The gift that gives back (to the environment)
A bamboo utensil kit, which can be found at the FD Market in Emmaus, is a perfect example of a gift that keeps on giving back.
Photo from cedarcrestseaclub on Instagram
The holiday season is upon us, and we can take a sustainable approach to gift giving to better the environment.
The season of giving is a busy time of the year, visiting family and friends, gift exchanges and festive celebrations, however, one thing that is typically not on top of the list is the environment. People often neglect the environmental impact they create during this time of year where there are increases in waste, carbon emissions, and food. ‘Tis the season, right?
“Between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Day, American household waste increases by more than 25 percent,” according to the United States Environmental Protection Agency. “Trash cans full of holiday food waste, shopping bags, bows and ribbons, packaging, and wrapping paper contribute an additional 1 million tons a week to our landfills.”
You don’t have to wait to till the New Year to start the “new year, new me” goal. Create the “New Year” resolution of being environmentally conscious now. While celebrating this holiday, try to be aware of what is going into the waste. Every little step counts and can go a long way down the line. When it comes to gift giving, don’t forget think about giving back to the environment.
The majority of people often dream of a white Christmas, but what about having a greener holiday? With help from the Sustainable and Environmental Organization e-board, here are some easy and creative ideas for eco-friendly gifts so that you can have a more sustainable holiday:
· Kaylyn Brindisi, Class of 2021 and Environmental Conservation Major, recommends visiting the FD Market located near Emmaus (The market contains products that helps with zero waste), reusing decorative boxes instead of wrapping paper with reused gift tissue paper, and wrapping smaller gifts in scarves to reduce the use of paper.
· Kassie Root, Class of 2022 and Environmental Conservation Major, suggest using what you have instead of buying something brand new and be wary of greenwashing (where companies try to make it seem like they are protecting the environment more than they really are.)
· Mackenzie Inacker, Class of 2022 and Global Studies major with a concentration in conservation, suggests the idea of visiting LUSH, which promotes zero waste with little-to-no packaging on their products (if there is, it is recyclable) and shopping for gifts at local shops.
· Kiera Shellhammer, Class of 2021 and Environmental Conservation Major shares her thoughts on giving tickets for an experience (such as a spa day,) shopping second hand, gifting baked goods, and using recyclable wrapping paper.
“There’s so many easy switches to make to incorporate into any lifestyle that is beneficial to the environment,” Shellhammer adds.