What is not to love about the holidays? There are the twinkling lights, festive parties, gifts, fragrant holiday trees, and lots of yummy food. Though being the bearer of bad news is never fun, it must be stated that the fun of the holidays will be over in the blink of an eye, but the toll that the holiday season takes on the environment will stick around much longer. Not to fret, there are plenty of ways to be eco-conscious this year from party planning to gift giving.
- Reusable Bag –You may have a collection of reusable shopping bags in a variety of shapes and colors. You can also buy new ones just for gift giving, but remember to get ones made locally with organic materials and non-toxic inks. Then put a little thought into how to tie it, secure it with ribbon, or add some special touches to transform it from “just a bag” into a beautiful presentation of your homemade gift.
- Glass Jars — These can make fun gift carriers because they can be easily decorated.
- Leftover Newspapers, Magazines and Junk Mail — We all get attacked by at least one of these paper items. It may sound cheap to wrap gifts with these items, but do yourself a favor and conduct a quick google search for wrapping with these items. They can be quite striking.
- Outdoorsie? If your loved one just LOVES the outdoors, get him or her a cool Selk’bag. Yes, no more sleeping bags when camping as you can sleep and walk in it. And for them to stay cool during the summer, give the evaporative cooling cap to cheat on the heat wave. Plus, for those who like to be on the road to nature a lot, gift them reusable utensils that are both light and eco-friendly.
- Geek? Any book worm would appreciate the Kindle from Amazon.com. No more wasted paper, piles of books – only more growing trees! Or help your friend or loved one save some energy and gift them a solar– or water-powered clock. There are many varieties out there that tick with nature. And for those into computers, go for a solar keyboard or compact solar charger.
- Animal lover? Give a gift of adoption. You can adopt a tiger, frog, penguin, walrus, lemur… or really, any other animal. What an awesome gift! And if someone is obsessed with dogs, gift them a cookbook for dogs (or cats). For those cat lovers, check out sushi catnip toys – cute and 100% organic (and I am sure the kitties would love it, too).
- Take a trip to your local farmer’s market; we are in California after all. Among other things, one of the most glorious aspects about being a San Diegan is year-round farmers markets. Don’t forget to grab your reusable bag on your way out the door and try building a menu around what’s in season. Talk about a great excuse to be creative and try something new!
- BYO everything. That’s right, tell your buddies to bring a plate, fork, cup and voilà, no need for single-use plates, utensils or cups. If your party is step up from the casual BBQ, try sustainable options like these.
- Separate the inevitable waste. Of course, there will be some waste to any event, but planning ahead and providing your guests with the proper receptacles can go a long way. From simple recyclable versus trash, to adding in compost and plastics is a great way to take that extra step to helping out.
Here you have it, a way to enjoy the holidays to the fullest and still take care of the planet. These are just a few ideas, so please leave us a comment if you have other good sustainable ideas for this holiday season.