As the hustle and bustle of the holiday season approaches, try to breathe deeply and know that there are many ways to keep your earth stewardship alive this time of year. Reduce your carbon footprint by helping to limiting your part in the viscous waste cycle and shopping frenzy that is inevitable with the Holiday Season. Keep your sanity & dodge the crowds. Instead of shopping at the big box stores, support local “mom and pop” shops.
Here are several eco friendly tips:
1) Re-use gift wrap, tissue paper and gift bags.
2 )Wrap your gifts in old magazines. Since we are farmers, we use old seed catalogs to wrap gifts.
3) Switch to reusable gift wrapping such as fabric, cloth bags, and twine. Engage your family members in a “green gift wrapping contest” to inspire them to be a little more eco-friendly.
4) Give useful, practical and thoughtful gifts.
5) Try to avoid buying gifts with excess packaging.
6) Be the recycling ambassador in your family. Offer to take the recycling this holiday season or even better, at all of your family gatherings.
7) Give the Gift of Experience (Museums in big cities often have affordable family memberships)
8) For your health conscious friends or family members, CSA memberships are a perfect gift. They can receive fresh fruits and veggies weekly for several months out of the year.
If you want to avoid buying gifts altogether, channel your inner artist and fulfill the intrinsic need to create. Making your own gifts allows for a creative outlet; the process is fun and rewarding. Save money by using materials that you already have. Handmade gifts are meaningful and can be personalized.
Handmade Gift Ideas
- Bath salts
- Lip balms
- Dried herbs
- Cloth napkins
- Original Artwork
- Photo Cards
- Framed Photographs
- Coupon Books (meals, lawn care, babysitting, lunch date, etc…)
- Fill mason jars with toys for older children or as shelf decorations for younger children. Top with a plastic lid. Use your imagination as the possibilities are endless: marbles, arts and craft supplies, blocks, Lego’s, beads, jacks, bouncy balls, natural candies, etc…
- Fill mason jars with chocolate bark, snacks, soup mixes, spices, cake or cookie mixes, etc…
- Re-gifting is hip again! Re-gift books, vintage wares, artwork, games, etc…
- Give a gift that keeps on giving… house plants which purify the air!
- Seeds! Give a garden in a box to the plant enthusiast.