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Your Guide to Embracing the Holidays Sustainably

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at U Alberta chapter.

It’s hard to believe it, after the blur that the past several months have been for many of us, but the holiday season is already here. Some of us are already brainstorming gift ideas for our loved ones but if you’re like me, then the thought of present shopping may not cross your mind till days before Christmas. The frantic scramble to find gifts days before I need them often leads to not-so-great decisions as far as sustainability goes (think last-minute Amazon shopping sprees and reams of single-use wrapping paper). This Christmas season try using one of these shopping tips to be a little more sustainable.

1. Plan ahead

Making lists of exactly who you want to buy presents for ahead of time means that you can put more effort into a more sustainable option. Amazon doesn’t need any more of our money :/

2. Buy from local businesses

This is especially important because of the turbulent circumstances that the global pandemic has imposed on local businesses. The Black Owned Market happening on November 28th will be a great place to do just this. This directory has a list of amazing businesses to support too.

3. Skip the unnecessary stuff 

If you can, try not to use single-use wrapping paper or tissue paper when giving your gifts. I’ll be the first to admit that opening presents is a lot less fun if you already know what they are. Consider using newspaper instead to keep that element of surprise.

4. Try to meet a need someone already has

If you make enough time to plan out your gifts, you’re more likely to give people the things they need and will actually use. Have you noticed your friend has had their eye on a fancy cast-iron pan? That might just make the perfect present.

5. Opt for non-material things when you can

This is especially great for the people who you can’t be with in person. Virtual gifts, such as subscriptions to streaming platforms, make for a great present (I, for one, would LOVE a subscription to HBO as a gift.) An Adobe subscription would be a great idea for anyone you know with a creative side.


Ver-Se Denga

U Alberta '21

Ver-Se is in her 4th year of uni, studying Biology and Psychology and serving as Senior Editor of the UAlberta Chapter. She loves to read and can't imagine a world without Chimamanda Adichie in it.
Simi is a senior at the University of Alberta studying Sociology and Religious Studies. She grew up in Houston Texas and lives by the saying “go big or go home”. She is currently Her Campus Ualberta's Editor in Chief and Campus Correspondent. School, volunteering, clubs, and work occupy most of her time. You can find her on Instagram at @simi.bhangoo.