The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.
While the holidays are a wonderful time to get together with family and friends, enjoy time off and eat a lot of good food, it inspires many of us to fall into a consumerist and wasteful hole. Whether it’s purchasing gifts in large quantities, using single-use wrapping or exchanging Christmas cards, the holidays create huge amounts of waste and unnecessary consumption. From Thanksgiving to New Year, Americans throw away around 25 per cent more than they do any other time of the year. This amounts to roughly 25 million tons of garbage.
So, here’s a challenge for this holiday season: skip the Boxing Day event. Though it might be enticing with lower prices and the shiny ads convincing you to buy this and that, it is important to rethink the damage this day creates.
The essence of Boxing Day is to consume more, simply because products are at a lower price. In spite of the majority of people knowing they don’t actually need many of the things they buy, the “lowered” prices invite them to purchase — only for them to throw it away in a few months. Not only are the products themselves wasteful, but the packaging is just as much the culprit (whether they’re from online shopping or not). The U.S. Post Office predicts that it will deliver 900 million packages between Thanksgiving and New Year, all from huge shopping events like Black Friday, Cyber Monday and Boxing Day.
It’s easy to fall for the sales and the “free returns,” which often results in items being sent to the landfill after being taken back. But if you want to make an impactful decision this holiday season, it should be to refrain from participating in Boxing Day.
Though the effects of Black Friday and Cyber Monday are already in motion, there is still time to prevent more items from ending up in our waters and on our land. So, instead of taking a trip to the mall or surfing through websites for their latest and greatest deals, take a look around at everything you already have and think twice. If there is an item of dire need, try to look for it at a small business as they often suffer immensely during these huge shopping days.
The holiday season is a time for giving, so why not give to our planet this year?