it might seem like there is a shopping holiday sale nearly every week these days, the epitome of shop-until-you-drop (and or get trampled over by massive floods of your fellow consumers) comes the day after Thanksgiving – Black Friday.
There is no doubt that Black Friday sales are huge in the retail world. Last year, Americans spent $626.1 billion (around $805.65 per shopper) on the day after Thanksgiving. It’s long been lauded that Black Friday is crucial to the U.S. economy because it encourages people to get out and spend money – but what is rarely discussed is the massive impact all of that stuff (which soon becomes waste) is having on the world around us.
For example, rampant consumerism is at the heart of our plastic problem. We dump a total of 8.8 million tons of disposable plastics into the oceans every year, and around 700 marine species are directly faced with extinction as a result. According to the latest U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Numbers, about 258 million tons of trash were sent to landfill in 2014 alone. The Global Footprint Network has estimated that we would need the resources of 2.2 United States (yes, over double our country), to sustain the demands of our citizens. Point blank: we consume WAY too much. And much of this consumption is driven by the idea that everything in our society is disposable and replaceable. But given the massive pressure our “need” for more stuff is putting on the planet, we desperately need to learn to cut back.
So in the spirit of protecting the future of our planet, here are 10 reasons you should buy NOTHING this Black Friday – but instead, share these graphics with #BlackFriday and @OneGreenPlanet and help educate others about the impact of our obsession with stuff!
1. Our Consumption Habits Have a Real Impact on Others
2. We Prioritize Accessories Over Education
3. We’re Buying Things We Mostly Do NOT Need
4. We’re Not Only Wasting Money, We’re Wasting Our Time
5. Our Homes Are Primarily Made of Clutter
6. We’re Teaching Our Children to be Obsessed With Things Before They Can Walk
7. More Options Also Mean More Waste
8. Most of These Items Get Replaced Annually
9. This Trend Will Only Increase as Our Population Grows
10. We Might Not be the Largest Country – But We Consume the Most
So Green Monsters, which stat did you find the most surprising? Tell us in the comments along with what you plan to do instead of shopping this Black Friday.