Thursday, October 13, 2011

Give Green Gifts

 This is part of my series: 20 Ways to Go Green that Make a DifferenceThis series discusses practical ways we can go green in our lives, that will have a measurable effect on the environment.  This is an alternative to the many lists that offer 100+ suggestions, many of which are not easily applied to our lives or the impact is minimal.

With the holiday season on the horizon, we are entering the busiest retail time of the year.  While many see this as a time to purchase as many new goods as possible, regardless of their cost, for their family and friends.  Those of us who read Think, Act, Prosper also see it as a time of increased environmental damage.  Traveling all over creation to visit shopping plazas to purchase items imported from the other side of the planet, increases pollution and damage signifcantly.  I choose to see it as an opportunity to go green by giving environmentally friendly gifts.

The easiest way to do this is to make something yourself.  This low environmental impact strategy will result in a personal gift that literally represents you, while allowing personal tailoring to specifically fit the intended recipient. Give a food lover an excellent home-cooked treat, home brew some excellent homemade beer.  If you know how to knit, knit blankets or something else useful.  Don't stop at just the gift, give homemade cards or ornaments as well. 

Send an electronic Christmas card instead of a paper one!  This will save paper and reduce clutter and waste.

For gamers consider gifting an online video game or game subscription such as World of Warcraft or Xbox Live.  If you are a sportsbettor, give him some money to bet on an online sportsbook or a ticket to a local professional sporting event.  Another idea is a gift card to a local, sustainable restaurant that the person would love.   Take your dad out for a day of golf or give the less handy an oil change gift card, or offer to do it for them!  If its in your gift budget, give a bicyle or a less expensive piece of sports equipment that will keep them outdoors and fit.

Wrapping paper is one of the most egregious and foolish wastes of the holiday season.  It may look pretty, for a few seconds, but the environmental costs FAR outweigh any momentarily aesthetical benefit.  Instead use older boxes, bags or something more creative. 

Most importantly, do not settle for the "cheap" $40 made-in-China sweater that is ill-fitting, and probably wont be appreciated.  This contributes to environmental destruction and wastes your money!

No comments:

Post a Comment