During a trip to Target, I noticed that they’ve rolled out their holiday decorations. The end of each aisle was covered in ten dollar Christmas blankets and Santa soap dispensers. It’s enticing, especially as I’m in the midst of my first year of apartment living. Finally having a space to decorate is overwhelming and exciting. However, most of their affordable decorations are not good quality, and will not last multiple Christmases. Conscious, sustainable spending during the holidays is difficult but extremely rewarding for the planet and your wallet. Here are a few suggestions to be more sustainable this season:
- Thrift your holiday decor
Thrifted decor not only has more character, but it is more likely to last much longer than store-bought decorations. Community Thrift is right by the USF Tampa campus, and does a 50% off sale for students on Tuesdays! Outside of traditional thrift stores, Facebook Marketplace is a great outlet to find unique holiday pieces that will stand out. If you celebrate Christmas, you may even be able to find a tree on Marketplace!
- Do your research before Black Friday shopping
When it comes to gifts for others, Black Friday is a great time to save money. However, many retail stores will intentionally mark up their products prior to adding the Black Friday “deals.” Go in with a shopping list to limit over-consumption as well.
- Make your own decor and gifts
A great activity to do with your roommates, friends, or even on your own is to create your own holiday decorations. Pinterest is a great place to get inspiration, and making your own decor is much more likely to align with your vision than store-bought. This goes for homemade gifts as well.
- Reuse gift bags or wrap with newspaper
I remember trash being bags filled with wrapping paper during gift-giving season in my childhood. To avoid that unnecessary waste, try saving gift bags for next year’s holiday season or upcoming birthdays. Obviously, gift wrap cannot be as easily salvaged, so wrapping with things you already have in your home, such as newspaper, can help minimize waste.
- Find a happy medium in being sustainable
The holidays are meant to be a joyful time. Although sustainability is important, know what you are capable of doing while still enjoying yourself. Happy holidays!