With just under a week until Christmas and Kwanza, and with Hanukah wrapping up, the season is very busy. Moreover, this time of year is a very wasteful one. Between Thanksgiving and New Years, American trash production increases 25%. At a time of increased consumption with increased focus on material goods, there is plenty of room to increase sustainability. Follow these tips when gifting for holidays and birthdays to help decrease waste and increase sustainability.
Purchasing handmade items from local vendors at craft fairs and local shops has many benefits. These goods do not have to travel as far to get to you and often have much less packaging, which can greatly reduce waste. You are able to purchase much more personal and unique gifts. Moreover, you are supporting your neighbors and your local economy by buying from local vendors and craftspeople.
A great way to avoid waste is to go for an alternative gift. Rather than focusing on a material item, look to gift an experience. A gift card or other material item is not difficult to come by. To make a gift even more special or unique, gift an experience, instead. Potential experiential gifts could include:
Gifts with Impact
Give a gift that will make a difference, larger than for just the recipient. Shop fair trade companies to ensure gifts were sourced responsibly. Or, take the money that you would have spent on a physical gift and make a donation in their name. Sponsor a child in a developing nation, adopt an endangered animal, or donate animals to a village. All of these gifts do much more than simply give someone a material item. They allow you to feel good about what your gifting and allow your recipient to feel the same.
Give Handmade and Homemade Gifts
Anybody can go to the store and buy a scarf with minimal effort. This year, make that scarf mean something more and make it yourself. If you're a creative person, paint a picture or some pottery, or write a poem. If you love to spend time in the kitchen, make someone a special meal or bake them their favorite dessert. All of these homemade and handmade items can mean so much more than a store-bought item and really show the person you gift it to that they mean a lot to you. (Bonus: homemade gifts are great for your budget!)
Now that you've got your lineup of sustainable gifts, how should you go about wrapping them? Try using alternative wrapping papers. Recycle newspaper or even magazines for the job. Save bags, boxes, ribbon, and tissue paper to reuse in future years. Try to find gift wrap that is made from reused materials. Try using cloth to wrap presents, or get cloth gift bags.
28/11/2018 11:45:29 am
During the holiday season it is unbelievable how much more waste is produced. The extra waste can accumulate to 25 tons of garbage! This not only adds more solid waste, but harms the environment. I agree with the author how more people should buy from local shoppes in their area. I do this quite often and it is much rewarding to know that you are helping your community and local retailers. The money gave to them are going towards their family and the the community, not the CEO's pocket of a large corporation. It is also very smart to mention that you can also buy experiences. In my opinion, I would rather have an experience and memory rather than a material item sitting around my house. It also saves waste since you don't have to wrap it! I read on another site that we could save enough paper to cover 45000 football fields if every American family wrapped gifts with re-used material. The one idea that the author did not mention is the increased amount of people driving during the holiday season. To save the environment let someone else ( public transit) drive or drive places less frequent to help reduce CO2 in the air.
4/12/2018 01:31:01 pm
The title of this article grabbed my attention immediately since it is the start of the holiday season. I loved all of the ideas for sustainable gift giving. It really is crazy to think that such a wonderful season of giving is causing so many environmental issues.
10/12/2018 07:09:52 pm
This article got my attention quickly as I just finished up an essay about waste and the environmental impacts of it. There are so many things that we can do to make differences that many of us do not think of. I really agree that gifts are less about the amount you spend on a physical gift and more about the experience behind it. They are also more about the thought that goes on behind it which would all end up with less temporary pleasure gifts being thrown out. I really enjoyed reading this article as it brought me to other ways that I could gift to others while still being sustainable.
12/12/2018 02:01:15 pm
This article immediately grabbed my attention because I'm always looking for more ways to be eco-friendly! I've always used newspaper as opposed to traditional wrapping paper because of the amount of waste already produced around Christmas and because it is more cost-effective. Even more recently, I've really been trying to rethink the way that I do Christmas. Not only for sustainability reasons, even though that's a big part, but also because no one around me really needs anything. If anyone in my family truly had problems buying food or clothes, everyone would be more than happy to jump in. However, around holidays, we all fall into the trap that our capitalist society leaves out for us and over-buy for everyone. So recently, I've tried buying events for people, as the article suggests. So, I bought tickets for my parents to go see a show, or money for my brother to get the tattoo he's been talking about for a while. All in all, I appreciate this article in the way that it promotes eco-friendly ways to celebrate the holidays.
12/12/2018 06:21:37 pm
This article not only gave me ideas to be more eco-friendly but it also informed me about how the holiday season is so wasteful. This topic was not something I thought about during this time of year but as I think about it more, it make sense why it is so wasteful. I enjoyed the gift ideas you gave that are experiences rather than material goods. I know I would love to receive gifts like that and they are a potential gift for my family and friends. I also liked your idea about using old newspapers and magazines as wrapping paper because it is such an easy way to help the environment and save some money. I will definitely give some of these ideas a try and will tell others about it
Leave a Reply.