The doors open, the crowd stampedes in and the store becomes chaos, all to shop and save a few dollars. Black Friday is a yearly tradition where people worldwide ‘celebrate’ by going insane over purchasing unneeded products at a slightly lower price from all of their favourite stores. However, Black Friday has large negative impacts on society and the world. The day has has resulted in many harmful outcomes that outweigh any benefits, such as: overcrowding, injuries, loss of the true meaning of Christmas, and most impactful, environmental problems.
Black Friday brings on more than just lots of plastic and waste; the week creates extreme amounts of unneeded purchases that will affect our world in a deeper way. An article from ecocart states that 80% of our black Friday purchases will be thrown away soon after. The same article explains that the amount of greenhouse gas emissions that the UK created during just last year’s Black Friday shopping frenzy was equal to 435 flights from London to New York. If we continue consuming in the fashion we are right now, the amount of carbon being released into our atmosphere will increase at a faster rate than it already has. This means that the broken bones from trampling and pushing of crowds for sales will not be the only thing hurting on Black Friday. Our world is already at the point of no turning back regarding environmental problems, and this day of major consumption is not making the fight to alleviate climate change any better; it is also ironic that Black Friday followed the recent climate conference in Glasgow, Scotland. Was anything learned there? These types of consumption cycles are exactly what we need taken out of our culture if we are to expect any change in the current climate crisis.
Although the environmental impacts are the main worry of this holiday, there are other negatives that come to mind when one examines the frenzy of buying crap. A big one would be the constant aggression and overcrowding the holiday brings. Every year there are various injuries and even deaths! Trampling, suffocation from crowds or even a few cases of stabbings have occurred in the US. Sounds far-fetched, but this actually happens. Injury from maniacially shopping seems like a pretty big price to pay, but there is a literal website that has been dedicated to the death and injuries that happen on Black Friday every year. Furthermore an article written by Maurie Backman from The Motley Fool shows that “One thing to keep in mind about Black Friday is that the advertised “deals” tend to be very limited in quantity. Even if you’re willing to camp out in a store parking lot to be one of the first people in line when the doors open, you might still lose out on the products you were hoping to buy.” This just goes to show that the so-called “deals” are not at all worth the fighting and hostility occurring all over the world during thithat is supposed to celebrate community and giving.
Instead of this holiday being about shopping and attacking others for things we don’t need, we should give into the goodness of the holidays and create new traditions of giving. Black Friday is the time of year when it gets cold, and this is the time where giving is most important. The world should come together to decide that Black Friday will change into a day dedicated to giving and volunteering around the community. This type of kindness and goodwill will make that great feeling of satisfaction last so much longer and make you feel better than shopping ever could. Giving to someone in need will make for a happy holiday. Not only will it bring joy to someone else, but it is an amazing reward for yourself. An early December 2019 article from The Province by Anne Giardini explains that “actively caring for others — goes further than almost anything else we do to ensure that we lead a good life, in the sense of a life filled with meaning and thus, indirectly, happiness.”
Instead of getting a three second high from buying junk that will end up in the landfill, you should take your money and help someone who has less, you will feel better for it!