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Dear Friends! 

With the holiday season upon us, we would like to take the opportunity to take a stand against mindless consumption.

This year is a little different for reasons you all know. The pandemic has not only affected businesses, who are now desperate for good sales this holiday season, but it could also have a long term negative impact on environmental protection as leaders around the world will prioritize rebuilding their economies, over the future of our planet. This is by far not an easy issue, and most of us are overwhelmed by the weight of our inability to change things for the better. 

Humanity is no more than the sum of our actions, a collection of individuals all doing their thing. If we each strive to do better in our daily lives, those small actions add up to real change. This is why we are turning to you, and asking you to take our BLACK FRIDAY CHALLENGE by taking these small steps to become a more conscious consumer. 

Every single-use plastic that you do not buy, that you do not throw away, has an impact. Over the course of your life, that impact adds up. If you can make a small change in your daily habits, and stick to them over a long period, the environmental benefits can be huge. 

The list we have compiled is not rocket science. They are pretty basic steps. Yet, if you take to them, and encourage your friends and family to follow, you will be making our future brighter day by day. Like with everything, the goal is to go slow, step by step, and to incorporate these choices and routines into your life.

When I first started recycling at home, cleaning plastic yogurt cups felt like a chore. 10 years later, it’s second nature, and I don’t even think about it, in fact not doing it seems impossible, even reckless. 

Here is our simple checklist to help you become a more conscious consumer:

Use things for longer. If something is broken, try to repair it. Maybe you don’t need the latest phone or the newest car, or you can sew that jacket you ripped and it will last you another few years. And if ever in doubt about how to fix something: Youtube!
    Put Your Repair Skills to Work Fixing Things Instead of Buying New 

    Take good care of your clothes so they will last. Buy second hand, or choose organic fabrics, and certified fair trade products. It takes 3,781 liters of water to make a pair of jeans! Every year the fashion industry uses 93 billion cubic meters of water, enough to meet the consumption needs of five million people. But wait, it gets worse: Of the total fiber input used for clothing, 87 % is incinerated or disposed of in a landfill. And we haven’t even mentioned carbon emissions. If these facts surprise you, take a moment to read this article by the World Bank on the environmental costs of what we wear.

      As a rule of thumb: cheaper is more expensive. Buy less, but get the best quality. Things will last longer, and you may end up saving more in the end.

        Don’t shop on an impulse, you will waste your money on things you don’t need, that will end up in the trash. Plan your shopping, and only buy what is necessary. Americans impulsively spend an average of $183 every month, that’s $2,196 spent every year. 

        Use reusable shopping bags, use a reusable water bottle, and recycle everything you can. Pretty basic, right? But are you actually doing it? If not then get to it! In 2020 there is no good excuse not to recycle, or to still use plastic bags, and single-use plastic bottles. This is an easy habit to kick: just do it! 

        Ten Reasons to Use a Reusable Water Bottle

        Buy local products and support small businesses. This will help keep your money in the local economy and decrease your carbon footprint. With one-click shopping, free deliveries, and the ongoing pandemic, everyone is shopping online, making the giants bigger, and leading to small family-owned businesses going bankrupt. Before clicking, take a moment to think about local options for your purchase, and help your community, while also doing good for the planet.

        Think Local! 7 Reasons Why Supporting Local Business is Good for Your Community 

          Gift experiences, adventures, memories, or services instead of things. We get it, you want to express your love with all these neat gifts you are planning for the Holidays. But research shows that the joy of material things is fleeting while experiences tend to make people happier for longer.

          We hope that you will consider these suggestions, and try to implement them in your daily life. We would like to kindly ask you to share them with your friends and family and to try to stick to the changes for a year, and to motivate each other to do so as well. With so much going on in the world, it’s easy to be overwhelmed. The best remedy is to take action, rather than wait for others to solve our problems! 

          Thank you for looking out for our planet by becoming a more conscious consumer! 

          Balázs Lakatos


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