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Looking at the backlash to buying as holiday sales stretch into cluster of quarterly consumerism

FILE (Souce: iStock)

We're just about into the holiday shopping season, and while we love a deal, some are citing concerns with consumerism

While events like Black Friday may be an opportunity for savings, there are alternatives, climate activists say

Climate strikers are holding a rally in Vancouver for a Black Friday intervention, of sorts

VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) – Holiday shoppers are getting ready to do battle starting Thursday night, with Black Friday deals kicking off the buying season.

It’s a post-U.S. Thanksgiving tradition that has really spread north of the border in recent years. Black Friday sales can offer deep discounts, and retailers encourage a frenzy of buying.

There are warnings of traffic back-ups near YVR as folks flock to the luxury outlet mall there, but if you take a look at some of the ads, Black Friday blowouts stretch until Dec. 31, and Boxing Month sales are about to start.

It’s turned into a season of sales, and climate strikers in Vancouver are among those who aren’t happy with all that consumerism. Some people are even holding a Black Friday intervention in downtown Vancouver on Friday afternoon, near Georgia and Granville.

Naia Lee is with Sustainabiliteens, and is among the organizers expecting crowds outside Pacific Centre Mall.

Her message to consumers is that while events like Black Friday may be an opportunity for savings, there are alternatives.

“Rather than shaming individual consumers, we want to come together and show that not only do we have solutions to this mindset of consumerism, but we also have a community-based approach,” she told NEWS 1130. “We’ll be having a clothing swap at our event. Although this might seem like a small approach towards climate change, which can be really big and existential, it is buying into the idea of a circular economy, which supports sharing and exchanging goods and gifting, rather than simply spending money and buying things.”

Organizers are also concerned about things like all the packaging and shipping involved in a lot of sale shopping, with a lot of products coming from around the world.

“While that adds sort of a diverse lens to things, I think that what we want to get across is that sustainability doesn’t have to be a luxury product,” she said.

Lee believes the climate crisis is, in essence, “a result of the division among people around the world.”

“What we want to get across through holding our Future Fest on Friday the 29th is the fact that this crisis isn’t the fault of individual actions, but it’s rather society’s failure, as a whole, to recognize our interconnectedness with each other and the earth, and that’s sort of exemplified by Black Friday, and by Cyber Monday, and Boxing Day,” she said.

The so-called intervention takes place from 12:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m.

The Future Fest event also coincides with Buy Nothing Day, which is a day during which people protest consumerism.

-With files from Martin MacMahon