Unless you’re just looking for a Festivus miracle, we have some ideas that will bring good tidings to the Earth (and some for your wallet) this holiday season.
Gift giving is ingrained into many of our holiday traditions, but much of what is given is often a token of good intentions and the pressure to just buy. The result? Even the things from wish lists often end up stuffed in closets or taking up space in the basement. And tchotchkes always become the best dust collectors.
Instead of buying future garage sale inventory, make a more meaningful -and greener- choice:
Make a Memory. Tickets for concerts, comedy shows, plays, museums and even the movies can make for thought-filled gifts. If you buy a ticket for yourself as well, you and your recipient create a memory together.
Talent Exchange. In our fast-paced culture, what’s a greater commodity than time? Give the gift of time. If you’re handy with tools, perhaps you can build a bench (with repurposed wood, of course) in exchange for a family portrait or trade culinary skills for babysitting hours.
Bring Back the Mix-Tape. I’m dating myself here, but who didn’t love to receive a mix-tape from a friend? Through the tapes, we discovered fresh tracks or even expressed sentiments to a crush. In fact, it was as much fun to make one as it was to give one. Don’t have a cassette player? Go super Eco and share a personally crafted playlist on the ‘cloud’.
Nifty Thrifty. If your recipient will appreciate gently used items, thrift shops may be hit or miss, but when you have a hit…reuse is the green option. Your gift will likely be unique and a penny saver.
Share Your Cheer. Volunteering together will also make for great memories while donating to a friend’s favorite cause will also show them that you know where their compassion lies. Need a suggestion? The Nigerian School Project or JustLeadershipUSA are definitely better than ‘The Human Fund’.
Green Your Greetings. Deliver holiday greetings and invites via the interweb. You can easily personalize your cards with own photos and messages. Don’t have time in the whirlwind of holiday preparations or have a diverse list of folks? I now skip the Christmas card and create New Year’s wishes instead. Not for nothing, a paperless greeting is literally…priceless.
Got something to wrap? Visit Platinum Series Home for greener alternatives.
Green & Sexy Hosting
Reusable Tableware. Linen napkins and tablecloths with your daily dishes will look so much better on the table than disposables. Furthermore, disposables never look good in the landfill while wash and reuse looks great for your wallet.
Breathe Easy. Candles and air fresheners come in such a vast array of seductive scents, but beware of their hidden hazards. The Lung Cancer Association of Minnesota warns against the chemicals present in many artificially scented items. Opt instead for beeswax candles or essential oils to clear the air.
Box O’ Wine. Boxed wine has gotten classier than the Franzia box stands of yore; better quality vineyards now please the palettes of grown folk, too. While the boxed wines reduce packaging and increase efficiency in transport because of their shapes, buying the equivalent of 3 bottles in one box can reduce the impact on your budget as well. Cheers!
Unwrap the Packaging. When shopping choose items with no to little packaging and bring reusable bags for bulk food items and the check out line. It reduces your Eco-footprint and its more couture than plastic.
Decorating? Up-cycle the post of an old Christmas tree as a Festivus pole or go to Platinum Series Home for more traditionally festive up-cycling ideas.
If you use one of the above tips or your own ideas to celebrate a bit greener, please share in the comments below! Of course, Festivus miracles are welcome, too!