Americans throw away 25% more trash during the holidays-approximately an extra 25 million tons of garbage from Thanksgiving to New Years. The majority of items returned to the store are not put back on the shelf but instead sent to the landfill. About 30% of people who do not like the gift they received will throw it into the trash bin. Creating a more sustainable holiday is a great opportunity to focus on more meaning and less stuff.
What do we like about the holidays? Spending time with family and friends, eating good food, and relaxing. We, as gift givers, set the tone to encourage creativity, increase connection, ease stress, save money, reduce waste, and help the environment. A great idea for children’s gifts is to follow the phrase: “One thing they want, one thing they need, one thing to wear, one thing to read”. As we plan our teacher, coworker, friend and family gifts, keep in mind that giving comes in all forms.
- An experience: concert tickets or museum membership
- Handmade or DIY: soap, bath bombs, macrame
- Skill sharing: babysitting, dog walking, make them a meal
- Donation or support: plant a tree, donate to charity
- Food: gift the extras from your garden, make cookies, buy local
- Secondhand gifts: furniture, clothing, home goods
This information is provided by the Center for Biodiversity. They created more resources for simplifying the holidays which can be found on their website.