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Tips For Going Green This Holiday Season

Updated on September 9, 2013

Sound Familiar?

When we think of the holidays we often thing of rushing around searching crowded malls for expensive presents. We spend time, money and gas driving from store to store in search of the ideal gifts.

We often overspend and feel regret afterward. How can you avoid these feelings this year and actually do something positive at the same time? Go green.

Think Paper

Recycle, Reduce, Reuse

Not only should you plan on using cash when you shop for holiday gifts (you'll spend less), but you should also think about using recycled paper for wrapping presents.

You can wrap in newspaper, especially the comics, for a unique look under the tree. Add a bow made of paper or ribbon and you've got a lovely package. You can also make your own wrapping paper out of things you already have. Take paper shopping bags from stores with high quality ones to the plain old supermarket kind and make them into elegant wrappings.

Often, higher end stores will give you a bag that's worthy of saving. They are usually on an upscale, heavier paper and often have handles or logos you can recycle into your wrapping. Cut the bag open and lay it flat. See which of your gifts will fit the size paper. Then, wrap up with a natural twine or jute. Make gift tags out of leftover scraps. This is a good time to use any scroll logos or decorative pieces of the bag. You'll save on wrapping paper and reuse items for a second life this way.

Create your own gift bags

Image courtesy of periwinklekog on Flickr
Image courtesy of periwinklekog on Flickr

Think Gas

Save Gas

How much gas do we waste traveling from shopping plaza to shopping plaza searching for the things on our lists? Even just circling the parking lot looking for a vacant parking space can waste gas. Why not plan to tackle your list online? You can find everything you could ever find in retail stores and often much more online. Often e-merchants will offer free or reduced shipping around the holidays so you're not only getting your order free, but you're keeping your gas tank full.

If you want or need to go out shopping, why not hit a mega store? Those giant retailers are there for a reason-convenience. If you plan your trip right, you can get everything from your Christmas tree to your eggnog for the holiday dinner. You can find something for every single person on your list all in one place. Stuck on one present? Get a gift certificate to the store and let your recipient choose her own Christmas gift basket. Not only have you saved the hassle of running from store to store and the cost of wasted gas, but you'll also feel like you have accomplished a lot in one trip. When you can check off all your gifts in one location you'll have more time to spend baking or wrapping presents leisurely or just unwinding during a harried holiday season.

Pollution is Not Welcome Here

Image by jemasmith on Flickr
Image by jemasmith on Flickr

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Think Charity

Think of Others

This year, why not take a step towards using less and asking people in your family not to exchange gifts. Chance are, everyone in your family has enough socks and sweaters, so why not organize a charity gift drive instead? You can do it a few ways. One is to collect actual gifts and give them to a homeless shelter or children's home prior to Christmas. You can all go together to distribute them.

Another way is to "adopt" a family at church or at your children's school. Ask the pastor or social worker at the school if there is anyone that could use help this holiday season. Often in colder climates people go without heat because they can't pay their bills. Why not offer to pay anonymously one family's electric or heat bill? Or you can provide cash so they can choose what they need for their family.

The holidays are a time to think of others-including Mother Earth. Go green this holiday season and everyone benefits!

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Comments - What's your take on green holiday gifts?

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    • profile image

      JoshK47 5 years ago

      Excellent suggestions - blessed by a SquidAngel!

    • profile image

      wayne_luvinlife 6 years ago

      Respecting Mother Earth is in everybodys' interest. great lens!

    • profile image

      dessertlover 6 years ago

      Going green is such a great movement these days. It's great to see people caring about their impact on the earth. Great lens.

    • squid-janices7 profile image

      squid-janices7 6 years ago

      I often reuse gift wrap and brown paper with recycled ribbon for gifts. With a little extra effort, the gifts can look great and be eco-friendly too!