The Holidays are getting closer and gift buying and giving is in full swing! If you’re like me you probably put a lot of thought into what you are buying for the special people in your life. This week Penny has a think about one more gift giving topic. Are the gifts you give helping or hindering the environment?
Sustainable gift giving this holiday season!
By Penny Dejager
The holiday season is in full swing and everyone is running around trying to get gifts for their loved ones. This season can be a stressful time for people for many reasons. Gift giving can be expensive and have negative impacts on the environment. You can make things easier and more meaningful by giving “greener” gifts. There are simple ways to cut down on your own holiday footprint by starting to gift sustainably.
Wouldn’t it be great to find gifts that are centered on people and the planet first, not profits? Start to look for eco-friendly and mission-driven brands that think more deeply about the health and wellbeing of the customer and the environment. Here is one of the statistics; 25% increase in trash is generated during the holiday season, which adds up to an additional 1 million tons of garbage each week over the holidays!!
Here are some planet-friendly sustainable ways to give this holiday season
Give a consumable gift -healthy homemade treats and meals are always appreciated and don’t usually end up left unused in the corner of the closet. Include your favorite recipes with this gift which shares some of your family’s food traditions. Other ideas could be organic teas, fair trade coffee, fresh cut flowers, package of seeds for gardening or dried fruit and nuts.
Buy a local gift -support local businesses and artists by buying local, organic and ethical products. Local products can be very unique and have a story to tell about where you live. Calgary has many local markets and craft shows every year with people proud to show and sell their products to the customer. Buying local reduces emissions for shipping and supports the local economy.
Give a non-material gift -the gift of service requires little or no natural resources. This will be a welcome treat for family and friends. Have people over for dinner or a party to sing, tell stories and focus on the positive aspect of socializing with others over the holiday season. Make someone a home-cooked meal, shovel their snow or walk their dog. Offer an evening of childcare so a young couple can go out on a date!
The gift of charity -with so much consumption over the holidays, it would be great to make a donation to an organization that is important to that special person. You could attach a note explaining your actions. Our city has many worthy organizations to donate to and many families are in need not just now but all year long. Consider re-gifting or re-purposing a previously loved item to help reduce consumption. Clear out your closets and drawers to give to those in need. Books, jewelry and housewares are all great things to donate too.
Think about your gift packaging -try to use packaging that won’t go to waste. Select gifts that are made with recyclable materials or can be recycled. Your packaging could be part of the gift itself such as wrapping it with a scarf or in a box that was from another household item. Reusable wrapping like gift bags and cloth bags will pass on the fun to be reused.
The holiday season doesn’t have to be centered on material gift giving. This year I made it a priority to plan more simply and to make it more about spending quality time with the people I love and care about in my life. Material possessions clutter our homes and our minds taking away from what is really important in life. There are so many other ways to give. It is also important to remember our planet when we give so that it is here for many generations to come.
Being a Holistic Wellness Coach is more than just about nutrition counselling. It is about helping people find a better balance for themselves in their day to day tasks. It is about educating and supporting them in their body, mind and spirit. The holidays can be a stressful time. We can suggest ways to reduce stress and bring back purpose and presence. There is an old saying “My presence is the greatest gift of all”. Think of this both for yourself and to the other important people in your life this holiday season.
Want to get even healthier? Are you experiencing health symptoms due to nutrition or clutter in your life? Are you concerned about supporting your health and would like to explore what getting a little support could look like? Curious about how health coaching can help you make your own healthy changes? Let’s talk! Schedule an initial complimentary consultation with us today—or pass this offer on to someone you care about! Visit www.noshoesnutrition.com and sign up for a FREE consultation. We work with people from all over the world individually or in groups so don’t let anything hold you back!