The Environmental Effects of Black Friday

Black Friday is easily the busiest shopping day in our global calendar. Businesses around the world take part to reduce the cost of their services and products in a bid to grab attention and improve sales. Over the course of Black Friday, consumers will be met with an average saving of 37% from their favourite brands, and of course, who wouldn’t want to save on the latest goods?  

Many of the purchases made over the Black Friday period are focused around technology: 41% of UK adults plan to buy tech devices over the festive period which could result in a staggering 53.5 million tonnes of electrical items being bought in the five weeks between 23rd November and 24th December. And with only 17% of e-waste produced entering the recycling process, only 9 million tonnes of these electrical items will be properly recycled when they reach the end of their life; this leaves 44 million tons of electronics that will inevitably end up in landfill if we don’t improve our buying and disposing habits. Find out more here.  


Green is the new Black this Friday 

With this in mind, we would like to draw your attention to the environmental cost of the technology you buy on Black Friday, rather than the price; the discount we receive on our new technological goods does not carry across to the cost this has on our planet. We are taking time this Black Friday to consider the effect that slashed prices are costing our planet and the communities it supports!  


The Cost vs The Price  

When buying new technology or just researching our next purchase the main thing we look at is the price. Particularly during Black Friday and the festive period, the price of the product is the number one factor many look out for. A 40% off promotion is enough to make anyone want to drop everything and secure the deal because the fear of missing out is real!  

When we are so fixated on the price, we often disregard the cost. The cost refers to the environmental impact to manufacture, ship, and deliver the device. Let's use laptops as an example. The laptop manufacturing process costs the planet on average 300kg of carbon and 190,000l of water as well as critical finite resources, human exploitation, and air pollution.  


When you understand the cost are you prepared to pay the price? 

Millions of consumer electronics (phones, laptops, tablets, computers etc.) will be sold during the period between Black Friday and Christmas. Retailers will heavily discount their products and offer enticing deals to encourage us to spend our money with them. It works! We buy things we do not actually need; 1/5 of Black Friday purchases end up going back to the retailer.  

This Black Friday and throughout the festive period we urge you to take into account both the price and the cost of consumer electronics. Think of electronics as having two price tags, one for your wallet and one for our planet.  


What to do with the technology you replace?  

If you’re heading out to buy new devices this Black Friday, the likelihood is that you’re replacing an older piece of technology. This device can be prevented from ending up in landfill through refurbishment and recycling! Find out about how to responsibly dispose of your technology here.  

Similarly, at some point in the future you will be looking to upgrade technology again. So we urge you to remember what your new device costs the environment and the planet to produce, and look to ethically dispose of your used devices when they reach the end of their life.  

Head to our IT lifecycle section of our website to learn more about what you can do to help the growing tide of e-waste.