In addition to being festive and fun, many people have come to associate the holiday season with excess and waste these days. So many families spend exorbitant amounts of money on throw-away decorations, wrapping materials, and gifts end up in landfills and taking their toll on the environment. However, there are better ways to celebrate with friends and family that are easy on the earth and your wallet at the same time.
Here are some natural and sustainable ideas for holiday gift shopping this year.
Shop Local as Much as Possible
Shopping from local vendors, artisans, and stores in your own community will reduce your carbon footprint related to shipping and transportation. With locally sourced gifts, you can also give more interesting gifts that reflect the unique aspects of where you live and help keep local businesses in operation for future gift-giving occasions.
Buy from Sustainable Brands
If you want to have an eco-friendly holiday season, start your shopping early so that you have plenty of time to research brands and products. Do your homework and understand where brands source their ingredients, materials, and supplies. Then, you can make better-informed decisions about who you buy from and feel good about your shopping choices. You can learn more about Seagate’s story here.
Bring Your Own Shopping Bags
Wherever you choose to shop, take your own reusable shopping bags instead of using paper or plastic from the store. This will help you reduce your waste and be more mindful of how you shop. Every once in a while, make sure to wash your reusable bags by either throwing them in the washer with a load of laundry or washing them by hand bit a bit of soap and water.
Choose Eco-Friendly Shipping Options
If there are rare or specialty items that you can’t find locally, you can make the online shopping experience more sustainable too. Another perk of starting your shopping early is that you can choose eco-friendly shipping options that may take a little longer to arrive but not take as many resources to reach you or your gift recipient. If you can wait a few extra days for your package so that items can be consolidated into fewer boxes, you may even save some money on shipping costs too.
Discover Vintage Treasures
Instead of buying all brand-new items, consider thrift shops and vintage stores for your holiday gifting. Thrift shopping is a great way to find unique items, reuse items that already exist, and show your recipients that you really understand their taste and style at the same time. At thrift shops, you can commonly find everything from clothing to household decorations, kitchenware, knick-knacks, and accessories.
Give Time and Experiences Instead
However, one of the best ways to celebrate a sustainable holiday is to avoid giving physical items entirely. Instead of giving items that take up space and go unused by your recipients, you can volunteer your time to help out with household chores or create crafty coupons that can be redeemed for quality-time experiences, such as a picnic in the park, music or art lesson, or homecooked meal.
How do you plan to make your holiday season more naturally focused and sustainable? Share your ideas with us in the comment section below.