Top 5 Ways to Green Your Holiday Shopping

While the holidays are a magical time of food, family, and gifts, the shopping ritual can take a major toll on our wallet and our loving homebase, planet earth. Every tiny thing we purchase- from food to clothing to electronics- ripples globally, affecting the diverse faces behind the product and the health of our planet. Every time you buy something, you are directly and indirectly supporting the environmental and not-so-environmental practices of a chain of businesses. The great part is that its up to you where you spend your money and to whom you give this power.

 

Check out our list of the top 5 ways to give this season without taking too much from the North Pole.

 

  1. Upcycle upcycle upcycle!

Upcycling refers to taking old things that you don’t use anymore (say, those jeans with the gaping hole) and turning it into something a little more useful (cellphone case; coasters, purse, I’ve seen it all). The concept is sustainable, creative, easy, and free! Options to upcycle are a-serious-plenty on Pinterest and range from everything to anything.

 

Upcycle Jewelry Ideas
Upcycled Jewelry Ideas

 

  1. A kind gesture, service, or experience

Consider buying/offering a service (hello, massage); a kind gesture (delicious chili, dog-sitting, or instrument lessons); or perhaps an event, performance, or that new yoga class your co-worker has been dying to check out. These type of gifts are carbon-neutral, support the local economy, and tend to be better for everyone’s health. Plus, who really needs another scarf made by poisonous cotton farming and shipped all the way from India anyway?

 

Photo by Body In Mind Massage Institute

 

  1. Literally, green things

Print a photograph of nature from your last big trip, or buy a plant (aren’t you beautiful, practical, and calming you sexy rosemary, you). Studies show that even just looking at pictures of nature can improve mood and decrease stress levels.

Plants- A Green Gift
Many Green Gifts

 

  1. Products that directly promote sustainable living

There are infinite ways to give back to our earth. You can get involved in solar projects such as Solar City, or check out products like HomeBiogas, which turns your food waste into clean cooking gas. CSA (community-supported agriculture) gift cards may be available to help your friend buy the organic veggies she’s been dreaming of. Get creative.

 

HomeBiogas for Sustainable Living
HomeBiogas for Sustainable Living

 

  1. Consume with compassion!

If you do opt for a new product, you have many options to make it greener: hand-made items from small and local businesses tend to have more sustainable practices. Also, fair-trade, fair-trade, fair-trade (did I mention fair-trade?) With chocolate, it’s the difference between supporting child slavery or supporting a proper education. Some corporations have humane treatment of people, animals, and the environment- it’s worth reading the labels or running a quick google search.

 

Its your money, your power.

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