After all is said and done, celebrating the season often adds up to a lot of stuff and a pretty big hole in our wallets. Avoid the holiday shopping stress and show loved ones you care by thinking green. These gift ideas are not only good for the environment, they also add more meaning to your celebrations:
• The Nature Conservancy’s Green Gift Holidays Guide
• American Forests’ Green Gift Guide
• Green America’s Green Holiday Pledge
• Inhabitat’s Holiday Gift Guide: Awesome DIY Gifts
• National Wildlife Federation’s Children’s Magazine Center
• TreeHugger’s Holiday Gift Guide
• EarthShare’s Alternative Gift Guide Pinterest Board
• Center for a New American Dream’s Simplify the Holidays Guide
Need more ideas? Here are some tips for smarter holiday shopping:
- Make a list and check it twice. Good research will help you buy products that will last longer and help you stick to your budget. Look for Energy Star, USDA Organic, Forest Stewardship Council, and Fair Trade certified items – these labels are monitored by trusted organizations.
- Try wrapping paper alternatives. Leftover fabric and wallpaper, colorful scarves and even the Sunday comics work just as well.
- Recycle used ribbons, bows and decorative wrappings. Store used paper and accessories in a convenient place for the next birthday or holiday occasion.
- Bring your own bag. Bring reusable bags and totes while holiday shopping. While you’re at it, tell your cashier to hold off on the excess tissue paper and free boxes.
- Plan your trip. Try to time your shopping trip for days and times that tend to have less traffic congestion and try to fit all your stops into one day to save gas if you’re driving.
- Shop local. Take your bike, walk, or hop on public transportation to check out unique finds from local artists and businesses. Spending holiday dollars in your region helps your local economy. And don’t forget to support your local farmers by stocking up on fresh produce for your holiday feasts at a farmers market in your area.
- Purchase greeting cards from a non-profit organization. In many cases, a part of the purchase price can be deducted as a contribution to the organization.
- Give vintage and eco-chic. Remember to check out your local thrift stores and secondhand shops for great and unusual finds. Bring along your gently used clothing and goods to make a donation too.
- Reuse cookie tins, baskets and festive food containers. Refill these next year and give them as gifts.
- Give green…literally. It’s the gift that keeps on giving: plants! Give coworkers, friends, and family air purifying house plants, plant a native tree, or give gift certificates to local nurseries.
- Join Team EarthShare! When you give the gift of a healthy environment by supporting EarthShare’s work, it’s the gift that truly does give back all year long!
Thanks from all of us at EarthShare, and may your holiday season be healthy and happy and green!
Photo: Matt Drobnik/Flickr