Sustainability

Black Friday 2020

Black Friday is almost upon us and to help you prepare we have provided a guide that highlights how you can safely find the best deals online, avoid cyber scams and help protect the environment.

Originating in the US, Black Friday offers an annual day of spending for consumers on some of the biggest products available, mainly technological and offers the chance to buy items that may otherwise be unaffordable. During this period, you should beware of some of the scams and tricks that are setup by online opportunists, including fake websites and offers.

Avoiding fake websites

There may be a website that looks legitimate to consumers, however, if there is a small typo in the website, an elongated title or has an obscure URL ending such as ‘-deals.com’ this could be a sign of a fake site. Always make sure you are on an official site before entering any personal information.

Be logical. You cannot buy a Playstation 5 brand new for £50, if you a see an advert or deal that looks too good to be true, don’t be enticed as it more than likely is too good to be real. These ads may take you to sites that could install malware onto your devices. Plus, by using legitimate websites you will reduce the likelihood of counterfeit goods being purchased or your personal information being used.

Due to the pandemic, this spending holiday will take place almost exclusively online, which makes it more important than ever to remain vigilant and cyber safe.

Black Friday's impact on the environment

How does Black Friday impact the environment? This shopping spree can impact the environment due to a variety of reasons:

  • Technology - The primary items bought over this period are technology products, whether they are phones, tablets, cameras or home ware gadgets, they will all generate e-waste. Despite the high value materials inside these products, such as copper, gold and silver, it is estimated only about 20% of these products are recycled. Some items can also contain toxic materials such as lead and mercury, which if thrown into land fill can release them and cause them to pollute the air, water, and soil.
  • Plastic – With this surge of products being purchased, there is a surge in plastic packaging being consumed. Only 3% of Leeds waste goes to landfill, waste is sent to an incinerator, located in the city, which uses the energy to heat social housing, however, correct recycling is still the best option as it puts natural materials back into the economy.
  • Online shopping – with the rise of online shopping and the increasing pace of delivery, many shoppers opt to not even leave the comfort of their own homes to participate in the black Friday deals, and with e-commerce rising due to Covid-19, this has a social impact. Same or next day delivery creates longer work hours and additional stress for drivers, give them a break and plan ahead for longer delivery times.
  • Consumerism – If you don’t need it, don’t buy it.

There are, however, ways you can take advantage of Black Friday without harming the planet. Before you make your purchases, think if it is absolutely necessary to replace items, and if so, do you need to purchase them brand new? Could you get the same thing second hand? Maybe a refurbished model of the technology you were thinking of buying. If you are getting your hands on some new tech, make sure you dispose of old devices correctly when replacing them, you’d be surprised how easy it is to recycle your old tech and even sometimes get some money for them.

Once the packages have arrived, check if the packages are recyclable, a lot of bubble wrap and safety air pockets are made of recyclable materials now, dispose of them properly.

Further Black Friday advice

If you want more advice on how to keep yourself waste free, check out thee Zero Waste Leeds website which has loads of tips and tricks available.

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