Do you want to give the earth a present this year? I don’t know about you, but I cringe every time I see the massive waste invading our lives during the holidays. I love gift giving, but I dread the excess. Businesses do better during the holidays, which is important for our economy. Our hearts open our pocket books a little wider. Our eyes light up seeing our children and loved one’s open gifts that are special to them. Our homes smell like the outdoors and feels cozier during the holidays.
This year you can celebrate the holidays with the gift of giving by knowing that you are thinking about the environment. Use the following tips this holiday season and smile because you are not only giving to your loved ones, but to our precious planet as well.
- Bring your own bags when shopping.
- Get to know responsible manufacturers and shop green.
- Buy recyclable batteries for gifts that take batteries.
- Shop online and save gas.
- Shop for fair-trade, locally made, homemade or organically grown.
- Purchase natural products.
- Buy energy saving electronic items.
- Give a charitable donation in someone’s name.
- Give gift certificates to a spa, restaurant, rock climbing or concert.
- Propose a ‘white elephant’ gift giving to a group at the office, friends or family. Not only is it fun, it also recycles things that you already own.
- Purchase memberships to a museum, theater, gym or sporting event.
- Create coupons to cook dinner, baby sit or pet sit.
- Make homemade gifts such as: soap, fragrance, candles, food, knit, build or art.
- Purchase wrapping paper that is made out of recycled materials and can be recycled.
- Avoid paper that is made out of foil or metallic materials.
- Wrap your gifts in fabric or scarves.
- Paint or stamp recycled kraft paper or gift bags to make the wrapping personal.
- Re-use ribbon and bows and keep the one’s you get this year.
- Buy a living tree that you can replant.
- Recycle your non-living tree after the holidays.
- Plant a tree in your yard or in a pot on your rooftop to replace the tree you bought.
- Buy an artificial tree and spray it with essential oils of cedar, pine, or any earthy fragrance to spread holiday cheer in your house.
- Decorate your tree with ornaments that you find at thrift stores.
- Use decorations year after year.
- Use a timer for your lights to turn on at dusk and go off at bedtime.
- Use LED string lights.
- Use natural materials from your yard that you already own.
- Use LED Candles.
- Send eCards.
- Buy only recycled holiday cards.
- Make your own cards using recyclable materials.
Do you want to give the earth a present this year? Look for ways to reduce your carbon footprint and you’ll find the peace of mind to make your holiday season even more rewarding.
C.J. Quinn is the author of Talia and the Capture of Wrath, a middle grade fantasy novel that promotes environmental awareness.