Whichever winter holiday you celebrate, Christmas, Hanukah, Kwanza and/or the Winter Solstice, it is a favorite time of year where you gather to celebrate with family and friends. This is also a time of year that some of the small deeds you do today will help protect our planet for generations to come.
Sean McDonagh, an Irish Columbian priest and well-known commentator on environmental issues, reflected on the holidays with, “It must be one of the great ironies of modern times that our annual celebration of the one who had “no place to lay his head” should be such a burden for planet earth.”
To reduce your impact, select your gifts carefully and make sure you have the proper match for your beneficiary. It has been estimated that 35 percent of Americans have an unused Christmas gift collecting dust in their closet. For instance for a clean freak or neat nick perhaps the popular Fluffy Microfiber Duster by Cleans Green™ (available on Amazon at www.BestDuster.com) would be perfect as a unique, but treasured gift. As Georgia stated, “This is the best duster EVER! Dusting is my least favorite job of all and I put it off as long as I can. When this duster arrived, I dusted my whole house in less than half the time it normally takes! I love it so much that I bought one for my daughter’s wedding shower.”
16 Green Christmas Gifts
Not the perfect gift for you? Consider these 16 environmentally friendly options as you develop your gift list.
- Search for eco-friendly alternatives such as handmade wooden toys made from sustainably sourced wood.
- Give a gift with meaning like an acre of rainforest or a donation on a recipient’s behalf.
- Make your own gifts in the form of food, clothing, or homemade beauty products and candles.
- Give the gift of experience like theatre, movie, concert or dinner theatre tickets or a gift certificate at a local restaurant for dessert and coffee.
- Give a living gift with a gift certificate at a local green house for a backyard tree or seedlings for the vegetable or flower garden.
- Give gifts that require no packaging, such as the gift of your time (cooking, babysitting, or gardening).
- “Re-gifting” is ok, but only when done with thought and it is matched properly.
- Do not buy something new. Select something that will be a gift with special meaning for the receiver. Such as a well-loved piece of jewelry to someone who will cherish it.
- Volunteer at a local charity such as a soup kitchen, Santa Anonymous, Food Bank.
- Think green when selecting your gift, for instance Frustration Free Packaging offered by Amazon or choosing battery free gifts.
- Give gifts that are durable and long-lasting, such as the Fluffy Microfiber Duster by Cleans Green™ (available on Amazon via www.BestDuster.com).
- Simplify the gift go around in any way possible, such as looking for locally made gifts.
- Connect with nature versus selecting store bought items, such as arranging a family nature hike.
- Decide to anti‐gift and share your time instead, for instance play board games or sing together.
- Support local artisans and buy gifts at local craft shows.
- Give green gifts such as a solar-powered radios, flashlights, and cell phone chargers.
Wrapping Paper | 9 Options for a Green Christmas
Once you have selected the perfect gift(s), consider how you will present it to whom you are giving it. Why? Because all of that wrapping paper and ribbon is wasteful. Every year each trash hauler’s load increases 25 percent, and even more the week after Christmas, from the packaging, wrapping paper, ribbon, and food waste!
Abandon purchasing wrapping paper whenever possible. Many options abound. Here are nine to consider.
- Wrap presents in fabric, wallpaper, posters, outdated maps or recycled wrapping paper. Alternatively use and decorate junk mail, comic or magazine pages, old newspapers, old sheet music, and out-of-date calendar photos, and secondhand cardboard boxes.
- Create homemade fabric containers made from old shirts.
- Wrap gifts in cloth napkins, kitchen towels, or handkerchiefs so the wrapping becomes part of the present.
- If you cannot abandon purchasing wrapping paper, at least stay away from glossy, foil, or metallic wrapping paper. They cannot be recycled.
- Wrap and tie packages with reusable ribbon, fabric, raffia, or yarn. Use flowers, pine-cones, greens, herbs, or other natural package decorations.
- Make gift tags from last year’s cards.
- Use tape sparingly or not at all when wrapping gifts.
- Use shredded paper instead of bubble wrap to package parcels.
- Pack gifts to be mailed using real popcorn or biodegradable corn starch packing material instead of polystyrene “peanuts.”
For other ideas to green Christmas and your winter holidays consider getting your the eBook by Green Cleaning Products at http://greencleaningproductsllc.com/free-ebook-tis-season-green-christmas-joyous-eco-holiday-season/.
Looking for more great ideas to ensure your Christmas holidays are as green as they can be? Green Cleaning Products LLC, owner of the Cleans Green™ brand, published the ‘Tis the Season to Green Your Christmas: Why (and How) to Have a Joyous Eco Holiday Season eBook. This is where you will find more than 80 ideas to celebrate while you are saving the planet.