Hello, and welcome! The Climate Change Conference currently happening in Egypt has gotten me thinking a lot about the environment - and also on the fact that likely any measures eventually approved by our world leaders over these days will probably only be passed as actual laws in the years to come - if ever.
Which means that it's really up to each one of us to help change the world, one little step at a time. And what better time to start than the holidays season?
So, find below a few of my favorite tips and tricks in order to reduce waste during the holidays, and save some money on top:
Limit the number of gifts
This doesn't mean that you will leave anyone without a gift. But we often tend to buy more than one gift for each person, especially for children. Make a list of everyone you really need to buy a gift for - and decide on one gift for each person. This way you will (1) buy only what you really need (your bank account balance will thank you too) and (2) the less stuff you buy, the less you contribute for future waste.
Give useful gifts
This seems obvious, but how many times have you been gifted with things you have no use for or meaningless objects that either you don't really like or will just collect dust at home?
Remember that right now a lot of people are struggling to keep their heads above water with the rising prices of energy and food, not to mention the increasing loan interest rates. When looking for gifts for them, try to avoid objects that are merely decorative or will just add junk to their homes. Instead, look for things they can use throughout the year - not only you'll be helping them for sure, but you will also, again, be contribution for less future waste. Keep in mind that food is a great gift too and that you can create lovely gift baskets that will for sure be appreciated.
Given the current prices trends, chances are nothing is going to get cheaper right before Christmas. So make your shopping list early and start looking for the best prices, promotions and coupons, to make sure you limit your spending to the essential. Besides, if you do this now you will be more likely to find what you are really looking for, instead of settling for second or third choices which will probably be less eco-friendly and more expensive.
Make your own gifts
This is one of my favorite tips ever. A lot of people think that they are not crafty enough to create their own gifts, but that's just not true. There are lots and lots of things you can do at home, from baking cookies to creating personalised gift baskets for your friends and family. Browse around (Pinterest is always a good source of inspiration) and look for some things you can make. Remember that homemade gifts are always made with love, and that's the most important thing of all.
Use free printables
Although I avoid printing things unless absolutely necessary, if you already have a printer, paper and toner at home then printing can be a good alternative to having to buy things like gift tags, wrapping paper, seasonal family games or even decorations.
There are lots of free holidays printables around, or you can, for example, use the free version of Canva to design your own. Whatever you're looking for, always search first to see if you can find it for free somewhere.
Find creative alternatives to wrapping paper
Wrapping paper and packages are probably one of the biggest contributors to creating waste during the holidays - you spend money on them, someone rips them up a couple of days later, and they all end up on the trash pile. They're the literal definition of throwing money away.
If you already have wrapping paper at home, then by all means use it up and get rid of it (what I have left nowadays is only what I reuse from gifts received). But if you don't, then avoid buying it and find alternatives instead.
Use fabric or even old t-shirts to create original gift bags, for example:
Or be even more creative and use a zipper pouch or a reusable fabric bag as the gift wrap (which obviously the recipient can then re-use - it's almost like two gifts in one). I fully intend to write a more detailed post about this soon, but take a look at the gift I wrapped using a zipper pouch (also made by me):
These are just a few ideas to make your holidays a little greener this year - and to help you save some money while you're at it.
Have any other great suggestions? Let us know in the comments!
And if you like this post, you may also want to read:
Have fun, and happy holidays!
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