The moment most awaited by many consumers and feared by the entire planet is approaching: Black Friday, which this year falls on 27 November. Do we know what the real costs are behind what we buy, especially in this period of uninterrupted discounts and sales?

The extent of the problem

Black Friday corresponds to the Friday after Thanksgiving and has been considered the start of the American Christmas shopping season since 1952, later spreading to Europe as well. “Black” would refer to the records on merchants’ books that traditionally went from red (losses) to black (gains).

In the US, record levels were reached in 2020 with consumers spending $9 billion, a 21.6% increase on 2019. While in the UK, parcel shipments bought in the same period emitted 429,000 tonnes of CO2 into the atmosphere, the equivalent of 435 round trips between London and New York.

This year in Europe, Italy is the country where “Black Friday” is most successful. 65.6% of online shoppers say they are interested in buying a product, compared to 55.7% in Spain, 49.8% in Germany, 44.4% in Austria and 36.6% in France. 

The most eagerly awaited offers concern household appliances, to replace old ones with the latest models. Among the most sought-after products are espresso machines (+66.3%), food processors (+50.0%), ovens (+38.6%), dryers (+35.3%), dishwashers (+28.9%), capsule coffee machines (+25.8%) and coffee pods (+22.2%). In short, we do not fail in coffee.

A ‘black’ impact on the planet

Consumerism – be it fast fashion, flights, household appliances, or insatiable appetite – has become the main driver of the climate crisis. We are devouring resources at a rate 1.7 times faster than the planet can regenerate. And Black Friday is just an exacerbation of this ever-present trend, especially in the Western world, where ‘more’ is never enough.

Imagine how much more waste can be produced in a week when the whole world buys new appliances, new clothes, new toys, and throws away the old ones. We may not even have a clue. Not to mention the working conditions of the people who have to produce, prepare and deliver all these ‘things’ at breakneck speed.

Regarding Black Friday’s best-selling category, up to 50 million tonnes of electronic and electrical waste (e-waste) are produced every year, weighing more than all the commercial aircraft ever built. Only 20% of this is recycled, the rest is dumped and leads to toxic substances – such as lead and mercury – polluting water and soil, with tremendous consequences for people and ecosystems.

A solution exists

This tendency towards unbridled consumption is a reflection of the society in which we live, where buying things makes us happy and fulfilled. But is this really the case? Is it possible to be happy with what we have when everything else dies? With the pollution of what we produce we are contaminating the rivers, desertifying the land and intoxicating the air. We are selling our souls to consumerism in exchange for the lives of entire ecosystems.

But, if only we want to, there is a solution: reduce.

Choose not to buy at all. And if we have to, let’s choose used and durable first. We can gift moments of sharing to our loved ones, instead of more and new “things”. We can eat less and better, respecting the seasons and the earth. Let’s rediscover the pleasure of individual fulfilment beyond the material and bring our lifestyles back into balance with nature. The time is right for a common anti-consumerism. We will be happier, I promise you.

zeroCO2. The tales of zeroCO2

We are not just talking about trees, but about community, innovation and history.
Listen to what we have to say.

keyboard_arrow_left keyboard_arrow_right

COP26 is over. Outcomes and consequences.

COP26, the long-awaited climate conference followed and discussed around the world, ended on Saturday evening. Between realistic and disillusioned expectations and the hope for a definitive paradigm shift…

Our climate shadow on the planet. A new metric.

We are all quite used to the concept of carbon footprint, a tool that helps us calculate how much we are personally contributing to climate change. Our footprint might take into…

Garment workers suffer from global demand

The US$2.4 trillion garment and footwear industry has grown rapidly in recent decades, as the demand for cheaper clothing and more variety has increased and…

make your move!

make your move!

Whether to improve the environment or generate social impact, with zeroCO2 you can’t go wrong: we are a sustainable project in every possible sense.