With such a worldwide focus on the health of our planet lately, it’s a shame that this issue often goes to the wayside in the midst of the giving season. Those of us who are stressed and short on time will often lean toward purchasing what’s quick, cheap, and easy in order to get our holiday to-do list finished and out of the way, but unfortunately this method ultimately hinders our environment more than it saves us time and money.
To assist in minimizing your ecological impact during the yuletide, we’ve compiled ten approaches for celebrating a more green Christmas this year in ways that won’t make it more difficult. In fact, you’ll find yourself saving time and money, along with the world’s most precious resources. Thank us later!
10. The “once and done” method
Not only will this tip make for a healthier planet, but it will also save you some hard-earned cash and precious time!
Imagine if all your shopping could be completed in one day. Sounds like a true Christmas miracle, right?
Wrong! You indeed can have yourself a merry little Christmas by combining all your shopping into one day and a few stops, producing fewer emissions and saving some gas money!
All that’s required is a bit of effort spent on strategic planning. Here are our recommended steps for making your shopping trip a dream come true, for both yourself and the environment!
- Write out the names of all those you need to shop for.
- Write down what you’d like to buy for each person next to their name.
- In brackets, write down where you could find these items.
- Make a new list, this time categorizing the items based on where they’re available for purchase. Bonus points if you check prices online to find the most cost-effective retailers.
- To stay organized, write the person’s name who will be receiving the gift in brackets.
- Once the list is made, check it twice! To be sure you haven’t missed anyone (and to avoid a second trip), scroll through your phone’s contact list. If you don’t have someone’s phone number, you probably don’t need to buy them a gift.
9. Don't buy more bags
If you don't already save the gift bags you receive, now would be a good time to start. Not only is this frugal idea a green one, but it will also save you some Christmas stress and money. It's an absolute waste for a perfectly good gift bag to only be used once, so choose a location in your home, and begin stashing.
Don't overlook the tissue paper and ribbon, which is also perfectly reusable. As long as it's not too mangled, all it really needs is a quick ironing on the lowest setting to bring it back to life! Store this along with your gift bags for ease.
Even if it's too late in the season for you to begin a collection to re-use this year, you still don't have to buy new bags or wrapping paper! If you're an avid seamstress, all those fabric scraps you haven't found a use for can be re-purposed as unique homemade gift bags. If you don't have fabric scraps laying around, you can even use an old t-shirt as this tutorial shows.
If your home is lacking in all of these items, you can always use newspaper. Topped with a pretty bow or tied with some twine, newspaper makes for an old-fashioned look that's perfect for the nostalgic recipients on your gift list.