Black Friday at its best means you can finally buy that dress or that gadget that you've been wanting all year. Or maybe you can hunt down items that you need at a lower price - a laptop, an educational course, a really warm coat.
But, at its worst, Black Friday turns into a horrible stampede where people fight over discounted TVs and stuff they don't really want in a few months time.
Lots of people will take advantage of Black Friday deals in stores and online. And many people will use Amazon, who seem to turn Black Friday into a longer and longer event each year. It has now stretched from just one day to an entire 'Black Friday Week'!
But hold on before you splash the cash. This year we learned about Amazon's shocking waste issue. An ITV investigation revealed that some depots actually had targets to destroy tens of thousands of items a week. Crazy.
Amazon isn't the only company that generates waste, as we outlined in our previous article.
Equally, there are those smaller businesses (or at least, smaller than Amazon!) which may offer Black Friday sales without creating tonnes of waste.
Avoid Amazon: Ethical, Sustainable Alternatives
We found Ethical Consumer's rankings for alternative booksellers, delivery companies and ethical online retailers really useful when it comes to avoiding Amazon.
It's easy to forget the humble beginnings of Amazon, who started off life flogging books online. They have since taken over competitors in AbeBooks, Audible and The Book Depository. Don't be fooled!
Thankfully, there are plenty of alternatives. Ethical Consumer recommends World of Books second hand, as well as ebooks.com and Oxfam's second hand books. They also point out that you could just nip down your local library or support your local independent bookshop.
The ease of using an online retailer like Amazon is that everything is in one place, just one search away. Again, there are lots of alternatives: Veo, Wearth and Ethical Shop all scored highly in Ethical Consumer's rankings.
Go Circular, Try Second-Hand
Better than any Amazon alternative, the best way forward to help reduce waste and reduce carbon emissions is to buy second-hand, preloved or deadstock.
When you buy something from Green Heart Collective, you are saving items from landfill. This means the clothes, yoga gear or books get a new home. Much of what we sell is in excellent condition or is even new and unused.
But most importantly, you take part in the 'circular economy'. In essence this just means we start to make use of what we already have in circulation. It's a bit like when my dad gives me his old shirts which don't fit him anymore - but on a bigger scale.
A circular economy means we keep using what products and items we already have for longer. It means sharing our clothes and renting items that we might only need for a special occasion.
If we buy less new stuff, then there's less demand to create a load of new stuff that costs the planet precious resources.
Buy Nothing Day
To go one step further, buy absolutely nothing on Black Friday. You can join in with Buy Nothing Day instead. It is a chance to take a step away from sales and consumerism. Very little is involved, just don't buy anything! But if you feel like spreading the word about what you're doing, include hashtags like #BuyNothingNew and #BuyNothingDay on social media.
What's your Response?
We'd love to know what you'll be doing on Black Friday. Making the most of discounts with your favourite ethical brands? Popping down to see us at our store on Gateshead High Street? Or maybe not buying anything at all. Whatever you choose, drop a comment below or get in touch with us on social media and tag us in your posts.