The holiday season is associated with giving that ultimately becomes a season of waste. Consider alternatives in how and what you give to reduce waste and environmental impact. Here are some great ways to make the holidays more green and sustainable.
1) Give items that are produced locally and ideally organic.
2) Consider gift cards, charity donations or even offering your personal services as a gift. And there is nothing wrong about good ole CASH!
3) Reuse old holiday cards to make gift tags and gift decorations.
4) Reuse gift paper that is in good condition. Avoid purchasing gift paper and cards that can not recycled (ie paper that is metallic or with shiny coatings can often not be recycled). Also look for cards and wrapping paper made from recycled and/or sustainable materials.
5) Discuss with the family about buying only one or two large items that the whole family can enjoy.
6) Buy items that loved ones can really use – practical may not be as exciting, but serves a far greater purpose in daily living. Even consider opting out of family gift giving and put the funds towards a special savings account (ie education, vacation). Focus the holidays on spending time with family and friends.
7) Set up an exchange party with friends instead of giving gifts. Got clothes you never wear any more? Host a party inviting friends to bring all their unwanted clothing items and do an exchange. Great way to get together, have fun, and share without the pressure of buying gifts.
8 ) Avoid buying items that blatantly use excessive packaging. Electronics, makeup, watches, and toys are the worst culprits.
9) Avoid pre-made gift baskets which are packed full of unnecessary packaging. Get creative with items around the house that you can use to create your own base for basket-giving.
10) Explore innovative ways to wrap items that provide multiple uses. Furoshiki is a great example of being innovative – wrapping gifts in reusable cloth.