Today’s Solutions: May 30, 2024

With all the wholesomeness and magic it brings, the holiday season is also putting significant strain on the environment. According to the Environmental Protection Agency, American household waste increases 25 percent between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Day – equating to 1 million tons each year. Much of the waste over Christmas has to do with the gifts – acquiring more stuff, and the packaging and wrapping that goes with it.

In the spirit of the season and with consideration for the environment, we put forward a couple of sustainable gift-giving ideas for you to try and make this year’s holidays a bit more wholesome for the planet too:

Play the re-gifting game: This works well for office parties. Everyone who comes must select, wrap, and give something (in new or very good condition) that they already own.

Stuff stockings with vegan treats: Pick out vegan chocolates or a gift certificate to a vegan restaurant. Animal agriculture represents 15-20 percent of global greenhouse gas emissions. Plant-based gifts are better for your health and the environment.

Give experiences: As we get older, we don’t really need as much stuff. Gift your friend or family member single or season tickets to sports or musical events. Help them learn something new by gifting swimming, piano, dance, or cooking classes. Buy them a membership to their local museum or theater.

Aim for durable and unique: Try to find items that your friend or family member is likely to use and cherish for a long time. Be mindful about purchasing from local stores or handmade shops where I know they have a good record for Try exploring local or ha responsibly manufactured—without slave or child labor, and with some thought given to the environment.

Write from the heart: Give your loved ones a letter that makes clear how much they mean to you. A hand-written version will be appreciated even more than something printed, especially if you add any artistic touches (and it matters not at all if you think you can’t draw).

For more planet-friendly gift ideas, look no further.

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