Suggestions for being an environmental shopper:
As a consumer gift-buyer, buy fewer and better quality products that will last longer (some may even be repairable).
Shop at local stores that sell used, recycled, or upcycled products (The Depot, Goodwill, The Getup). There’s an amazing variety in our community.
Consider giving something you no longer use to someone else who might enjoy it. For example, go through your jewelry and gift some of it to your children or grandchildren for dress-up. Or go through your toolbox and see if you have extras of any tools to give to a woodworker or handyperson. Share a favorite recipe, or a good book you’ve enjoyed.
Consider giving gifts of homemade food items, such as candy or baked goods, or purchased specialty fresh, canned, or boxed foods.
When purchasing toys for children, buy toys that will last and are made from natural materials, such as wood, paper, cardboard, or fabric. Consult with parents about their children’s needs before buying gifts.
Buy devices that use recyclable batteries, and recycle them when they are no longer working.
Shop local and in person as much as possible. Shipping individual products to individual customers overall costs the environment more than bulk shipments to retail stores. If you are shopping online, try to group shipments to keep shipping to a minimum (Amazon, among other vendors, allows you to do this when you are checking out).
Suggestions for having an environmental holiday:
Reuse old wrapping paper and ribbons for your next packages.
Try to minimize tearing of wrapping when opening packages. Save and carefully fold lightly used wrapping paper and ribbons to store for next Christmas.
Save and carefully fold and store tissue paper which gifts and purchased clothing is sometimes wrapped in. Tissue paper is very re-usable.
Salvage cardboard backing on toys and other products in order to recycle. If the backing is white on the inside when torn slightly, it’s recycled as paper; if it is brown, it’s recycled as cardboard.
Recycle old Christmas cards (considered paper for recycling).
Consider purchasing reusable fabric gift bags to keep with your wrapping supplies and use for family gifts (so you can reuse them).
Remember our suggestions for conserving food when serving large, celebratory meals (see Nov. 17 Afterword about Thanksgiving).
Remember that our greatest gifts are friends and family members and our church community! Have a marvelous and holy Christmas.