Why does it seem like every year the holiday decorations are coming out earlier and earlier? At my local Target, holiday and Christmas decorations and sweets were out by Halloween time. And yet, I was barely even thinking about how to decorate my house for Halloween. I hardly wanted to think about Christmas and the holidays leading up to and after that. But think about it I must for my son had started his Christmas wish list long before.
Every year I tell myself to start planning early. With all the crazy stuff that might happen during the busy holiday months, it’s vital to me that I plan ahead. But it’s also just as important to plan things with the environment in mind. Christmas is possibly the most beautiful and wasteful time of the year. It’s when most people spend more than they should or have to and sometimes guilt plays into the factor. It’s easy to just charge everything on your credit cards not really thinking ahead or planning on what to buy. Then inevitably, we end up spending more and wasting even more leading to empty wallets and harm to our precious planet.
So how can we save money, time, and our planet’s natural resources? I think most of us already do something eco-friendly on a daily basis but for the holiday season, let’s try and go beyond what we already instinctively do. Let’s make positive steps in ensuring a healthier and better future for our children and their children.
Here are some happy and healthy tips for the holiday season:
- Make a list of things you want to buy. Search for coupons online or in mailed advertisements.
- Try do-it-yourselves gifts. You can make them in bulk and with ingredients that you choose. Try this homemade soap recipe. It’s fairly easy and quite beneficial: http://www.motherearthliving.com/natural-beauty/lavender-rosemary-soap-recipe.aspx. I love wrapping them in pretty paper or large leaves and they make excellent and healthy gifts.
- Reuse wrapping paper. This saves you money and the environment.
- Stock up on natural cold and flu remedies. With the busy moments and the cold weather, we’re prone to getting ill during these months.
- Consider saving trees by giving digital gift cards that the recipient can save on their smartphones.
- Make batches of food ahead of time and freeze accordingly. This will save you much needed time when you’re too busy to cook lunch or dinner.
- Instead of wrapping gifts, consider placing gifts inside reusable shopping bags. Then every time your recipient uses their bag, they will be reminded of your kind and thoughtful gesture.
- When purchasing gifts, be on the lookout for products using local ingredients, fair trade, cruelty free, and of course organic when possible.
- Try buying products made from renewable resources so that we’re not helping to destroy our precious ecosystem.
- Instead of sending out paper greeting cards, consider sending e-cards instead. I know the paper cards are incredibly cute, but try skipping that this year and send digital instead.
- Shop online when possible to avoid crowds and driving in traffic. Oftentimes your favorite online stores offer free shipping during the holiday season.
- Shop locally (products made within your region). Not only does this help with reducing carbon footprint, but it also helps local businesses and the economy.
No matter what your plans are for this holiday season, remember to take deep breaths, be calm, and keep the environment in mind whenever possible. Happy Holidays!