We can bash Black Friday and mindless consumerism until the cows come home, but let’s face it – who doesn’t love a bargain? Credit cards in hand, people are going to go out there en masse the Friday after Thanksgiving and they’re going to keep shopping all the way up until Christmas. There’s a reason that the four week period between Black Friday and Christmas represents a huge chunk of annual retail sales (that number was about 20% in 2014).
This could be seen as a cause for discouragement, but in fact, it is a huge opportunity to be seized. This is a time when retailers and manufacturers are listening and looking for trends, and for conscientious buyers – an excellent time to push for change through their purchases. Last year, on Black Friday weekend, 30% of 174 million people bought consumer electronics. That is a staggering 52,200,000 people – more than the current population of Canada. If just a fraction of that number started being more intentional (and vocal) about their purchases, perhaps in a few years they could help shape trends that would encourage manufacturers to design processes and products that are more sustainable overall.
While we can’t expect minds and hearts to change in a day, there are some first steps that those who are already mindful of the e-waste problem can take this Black Friday, in order to help usher in an age of smarter electronics consumption and “Fair Tech”