Buy Nothing Day
The tide seems to be turning against Black Friday.
A move toward a national 'Buy Nothing Day' is gaining some traction instead. In the run-up to Black Friday (which this year occurred on 29th November), the media were full of warnings that not all the discounts advertised were as good as they might appear at first sight. And in France, there were reports that the government is making moves toward banning Black Friday altogether - although given the extent of online shopping that dominates the day, it is not altogether clear how this might be done.
We will not know until well into the New Year whether Black Friday sales are in fact beginning to tail off, any more than we will know for quite some time whether the various arguments for a 'Green Christmas' are gaining support. In the meantime, more churches and Christian charities are advocating the 'Reverse Advent Calendar' scheme, whereby donors are encouraged to purchase items for their local food banks throughout the month of December. All these movements may help contribute toward CASCaid's aim of reducing personal debt while helping others, and helping the planet, at Christmas.
It's Beginning to Look Like an Eco-Christmas...
Like many of us, retailers too are becoming more aware of environmental issues. In addition to beginning to tackle the general problem of single use plastic containers and packaging, there are signs that some are now concerned about sustainability in the festive season in particular. For instance, Marks and Spencer has announced that it will ban glitter from its wrapping paper, greeting cards, decorations and other accessories this year because of its plastic content; and that it will encourage customers not to use tape or bows when wrapping gifts. It is estimated that this could save around 50 tons of plastic in a single season. See our 'What is CASCaid' page for more information. Using paper and string will also help reduce our overall Christmas spending.
Nor is Marks and Spencer the only major retailer to start banning glitter. It has now been joined by Aldi, which is banning it from Hallowe'en items as we write this. Tesco has announced that it is banning plastic Christmas trees. And both John Lewis and Waitrose are banning plastic toys from their Christmas crackers, although this will not be effective for another year. A spokesman cautions that because of the lengthy lead-in time for orders (between 12 and 18 months), it is difficult to implement such decisions immediately.
Even modest contributions towards helping the environment are very welcome. It's heartening to see some retailers are listening to their customers and ditching unnecessary plastics. Hopefully many others will follow their lead.
The Green Christian Magazine
In this article, CASCaid founder Ruth Grayson joins with like-minded members of Green Christian to promote their latest campaign, "Joy in Enough".
Click on the link below.