From shopping at thrift stores to giving experience gifts to volunteering in someone's name, it's easy to go green with gift giving.
When shopping for Christmas gifts, expand your horizons past the mall. Thrift stores, consignment shops and other resale organizations can be a fantastic way to find unique, used gifts. You'd be surprised at the treasures you can find, often at a fraction of the cost of new goods.
If you are purchasing electronics this holiday season, like many people are, take into account the long-term effects of these gifts on the environment. Look for energy-efficient electronics, appliances and other items.
When wrapping your Christmas gifts, pack presents inside items from around the house, such as tote bags, wicker baskets and metal buckets. Instead of traditional wrapping paper, you can use fabric remnants, wallpaper scraps, your kids' artwork from school, old maps, pages from magazines and many other alternatives.
One way to make your Christmas a whole lot greener this year is to cut back your holiday gift list. Instead of giving gifts to every adult in your extended family, draw names so that each person just has to purchase one gift. Another idea is take a friend out to a movie or dinner, instead of purchasing a tangible gift. Most of us already have enough stuff anyway. The next time someone says that they don't want or need a gift, take them seriously and don't give them one. Just spend some time together instead.
Experience gifts have become quite popular in recent years. Instead of giving someone a present they'll never use, give them an experience they'll appreciate. Experience gifts can be anything from festival tickets to cooking classes.
Do you have a special skill or talent? Offer your time, services or skills as a gift. Run errands for an elderly friend. Help a neighbor start a vegetable garden, or offer to cook for a week for a new mom. Also, consider volunteering or donating (perhaps to an environmental cause) in someone's name, rather than giving material gifts.
The holidays are really about spending time with the people we love, not about acquiring more and more things. This holiday season, rethink your gifting strategy, and try to make your Christmas a little greener.
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