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  • Writer's pictureWayne Drury

Black Friday | Good for the Environment?

I am not a shopping prude

I happened to come across this picture attached to an article about the 9 best things to buy at a Black Friday sale – and it got me wondering? COP27 is just wrapping up and the news out of there, if we are to believe any of it, is we have 8 years to turn our global warming, climate change around.

That is on one hand, and on the other, competition for consumerism that drives a linear approach to business, our lives and to what businesses do. Don’t get me wrong; I am not trying to tell anyone what to do; that is your choice to decide what you buy, and whether or not any thought goes into a buying decision that considers the impact on people, the planet and sustainability for a business – in other words, profit.

What about impact on people?

These are serious issues with serious consequence. If we do not continue to buy that “widget,” what happens to the person in some far-off land that is dependent upon us to buy that widget?

What happens to the person here at home working in a store that goes out of business because we no longer buy that widget?

What about Impact on the Planet?

What happens to the planet if we do not buy that widget? Are there land use benefits? Like not having to open a new mine? Is there a way to reuse, repurpose, recycle materials through a circular economy that does the world a world of good?

What is the Impact on Sustainability?

For an outcome to be sustainable, it must be profitable. With all the retail pressures – and Black Friday is at its best to drive down margins – how does one balance the impacts on people and the planet, while still trying to make a profit?

Most of us want to buy the best quality at the lowest price, which for a business means, possibly not spending all that it should to protect the environment so that it can satisfy our price point.

Where is all this going?

Some may suggest, “to hell in a hand basket.” Others may say “shut it all down now.” Like the people throwing paint at priceless artifacts. We realistically have 3 choices and it will be the people who lead and the leaders will follow, whatever we allow them to do.

1. The leaders keep on telling us good things, positive projects and actions that most of us

know are largely ......... a couple of examples here at home:

  • Hydrogen from a plant run by wind by 2025

  • We are going to hit our CO2 targets by 2030.

  • 100% of new light-duty cars and passenger truck sales are zero-emission by 2035.

  • The Government of Canada is taking bold and immediate action to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to fight climate change, while strengthening our economy with sustainable jobs and clean industrial growth.

Do you believe any of this?

2. We continue to do what we have always done and we will get what we have always got.

Missed targets, extremes in temperature, and things like food insecurity getting much


3. We demand of government that we begin a process of evaluation of where we are at and where we are going through the lens of a circular economy. How can we give $750

million to someone somewhere else - that in 30 years will have cost is $1.44 billion -

without considering support for a process that could get us from where we are at to

where we want and need to go.

We need a plan and we need it done right - the present way is not working. At Sustainable Circular Economy, we do not have all of the answers, but we have the passion, the commitment and the drive to do the world a world of good through application of a circular economy to help solve our problems. Time to get on with it - Government, put $750 million on the table so that we can do it right.

Truth and Consequence

Sustainable Circular Economy is a boutique environmental firm it Vancouver which has as its goal to bring truth and consequence into the climate change discussion. We firmly support addressing environmental issues through the lens of a circular economy that considers the impacts on people, the planet and profitability (sustainability).

At Sustainable Circular Economy, we help communities and companies through the morass of sorting all this out and would welcome the opportunity to help you. Please contact us if we can help – we want to be part of the solution. And please join our newsletter list – we will not contact you, or give your email address to anyone else.

Best wishes from all of us.

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