I remember the 2014 Black Friday like it was yesterday. It was the first ‘real’ Black Friday recognised in the UK. It really did bring out the worst in everyone! People fighting over the last of something, literally ripping products from other’s hands and then yelling and swearing at staff who just looked on shocked! Before that day, in all my days in retail, I had never been sworn at by a customer.
Black Friday lost its shine from there for us! We wanted Black Friday to mean something a little more, so why not turn it green?! Here at Hike and Ride we think it’s really important to give back to the environment, to recycle where possible, limiting our carbon footprint and trying to help support a circular economy.
Rather than massive discounts on products (which we’ve got some great deals still on offer anyway), we wanted to team up with a company doing their bit in the fight to keep the great outdoors truly great!
We were amazed in trying to play our part, how hard it’s been to sign up with an environmental charity to try and do our bit. We applied for an advertised role volunteering with one such company, offering our time for free for a better cause (3-5 hours a week) and literally never heard back from them. Another such charity wanted to charge us almost £500 just to register so they could process our payments and we could put their logo on the bottom of our website. And that wasn’t the end of it
Step in Black Peak Trading (you’ll know them better for their products- K2, Line and Fulltilt to name a few) and we’re super excited to join the #PlantAProduct. We’ve pledged 1% of our sales to planting trees in collaboration with Black Peak and the Eden Reforestation Project. It might sound small, but think of it this way- would you donate 1% of your annual salary to a similar cause?
We’re hoping to have donated a couple of hundred trees before the year is out - making it not just a Black Friday commitment but a continued partnership! Black Peak are planting a tree for every product they sell, we’re teaming up to plant as many trees as we can from here on in, regardless of what we sell. We’re hoping it’ll be a couple of thousand trees each year!
What can you do to make a difference?
The biggest hurdle is thinking you as an individual can’t make a difference. But it all adds up and every step counts!
Find out what your carbon footprint is - It’s easier than you think to find out what your own footprint is. Use this helpful tool from WWF-UK to help you see exactly how you stack up and ways in which you can make some changes. It won’t take you more than a couple of minutes
Buy Responsibly - many brands now are recycling their own products, using plastic waste to creat new products, using environmentally packaging and offsetting their carbon footprint. Often at no extra cost to the consumer. In the ski industry there’s loads! Shop with your mouth!
Switch your energy company - There’s plenty of companies that are pledging to use power only from renewable sources. They don’t lock you into contracts and prices match and often are cheaper than the big energy suppliers. Again, it’s at no cost to you! Examples of such energy companies are Octopus, Tonik Energy, Green Energy and Bulb.
Most energy companies will install smart meters for you now too. Make sure they’re installing a ‘SMETS2’ meter (the latest generation) and you can transfer between energy companies without having to change your smart meter. A smart meter will allow you to see what you’re consuming daily, as well as which appliances gobble the energy. We were amazed to see that before we get up each day around 5.30, we’ve already consumed 30p of electricity!
Join the circular economy - an economy aimed at being sustainable and eliminating waste. Examples of this range from brands tracking and tracing their cotton for example or taking back products to be reused and recycled, to you donating your unwanted clothes/household products to be rehomed and rehoused. Major supermarkets will take back soft plastics for reuse- all you have to do is get there to drop it off.
Set up home composting - the WWF estimates that 1.3 billion tonnes of food goes to waste each year, unfortunately most of it to landfill. When food goes to landfill, the lack of oxygen needed to break food down, means that methane is produced as a by-product. Unfortunately methane is a greenhouse gas more harmful than carbon dioxide. In the US alone, it’s estimated the equivalent of 37 million cars on the road (that’s more than 1 car for every 2 adults in the UK).
Don’t let space be an issue when composting. Our registered office has very little ‘green’ space. But the space we do have has a compost bin - you can see all our space in the photo attached. We’ve managed to find a local charity organisation only too happy to take our free compost off our hands- helping with the gardening projects in our local area. You can buy a food caddy and easy assemble recycling bin for less than £40. What are you waiting for?!