By Vicki Patterson
This holiday season, challenge yourself and those around you to be mindful when shopping.
Look for ways you can make the world a better place by shopping locally, reducing your carbon footprint, and supporting environmentally responsible brands.
Here Are Tips To Get You Started!
1. Buy Local, Shop Small
When you shop locally, you make a conscious decision to support your friends and neighbors while reducing the impact on the environment. And in return for shopping close to home, you’ll find unique, quality handmade goods that are sourced locally and farmed responsibly.
2. Are Your Favorite Brands Socially Conscious?
This holiday season, take the time to look for brands that are supporting social good. Ask yourself what social or environmental causes are most important to you, then seek out brands that align with your beliefs. If you're like me, you already know, but this helps to expand your data base!
3. Look For Environmentally Friendly Cert’s. These might include labels like USDA Organic, non-GMO, Fair Trade and Certified B Corporations. A company must go through a process of application, inspections and certification to add one of these labels to their products.
4. Reduce Your Carbon Footprint
From product packaging to food and air travel, there are greener alternatives that are more environmentally friendly. If everyone implemented a few best practices, we could greatly reduce the amount of garbage we produce throughout the holidays.
Here are a few ways you can reduce your carbon footprint while shopping responsibly:
Reduce the amount of gift wrap and paper you use. See my suggestions below for gift wrap!
Send a holiday E-card or video message
Buy high-quality products
Buy carbon offset credits
Recyclable and reusable gift-wrap is a creative way to save the environment and prevent waste. If every person uses a sustainable gift wrapping solution each holiday, think of how many chemicals we would remove from our air and much we would prevent going to the landfill. Did you know that Americans throw away 25% more trash from Thanksgiving through New Year’s than the rest of the year, amounting to an additional 25 million tons of garbage?
When it comes to wrapping presents, we use more than 8,000 tons of wrapping paper each holiday season–equal to about 50,000 trees! This means a lot of extra raw materials, water, chemicals, and energy used, as well as extra carbon emissions from the manufacture, transport, and disposal of these products.
Instead of buying single use wrapping paper, try something new!
Scarves - use the Japanese art of fabric wrapping called Furoshiki.
Tote Bags - Hey purchase a Stand Up To Trash Tote Bag and use that as the gift wrap! Double the gifting!
T-Shirts - Same theory as the tote bag; purchase a t-shirt and use as the gift wrap!
Paper Bags! For some reason we still have paper bags, which for wrapping I love the fact. Remember having to cover your books at school and you used paper bags? For some reason, this brings me back to those days!
Add a little twine & greenery and violà!
Holiday gift wrapping and giving is that easy! Make your first step to change the world with conscious holiday shopping.
Let's hear your ideas if I missed any in the comments!