On Thanksgiving, families around the US come together to enjoy company, friends, poultry, and even football. Black Friday, the day after Thanksgiving, was originally given its name in 1966 by the Philadelphia police department due to the heavy traffic, congested sidewalks, and the general chaos that followed due to huge jumps in shopping activity. But how can we balance this drive for purchasing with the values of the holidays, like goodwill, community, and charity? Over a quarter of online sales on 2013’s Black Friday were for computer hardware and consumer electronics. Clearly, many of the electronics that we own before Black Friday (and even use to search for new items), will become obsolete, or less useful after purchasing a cheaper, newer item. Given that this spike in purchasing happens immediately after Thanksgiving, we can continue to show our thankfulness, whether it be for Earth’s resources, the ingenuity that went into a product, or for the abundance of commodities at our fingertips, by recycling what becomes less useful after Black Friday.
In 2012, two individuals were shot in an argument over parking at a local Wal-Mart. People have been trampled to death (2008), pepper sprayed (2011), and engaged in other acts of violence in attempts to purchase items hours after enjoying Thanksgiving. There is a logical dissonance between celebrating what we have one day, then being gripped by material desires the next. However, we can buy something new the day after Thanksgiving as long as we, as a society, stay true to what this holiday is really about and be thankful for we have. Responsibly disposing of any item is a good idea, but properly recycling any outdated electronic item after purchasing a new one on Black Friday makes Black Friday greener. On average, only 19% of electronics purchased by Americans are recycled. If this statistic rises on the days after Thanksgiving, we would be aiding the environment and society at the same time, while still practicing thankfulness, which is what should be guiding our actions this time of year.
Written By Eddie Garnica. You can email Eddie at firstname.lastname@example.org