How to be sustainable while holiday shopping

With the holiday season upon us, it is clear that it doesn’t always lend itself to sustainability. There is surplus everywhere, from the extensive food at gatherings to the extra tissue paper piling out of gift bags. As you work on your holiday shopping, there are quite a few ways that you could be more sustainable. Read on to learn five ways you can be more sustainable while shopping and giving gifts this season.


1. Don’t get caught up in the sales

While big discounts can be tempting, they aren’t always necessary for you to participate in. You don’t need to buy things just because they’re cheap, especially if they won’t be well-appreciated. Make sure you focus on quality rather than quantity and buy gifts that will be loved for years to come.


2. Gift experiences rather than items

You don’t always have to be able to wrap a gift up in a box with a bow on top. Consider giving an experience, like concert tickets, a dinner out, or a trip to the movies. To make the gift more specific, you can choose a day, time, and location so the receiver feels like they get a real gift in the moment. You can add some flare by decorating the card to match the event.


3. Bring your own shopping bags

When you leave the mall, it’s easy to collect a dozen bags from each shop you go to. However, you can minimize your impact on the environment by bringing your own bags when you shop. A large tote can handle more items, too, so it’ll be more comfortable for you as you collect more presents.


4. Shop local

Rather than ordering everything online, try to shop local. If possible, you should support small businesses, too. When you support local businesses, there is less transportation used to get your items to you, which is great for the environment. Plus, shopping locally is an easy way to support those in your community. Some of their holiday plans may be relying on the success of their business.


5. Reuse gift bags

When you are given a gift in a nice bag, you should hold onto it. You can use the bag for your own gift-giving purposes, which will save you time going to the store, and the money you would spend getting a new bag. 


6. Use creative wrapping paper

You don’t have to use traditional wrapping paper to wrap every present. You can use other items, like old newspapers, magazines, or brown paper bags. This works especially well if you are giving a gift to someone who enjoys reading the morning paper, or has a favorite magazine that can be incorporated. 


7. Check out your local secondhand store

There are plenty of great gifts at your local thrift store, and they’ll likely come at the fraction of the cost of a new item. If you know someone well, you can even find some great vintage clothing finds. Plus, it will mean a lot to someone to know you scoured through racks at a thrift store to find the perfect item for them.

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