It’s that time of year- friends and families gather for celebrations, holiday lights decorate trees, and shopping lists include finding the right gift.
Just because it’s a time of giving, doesn’t mean you have to give up on your environmental commitments. We have 5 tips to keep your holiday eco-friendly:
1) Re-gift: We know it can make you feel a little guilty, but the best way to minimize your environmental impact is to reduce your purchases. Perhaps you didn’t the amaryllis bulb given to you as a hostess gift, so it would be a great stocking stuffer for your Aunty Betty. And you really never need to dig deep in your closet to find a white elephant gift.
We will mention we’ve heard horror stories of accidentally giving a vase back to a daughter-in-law, with the mother unfortunately forgetting its origin. If you can’t remember who gave it to you, play it safe this holiday season. No one wants to cause awkwardness during gift unwrapping!
2) Shop at “new to you” stores: There are plenty of great reuse and thrift stores in the Twin Cities. We’re a little partial, but we know you’ll be amazed at the value and variety on electronics from Tech Discounts. A walk through Arc’s Value Village always guarantees great options in housewares, clothing, games, and more. Have a book fan in your family? Check out A Greener Read.
We’re proud to be a member of a trade alliance called ReuseMN, and they just released an updated website which makes it incredibly easy to find just what you’re looking for:
3) Give experiences, not stuff: Before you grab another tie for your dad, consider a brewery tour. Does your grandma need another collectible for her shelf, or would she rather join you for a trip to a local museum? We’ve heard great ideas of giving Food Co-Op “Ownerships” (we’re fans of Lakewinds), concert tickets, cooking classes, and other alternatives to collecting more “stuff” on shelves and in closets.
4) Use earth-friendly wrapping supplies: There are plenty of bows in the world already – just ask our friends at Junket: Tossed and Found in South Minneapolis. Tell them we say “hi” when you swing by their shop to purchase your bows at the affordable price of just TEN (10) CENTS each while shopping your values.
Most people are shocked to learn that most wrapping paper is not actually recyclable. Instead, you can cut up paper grocery bags which give that fun “brown paper packages” look. If you’re giving someone a scarf, table cloth, or reusable bag, just use those items to wrap the package instead of paper.
5) Upcycle items you have around the house:
Chalk paint an unwanted flower pot with a festive holiday message. Transform an outdated or too tight of a sweater into a pillow or even leggings. Turn an orphan earring into a brooch. Here are 5 more simple upcycled gift ideas from One Green Planet!