Green Friday: The Sustainable Alternative

Black Friday encourages mindless purchasing and is becoming increasingly unsustainable. That is why we support Green Friday as a sustainable alternative. We take a look at how you can use Green Friday on your website as a sustainable way to make the most of this time of year.

What is Green Friday?

Green Friday is an environmentally-friendly alternative to Black Friday that wants to help raise awareness about our shopping habits and encourage consumers to choose sustainable brands, invest in meaningful purchases or refrain from shopping at all.

Why is Black Friday unsustainable?

Black Friday deals encourage purchases en masse that are detrimental to the environment. As consumers believe the deals to be unique opportunities, many buy products they don’t need or even really want, just because they are cheaper. 

The rate of shipping products, delivering stock and excessive packaging that often goes to landfill are all increased on Black Friday. Even those that have just waited for a good deal on a product they have wanted for a while are adding to the same crushing demand. 

This is why we suggest more businesses look at more sustainable alternatives to Black Friday, like Green Friday.

Businesses that are supporting Green Friday and other alternatives

Passenger Clothing

Outdoor and adventure apparel brand Passenger Clothing is running a Green Friday promotion, where for every order received, they plant 5 trees and protect vital areas of rainforest. To date, they have planted more than 85,000 native trees all over the world, and protected over 365 hectares of rainforest.

Cariuma

Sustainable shoe brand Cariuma already make ethically sourced products with carbon-neutral shipping. Last year, they made sure the unsustainable Black Friday rush was a little better for the planet, by adopting a Green Friday scheme where they would plant 10 trees for every pair of shoes purchased. 

The practice isn’t just once a year either – Cariuma has started its own Reforestation Program and plants a pair of trees for every pair of shoes year-round.

Finisterre

Sustainable outdoor brand Finisterre eschewed Black Friday in favour of ‘Blue Friday’, when they launched the Finisterre Foundation Wetsuit Project, donating £2.50 from every Black Friday weekend sale to the cause. The Wetsuit Project was designed to support equal access to the sea for everyone, by adapting any wetsuit from any brand, for any age and ability.

Green Friday choices for your website

When talking about sustainability for ecommerce sites, we tend to think about how the products are made and the way goods are shipped. But, did you know that your website has a carbon footprint of its own, the size of which depends on its efficiency?

You should make sure your site is in line with your environmental goals too. Even if you are offering Black Friday deals, making these tweaks will help to offset the environmental impact. Here is what you can do.

Host with us!

Hosting a website uses energy and, depending on the demands of your website, you may be using a lot of it. However, not all hosting is created equal, which is why we use Krystal Virtual Private Servers for all new sites. This is because 100% of Krystal’s hosting is run on renewable energy sources, such as the sun, wind and sea, and they also work on some amazing green projects

Reduce your file sizes

Images, document downloads and more can use up more server resources and therefore more energy. Images should be reduced in size both in terms of their dimensions (don’t use anything bigger than you need to) and optimised for the web. There are many online tools that reduce file sizes without compromising on quality, so look for these before you jam your site full of oversized files that use up unnecessary energy.

Carry out house cleaning on your website 

Delete unwanted data and content if it’s no longer being published for the world to see. A website full of unwanted clutter burns through energy without helping you or your visitors. It also just feels better to have a cleaner, sleeker site, right?

Use Vimeo or YouTube instead of video files 

MP4s and other video files on your website can be huge, putting a massive strain on your server and making your page load speeds snail-slow. Embedding your videos from a service such as YouTube or Vimeo removes the need to host the videos yourself and brings about better performance on your site.

Make sure your user experience is spot on 

Not only does this make it simpler for visitors to find what they need, but it also ensures they don’t spend ages looking for it (more time = more energy used by the servers and the user’s devices). Make your navigation, visual signposts and calls to action crystal clear. This will make your visitor happy while helping to save the planet!

 

Green Friday should focus on offsetting the environmental detriment usually caused by the holiday. While many businesses use the Black Friday weekend to drastically increase sales to the planet’s detriment, you can make a difference by offering to give something back to the environment or a charity on the back of whatever sales you make. 

Just make sure that your website is also running sustainably! If you’re looking to work with a more sustainable web developer, you can read Studio Illicit’s Green Statement.