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5 Ways Your Business Can Go Green on Black Friday

Eco-friendly black friday

Black Friday is upon us, and that means your customers will be scouting your business for cut-price deals that they’ve waited for all year. But what if this year you do something a little different?

Black Friday has become one of the most environmentally unfriendly events on the seasonal calendar. Rock bottom prices encourage people to spend more, buying in bulk – which is great for sales and not-so-great for the local environment.

The surge in spending has a negative impact on local ecosystems, one that your green team should consider offsetting this year, and every year after this one. Black Friday and Cyber Monday have become part of our culture, so let’s find ways to make this time greener!

Here are 5 ways to turn your Black Friday into Green Friday.

#1: Embrace the Green Friday Movement

Early forms of Green Friday were promoted in Canada, where it stood in opposition to Black Friday. The movement was originally created to raise awareness about the impact of these big shopping days. Today, companies still launch campaigns to support their sustainability directives.

Check out IKEA’s Green Friday campaign here.

Think about how your company uses Black Friday to boost sales, and how your products could help, instead of harm the environment. Increased sales means increased waste, so it’s an excellent time to consider the kinds of waste you are releasing into the world. Small changes add up!

Brainstorm how your company will make Black Friday greener this year.

#2: Educate and Encourage Your Customers

It’s thrilling for customers to get their hands on a once-in-a-lifetime deal, but on Black Friday this usually amounts to impulse buying. The consequence of that is an influx of discarded items that make their way to the landfill shortly after the holidays.

Consider what your company is selling and how it should either be correctly recycled, reused or discarded. Then launch an educational initiative educating your customers about their options. Remember to make it easy by incentivizing the recycling process.

Clothing stores like these do this extremely well by offering customers discounts when they return old or unwanted items bought from the store.

Run an education program teaching customers how to recycle right.

#3: Focus More on Cyber Monday

Since its inception, Cyber Monday has been slowly outstripping Black Friday as the best way to find great deals after Thanksgiving weekend. There’s another benefit too – online shopping lessens impulsive in-store buying and can reduce the resulting increase in waste.

The flip side of this is packaging, which is necessary for online product deliveries. If you’re going to focus on Cyber Monday, do a packaging audit to understand just how much unrecyclable material is being sent to customers, and what you can do to change that.

Do you really need 4 tons of toxic polystyrene, or is there a recyclable alternative that is also cost effective? Put your green team to work exploring these questions.  

Skip Black Friday and opt to focus on Cyber Monday instead.

#4: Don’t Sell Anything at All

A radical approach to Black Friday is to not participate at all. Many businesses choose to shut their doors over this particular weekend, citing sustainability as the reason. Instead of working to minimize the environmental impact of these super-sales days, simply avoid them.

While it may seem like your company will miss out, with a little creative planning that won’t be the case. Hosting sales at any other time means less competition, and that can be an advantage.

Pick this weekend to take time off, send your employees on holiday, or to take a mental health hiatus. There really is no better time of the year, and it’s right before Christmas so you will all feel well-rested and ready for the festive rush.

Go all-in and don’t participate in Black Friday this year.

#5: Donate Proceeds to Charity

A quick and easy way to offset the Black Friday surge is to commit a portion of your sales to the environmental charity of your choice. If your local municipality is going to be hardest hit, pick a charity that will help relieve some the burden.

You can also donate any amount to planting more trees, ocean cleanups, or to wildlife conservationists working in your area. These are the groups that will be hardest hit after the big days, so your donation will make a difference.

Check out this amazing list of environmental charities in North America.

Share your Black Friday profits with the green charity of your choice.

Use these ideas to make your next Black Friday a greener, more eco-friendly time for your company. Whether you implement one or more of these practices, remember that every time you step towards Green Friday, you make the world a little less dark for everyone.

What is your company doing to offset Black Friday this year? Tell us below.

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