The most wonderful time of the year can be expensive for you and the environment. According to the American Research Group, shoppers are planning to spend an average of $983 for gifts this holiday season. And of those gifts, 30% say they plan to toss a gift they don’t like in the trash.
Shopping carts of waste
In Minnesota, we create nearly 5.5 million tons of waste. That amounts to 303 shopping carts full of our waste EVERY minute or more than 20 thousand shopping carts every day.
This year, consider a new tradition. One that creates less waste, less stress, and more memories.
The most treasured gift we can give is our time, love, and energy. Here are a few suggestions for creating memories — not trash.
- Give museum memberships or theatre tickets
- Sponsor a Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) share
- Cook some meals, or offer to help shop or clean up
- Buy unique secondhand collectibles, vintage wear, or antiques
- Teach someone your special talent or give a gift certificate for a class
Print your own gift certificate
For more green gift-giving ideas, visit Make memories, not trash.
Most of us have received a gift that left us less than impressed. According to a recent study, buying and selling from online reuse websites can reduce items going to the landfill by 2 to 6%, and extend the life of a gift up to 4 years. That ends up being a lot of trash kept out of the landfill. If a gift isn’t right for you, give it a second chance by donating, selling, or re-gifting. Don’t feel guilty, the planet will thank you.
Wrap it up
Wrapping and tissue paper, bows, and bags are generally not recyclable. Consider these fun and greener alternatives:
- Reusable fabric gift bags. There are a lot of online tutorials to show you how to make one. Go to Pinterest or YouTube and type in “fabric gift bags”.
- Try Furoshiki. A type of traditional Japanese wrapping cloth. It is easy and fun. There are a lot of different Furoshiki wrapping techniques that you could use to wrap up your gifts.
- Paper grocery bags. Decorate yourself or you may be able to find festive bags during the holidays.