One of the great joys of the holiday season is buying thoughtful gifts for the people you love. (And of course, receiving gifts isn’t so bad, either!) The downside is all the packaging involved. Simply put, our holiday shopping tends to produce a lot of material waste, heightening our already-troubling consumption of plastics.
This holiday season, you can make a few simple adjustments to your normal shopping patterns, making a substantial impact on your level of plastic waste. Here are a few tips.
1) Focus on practical gifts.
By practical, we don’t mean boring. We just mean giving gifts that are likely to receive everyday use; eco-friendly and reusable gifts are even better. Examples include:
● Reusable travel mugs (stainless steel or bamboo)
● Reusable water bottles (stainless steel or glass)
● Kitchenware (cast-iron or bamboo)
● Tote bags (canvas)
● Zero-waste products (including everything from personal hygiene and bath products to dental supplies, all made with sustainability in mind)
2) Give creative gifts.
At the same time, it’s important to remember that many of the most thoughtful gifts don’t come with any plastic packaging at all. There are plenty of ways you can get personal and creative with your gift-giving, whether that means making someone a playlist, creating a photo collage, knitting a scarf, or writing a poem.
3) Don’t be afraid to repurpose.
A lot of us feel guilty about regifting, but really, it’s a very effective way to reduce waste (and also save some money). Remember, giving someone a gift that you’re no longer using is no different than giving them something you bought at a thrift store, or on eBay. If you’ve recently reorganized your home and found some items that are in great shape but no longer useful to you, consider repurposing them.
4) Give experiences.
Still another good way to reduce packaging? Give the gift of an amazing experience. Instead of trinkets or consumer goods, provide someone with tickets to a show, a concert, a theme park, or a spa.
5) Shop locally (when possible).
Yes, buying all your holiday gifts on Amazon.com is awfully convenient… but shopping from local brick-and-mortars is better for the environment (to say nothing of the local economy). Not only do you reduce the need for wasteful packaging, but you can even bring along your own reusable tote bag, keeping your plastic waste to almost zero.
Plastic waste is a real problem, and it tends to peak during the holidays. Simply by shopping more intentionally, you can keep your own plastic waste levels in check. With any questions, don’t hesitate to contact WasteXperts directly.