And so is today our big dear friend Black Friday….
Retailers offering everything they can possibly think of with big discounts for consumers to drastically change in wild crazy animals.
And then they lock them up and slaughter them. Wuhu.. Figuratively.
It’s called capitalism and consumerism.
Very profit friendly, not very people and planet-friendly.
But who cares when one can get a big, wide TV 80% off??
Well… We all should, or at least, if we care about our survival and about the future of humanity.
It’s all fun now. Or, in fact, not really. Not even now. Retailers and firms on the end of the chain affecting and messing up the whole chain is a real thing. Smashing the discount buttons is like flicking the first stone in a domino game. There they go, like lightening up a match in the rainforest. There it goes. It’s basically like the start of the end, a systematic environmental collapse, and then priced at a discount. Katsjing: we are buying into our own destruction.
What is going to be your gift for yourself on Black Friday? An extra 10 years for your future grandchildren, accessible education for children in developing countries, or perhaps maybe just the more giant TV for in your bedroom? Because hey: “Another TV won’t make the difference, right?”; “The end is not that close by”; “Me changing my behavior is not going to make the change”; “If it really were that bad, then somebody would be stopping us.”
Well… Guess… The world is screaming and trying to stop us, but we keep our eyes and ears shut. Only listening to the language we know: the human language. That screams “MORE MORE MORE”.
We are compromising our survival, doubling down on destruction: bigger cars, bigger TVs, bigger houses, more money, bigger wallets, lower prices.
Call us crazy, lunatic dreamers, but we refuse to believe that the last 200 years of hardcore capitalistic brainwash (thank you, Adam Smith &co.) has indoctrinated us to these numb egocentric consumers. As much as we are being encouraged to forget, before being consumers, we are also individuals, people, and humans deep down. Humans that are interconnected with all the biodiversity and systems around us.
People that take specific actions because they want a happy life on a healthy planet with healthy and strong relationships.
This is why THIS Black Friday, we invite you to drop that greedy consumer side inside of you, drop the trashy consumerism urges, and come back to the person who is aware of the actual cost of his/her decisions.
The person who is aware of the climate clock ticking… And the sustainable development goals we agreed to achieve together. Time is running and we are NOT too late yet.
For all goals CLICK HERE
Research done by money.co.uk has found that online shoppers during this Black Friday could emit over 386,234 tons of carbon emissions into the atmosphere. That is equivalent to 215 return flights between London and Sydney and has the same weight as 3,679 blue whales (Haqqi, 2021). A Friday indeed has never looked that dark.
Yet.. We might have forgot that….
We as human beings are entirely dependent on the world’s natural systems: the atmosphere, the soil, the oceans, the rainforests. It is all intertwined.
We are the insects in the planet’s cobweb of life: and indeed, the spider is an enormous powerful forces with eight legs holding bags filled with an enormous amount of money.
Scholars studying the complexity theory (Battiston et al., 2016) argue the same behavior from complex systems: a banking network, a real estate, a rainforest, or the dead sea; it is behaving following specific mathematical rules. “In normal conditions, the system regulates itself, maintaining a state of equilibrium. It can absorb stress up to a certain point. But then it suddenly flips. It passes a tipping point and then falls into a new state of equilibrium which is often impossible to reverse.”
The closer the complex system comes to its critical threshold, the more its outputs begin to “flicker.” The flickering phenomenon is when a system switches back and forth between alternative states in response to a relatively large impact (R. Wang et al., 2012).
The closer it comes to the tipping point, the wilder the fluctuations.
And last year’s heatwaves, massive fires, and lethal floods show how close we are to collapsing. The fluctuations are wild, and climate change is real.
Climate change affects the social and environmental determinants of health—clean air, safe drinking water, sufficient food a secure shelter. And we, here, safe and sound making our sweet Black Friday lists, spending money, are the least affected from this all. People in developing countries with weak infrastructure will be the least able to cope without any assistance to prepare and respond. A report constructed by the United Nations argues that families living in poverty systematically occupy the least desirable land to damage from climate hazards, such as mud slides, periods of abnormally hot water, water contamination and flooding: climate change has the potential to worsen their situation and thereby worsen pre-existent inequalities (2016).
It is only human nature to believe that you need to buy that item now because you will save money. But… Really? Would you really end up buying that pair of shoes, those air pods, that new blouse if they weren’t on sale? I hear you thinking… Probably not, right? Low prices seem appealing in the short term, but all of us will eventually pay the external cost. Indeed, the true cost of unsustainable consumption and overproduction is based on the exploitation of raw materials, workers, and the environment. It is time that we stop taking up the deals, re-think our shopping behavior, and let brands know that it is not okay to overproduce.
We are very far from being perfect and not naive enough to believe that we have tackled the world’s complexity to really calculate the true cost of our coffee, but really, we have been doing the most to try! Poverty, child labor, climate change, deforestation, loss of biodiversity, forced migrations… All these ingredients can be found on almost every cup of coffee and, unfortunately for free.
Using the True Price method, we can reduce social and environmental costs and ensure they are included in our true price.
Our ambition is to offer the coffee world a business model that reduces the “dark ingredients” you do not pay for and what subsequently helps fund positive externalities; such as a living income for the farmers and reforestation programs.
True pricing can transform our economic system in three phases: first by creating transparency, second by enabling the remediation of hidden costs, and finally by creating a level playing field (TruePrice, 2021). And you can transform the system by just asking yourself twice if you really need it, if you would purchase the discounted item, if you would have calculated the true price if the discounted price would equal the external costs of harming the planet and with it the earth.
This Black Friday, we invite you to drop the trash you don’t need in your life
Your choices are your greatest power. Choose wisely.