5 Ways to Protect Our Planet During the Holidays

The holidays are a time for everyone to indulge themselves a little—and why shouldn’t they? While no one should hold back on having fun this holiday season, we should keep in mind that it shouldn’t come at a cost for the planet. Check out these tips to help protect the environment while still getting in the spirit!

1. Shop locally

You may be able to find the cutest scarf online for $5, but is it being shipped from halfway around the world? Try shopping at local businesses, crafters, or markets for your Christmas gifts instead. You may end up spending a little more, but you are helping to support your community, you’re not contributing to the harmful pollutants associated with long-distance shipments, and you’re probably getting better quality.

2. Rethink your wrapping

Unfortunately, one of the best parts of gift giving is also one of the most wasteful. Ignore the urge to buy all the festive wrapping papers, and save some trees (and some money) by trying some alternatives. You can repurpose old boxes or reusable bags that you have laying around. Another great option is to use newspaper and let your creative side out with some paint or markers. Remember this year when you receive gifts to save any boxes or bags you can for next year!

3. Buy experiences, not items

Around the holidays, we all tend to accumulate a lot of stuff we don’t need or want. The people giving you gifts mean well, but they don’t always get it right...which is why sometimes gifts go untouched. To reduce waste, consider buying an experience instead of an item—think concert tickets, cooking classes, massages, pedicures, the options are endless. These are often far more enjoyable and meaningful gifts, and you can go along with whoever you buy it for and share a fun memory together!

4. Don’t forget to turn off the lights!

Decorating your house with festive lights is a great way to show off your holiday spirit! Try putting them on a timer, or remembering to shut them off before you go to bed, so as not to waste energy keeping them on when they won’t be appreciated, like late at night or during work or school.

5. Make your own gifts

Homemade gifts are truly the best ones, and not just for the environment. Instead of buying something, consider making a painting, writing a letter, baking something, or decorating an ornament. Have fun with it and be unique and personal if you can! These are the kinds of gifts people truly appreciate and remember.

Remember, the holiday season is for thinking of others, and what better way to do this than by protecting the planet that everyone shares?