A Green Black Friday – Cyber Monday? Here are 4 ways

Written by Lisa Stanley Mann on 25th Nov 2015

We all love a bargain, it’s true. And there’s no need to be apologetic about it. But in the crazy, mad rush for cut-price possessions that we’ve come to love and hate in equal measure that is Black Friday or Cyber Monday, is it really possible to go for these bargains and net yourself a good deal, without feeling utterly, horribly greedy – or, in other words, black?

Sales over the four-day period are expected to reach £3bn. So if you are going for it, you may as well try to go a bit green along the way.

We’ve researched 4 ways to help you grab a hot deal without leaving you feeling too cold (-hearted).

  1. Consumer electricals

Some of the best deals are to be had in this sector. And for days if not weeks we’ve seen the big retailers trail their top offers in advance of the big day. If you have got your eye on big-ticket white goods or the latest 3D-HD-LED-LCD-plasma, it’s worth bearing in mind a couple of points.

  • Ensure it’s an A or B-rated appliance to be as energy-efficient as possible. According to the Energy Saving Trust, an A-rated 180-litre fridge freezer could cost only £39 a year to run, whereas a significantly larger 525-litre fridge freezer with a better A+-rating could cost only £51 a year to run.
  • Choose a TV that has auto-standby as standard to make the nightly switch-off a little easier.
  • Opt for an ECO kettle, that boils only the amount of water required and can use 20 per cent less energy than a conventional electric kettle. On average a UK household boils the kettle 1,500 times a year.
  • Remember – the larger a television, the more energy it consumes, regardless of its energy rating. For instance, an A-rated 22″ LCD TV would typically cost £4 a year to run whereas an A-rated 60″ TV would cost £33. Choosing a smaller TV generally means choosing a more efficient TV.


2. Fashion

Many high-street retailers are running Black Friday and Cyber Monday offers. But have you ever stopped to think about the fair-fashion credentials of this season’s hottest little black dress? It doesn’t necessarily have to cost the earth – in either sense. You may even be surprised at some of the names below.

  • People Tree
  • Seasalt
  • H&M
  • New Look
  • Monsoon

Campaign group Labour Behind the Label has a fantastic guide on fashion retailers’ sustainable and ethical credentials.

3. Department store goods

Some department stores are more green than others, for various reasons. You’re probably aware of:

  • John Lewis’ partnership status, which offers its more than 88,000 employees the chance to share in its success. The store is also committed to the Ethical Trading Initiative and sustainable sourcing
  • Marks & Spencer’s plan A, which covers responsible sourcing, waste reduction and help for communities, not to mention its Schwopping initiative, which allows shoppers buying something new to place old clothing items in a Shwop Drop box to be passed onto Oxfam.
  • House of Fraser is offering some of the best deals this four-day period. Its ethical credentials might be better than you think, too.

4. Food and booze

One of last year’s biggest food retailers, Asda, announced some time ago it would not be offering any Black Friday deals this year, after last year’s much-reported troubles. Instead, it has vowed to offer shoppers good value all year round.

Significant discounting on food also raises the question of increased food waste, so we applaud Asda’s approach – although it scores lowest on Ethical Consumer’s list of most ethical supermarkets.

Those of you seeking a good deal on Christmas food and drink could do worse than look at local food producers and farmers’ markets offering meat or veg offers and organic or bio-dynamic wine (there are no less than 26 different organic bottles on offer with Ocado, for instance).

So go on, get stuck in, indulge in a Black Friday, or Cyber Monday, but only if it’s mixed in with a bit of green.

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