With the holidays upon us, many of us will soon be inundated with stuff from Christmas, Hanukkah and/or Kwanzaa presents. Whatever your holiday traditions may be, your celebrations will be even better if you keep in mind the earth’s resources when making your gift purchases.
Some of my favorite gifts are consumable products. Tea, soap, candles, olive oil, wine and chocolate are all welcome gifts, and they don’t hang around someone’s house forever taking up space.
If a longer-lasting gift is in order, try to choose quality over quantity. Gifts made from better materials hold up longer, and will ideally have an extended next life if their first owner chooses to let them go.
Avoid Plastic Toys if Possible
There are a lot of cool plastic toys, but kids tend to grow out of them quickly. I often help clients get rid of piles of plastic. Yes, you can donate them to the thrift store, but they don’t last forever, and will most likely end up in a landfill one day. Wooden toys, books, art supplies, or clothes from an eco-conscious retailer are good alternatives.
Is it ok to buy someone a used item? Some will say new is the only option, but in my opinion, if the item is in good condition, why not? There are some great consignment shops with beautiful clothes and, especially in Denver, regear shops with really high-quality outdoor supplies — bikes, tents, hiking poles, etc. If you have time to wait for shipping, Poshmark and similar websites offer quality brands for much less than retail price. Best of all, your gift won’t require new resources and the waste associated with manufacturing. You’ll save money, and save the planet.
Of course, it’s always nice if you can support a small business when you make a purchase. Instead of Amazon, try Etsy, a local brick and mortar store, or a holiday market. Shopping is more fun when you can get hot cocoa and a churro, and it feels good to support an artisan who’s made something with care.
Clutter causes undue stress and can interfere with easy living. If you’re allowing new items into your home, it’s a great habit to also let go of some things that you don’t need anymore. Tips from my blog on Marie Kondo-style wisdom can be found here,And for details on where to donate your stuff responsibly, read this post here.
Thanks for reading and best holiday wishes to all!