It is the Season of Gift-giving , Family gatherings, Friends to celebrate, Neighbors to visit.
Unfortunately this all comes at a steep price for our Planet and the overall Environment.
So why not make this a greener and Eco friendly Season. I have gathered some of my favorite Tips and Inspirations and hope that you may find some of them worth duplicating.
Buying local may not just help you find just THAT unique Gift that is nowhere else to be found but will also help you increase your walk score in addition to lowering your carbon footprint. In case, you are unable to find what you had been looking for, it will be better for the environment if you drive to the closest Mall rather than buying online and getting every gift delivered separately from different Websites. If you use rush delivery when using online orders keep in mind that emptier trucks are delivering to fewer Customers what will result in more gasoline being used resulting in a high carbon footprint.
So think Eco-frienldy and invest in the environment and your local community.
When it comes to wrapping your Gifts try to stay away from the commercial Gift wrap. It is made to be thrown away, so its not exactly environmentally friendly. Sustainability means to use what you have. See if you like some following Options.
Reuse Gift wrapping from previous Years. I have taught my kids from very small on not to rip open a gift ( to me that is also very rude ) but to carefully open it and safe the wrapping paper it came in. Even if it is a little wrinkled you could reuse part of it or cut out any visuals that are on the paper and glue them to your “new” wrapping.
You could take a brown paper bag, cut it open and use the plain side as an au natural look or you can spice it up with some stamping,drawing or cut-outs.( get the kids involved, they will love the attention their creations will bring out from the person in the receiving end )
If you have any Fabric in the house, or maybe an old blouse, handkerchief, Bandannas and so on, you can make a creative gift wrap out of them. Start with a square and tie a Ribbon around it, voila, a one of a kind gift wrap.
I am giving a collection of natural lotions, body and hair wash to one of my receivers and included a nice fluffy Bathrobe for a “Spa” day at home, so I took the Rope, laid it flat and wrapped it around all the glass bottles and Tubs using the Rope tie to bind it all together by tying it like a Bow.
You can use the funnies from your Sunday Paper to wrap the kids presents in,
reuse the pretty Glass Jar from your Candles, the old fashion road maps,an earring that lost its partner as bling to make the bow shine .
The sky is the limit, look around your home and get creative
How about a Gift Certificate to a Spa or Movie Tickets, give the Gift for a Theater visit or the Zoo
How about adopting a Wale for the kids – now their you make a huge difference. There are also Turtles Elephants and other animals you can “adopt”. Think of that favorite animal and give it a quick google search you will be amazed what you will find.WWF has over 50 Species to choose from
Create your own gift Certificate for a free housecleaning for Grandma or a Weekend of Baby sitting to give the young parents a break. Rather than hustling thru the stores or Websites trying to figure out what would be fitting think of what that person may have mentioned they would like to do or need.
giving clothing? choose the sustainable Companies.
I know you will have some great Gifts to give.
Forget about the tinsel and shiny plastic decor. Go natural, rustic. Choose pine cones for table decorations, plants and branches, check out the thrift shop for old Sleds and decor or ask your grandparents what they may have in the Attic. Try to think minimal , less is more and when buying decorations make sure you will be using them Year after Year.
recycle, reuse, reduce.
During the Holidays we also know that their will be a lot of food, most of the time too much of it. So make sure you send your guest home with some leftovers. Give a plate to a lonely neighbor and take any unopened cookies,cans or dry food goods to your local Shelter. They will surly appreciate that.
make sure you put your recyclable items in the right bins if you can not reuse or re purpose them.