Eco conscious shoppers can use a new online calculator to track the carbon footprint of Black Friday purchases.
Building on the concept of turning Black Friday into Green Friday, the technology offers users the chance to measure, reconsider, then offset that carbon immediately.
Millions of people take up discount deals on Black Friday and Cyber Monday to shop for Christmas. PricewaterhouseCoopers are predicting a massive £21billion spend on Christmas in the UK this year – up 12% on last year.
The carbon footprint of Black Friday and Cyber Monday shipping and deliveries will therefore be extremely damaging.
The Green Friday online calculator, which is also being developed into an app, is the idea of Earthchain founder Dan Graf.
He is aware that offsetting carbon has drawn some negative reactions, because of big polluting companies abusing the scheme.
So Earthchain exclusively partners with Gold Standard, to guarantee that the offsetting will have provable benefits – for the climate and for communities.
“It is critical that offsets are verified to be genuinely effective in reducing emissions and helping communities around the world in other ways” says Mr Graf.
During a 20 year career in financial technology (fintech), he became heavily invested in understanding our climate impacts by analysing payment transactions.
“I was growing increasingly worried about the climate changes I was witnessing with my own eyes,” Mr Graf recalls. “The glaciers in the Alps, which extended much further in my childhood, had receded dramatically and even vanished in some cases.”
“It is extremely important that retailers, banks and consumers are informed about the impact of economic behaviours.”
“The first stage of taking responsibility for your emissions is to measure them. The second stage is to reduce them. The third stage is to offset our residual and unavoidable emissions.”
“The Green Friday calculator gives you the opportunity to stop and think before pulling the trigger on a bargain. It puts a pause into the impulse, and informs you about the climate impact of the purchase in understandable equivalents – like miles driven in a car, or hours spent on Zoom calls.
“Green Friday is designed to inject a little mindfulness into the consumer season. If someone decides to complete their purchase anyway, Green Friday gives them the opportunity to donate a small amount of money to a verified emissions reduction project of their choice.”
The Green Friday tool will continue to be live throughout the festive period to allow consumers to measure their purchases and make sustainable choices.
You can check your Black Friday and Cyber Monday emissions at: https://greenfriday.earthchain.ch/