The holidays: time to see family and friends, view the beautiful lights and decorations, indulge in delicious food, and of course, practice the art of gift giving.
It truly is the most wonderful time of the year, but the holidays’ harmful environmental effects add up. The emissions-inducing travel, artificial and plastic trees and decorations, excessive light displays, wasted food that gets thrown away, and the large carbon footprint associated with buying, wrapping and shipping gifts. The combined effect is enough to turn anyone into a Grinch.
If you’re already feeling buyer’s remorse from these wasteful holiday activities, we’ve come up with alternative gift giving ideas that will lead to a greener, cleaner more eco-friendly planet in the New Year. And for some terrific, green tips for celebrating the holidays in sustainable style, check out last week’s blog post.
Donate: Making charitable donations during the holidays are one of the best ways to celebrate the season. Find out which charities or causes your loved ones embrace and make a donation in their name. A donation offers long term benefits for both the giver and the recipient, and it’s far more meaningful than the typical sweater, candle or tie that’s forgotten by Valentine’s Day.
Offer: Offer your time and/or talents to friends and loved ones. Instead of purchasing the latest and greatest and expanding your carbon footprint, give of yourself this holiday season. Gift your friends and loved ones your skills or service. Are you handy around the house? Offer to fix what needs tending. Got a green thumb? Make a date for cultivating their spring garden. Master in the kitchen? They’ll love an invitation to dinner at your home! Even offer to care for children so that your friends or family members can enjoy some adult time or run errands.
Make: Who doesn’t love something delicious at the holidays or anytime of year? A quick online search will yield thousands of holiday cookies, cakes, candies and other confections that you can whip up and package (in eco-friendly style) for gifting.
Spend: Take some time out to spend with family members, (especially those getting on in years) Sharing your time to recount stories, listen and just be is all most people really want, and it’s the best way to strengthen a relationship. Put down your smartphone, turn off the TV, and have a real conversation with the ones who mean the most. It will be a gift to you both.
For more green holiday advice through the end of the year and into 2017, stay connected to the Just Energy website. Make sure to like Just Energy on Facebook and follow us on Twitter where we’re always sharing tips and information on living an eco-friendly, green lifestyle.