This holiday season, there are many ways we can be mindful of being more sustainable and eco-friendly with our shopping, hosting, and gift-giving! According to Vox, "Reducing one's carbon footprint requires more frugal sacrifices than buying less stuff (such as flying less, eating less meat, using more public transportation), but it's a good place to start. This holiday season offers a bizarre, supply-chain-induced opportunity to change our shopping habits, give more thoughtfully, buy more locally, and less overall. Most households are hard-wired to splurge on end-of-year gifts, and it's unlikely people will ever stop even if the crisis worsens. The supply chain issues can, though, lead us to buy more conscientiously."
Here are a few tips we at Keep Nature Wild strive to implement in our lives and at our warehouse to be as sustainable as we can during the holiday season:
1. Shop Local
When you shop local, you support mom-and-pop shops and keep dollars in your local economy. Shopping local is a meaningful way we can all support our cities and have less impact on shipping and travel time for items to arrive and packaging.
2. Gift Wrap with Recycled Papers and Fabrics (and opt-out of excess packaging from shops and shipping)
Opt to wrap your gifts with recycled paper, newspaper, burlap, fabrics, reused boxes, and bags, or more. Decorate with nature! Use pine needles, leaves, materials, and more to accent your gifts.
3. Gift Experiences Over Things
Instead of giving things, gift experiences. Creating memories together is so valuable, and spending quality time with loved ones doing an activity is much more sustainable than gifting items!
4. Consider Where Your Holiday Meal Ingredients Are Coming From
According to CleanUpNews, "When you're sitting down for your Thanksgiving feast, think about where your food came from. Major turkey processors rely on artificial breeding to fulfill the demands of U.S. consumers during the holiday season. This includes artificial insemination, continued breeding of a single hen, and then the harsh treatment of chicks to be bred in preparation for Thanksgiving.
Instead of supporting these corporations, try buying 1) turkey from a sustainable local farmer, or better yet, 2) focusing on more plant-based dishes. A more veggie-focused dinner will not only challenge you to try new recipes (and maybe start new traditions), but it will reduce the environmental impact of your Holiday season overall."
5. Sustainable Hosting
Are you hosting your family or friends for the holidays? Consider sustainable hosting. Skip plastic / single-use paper plates and cutlery and use reusable options. While this may include a little more cleanup time, you are doing the planet a big favor keeping these items out of landfills!
6. Homemade Cards and Gifts
One study shares that "the amount of cards sold in the U.S. during the holiday season would fill a football field ten stories high and requires the harvesting of nearly 300,000 trees."
Instead of contributing to this trend, make your own cards and gifts that are more heartfelt and sentimental!
7. An Eco-Friendly Christmas Tree
Head to your local Christmas tree farm or, better yet, get a permit and head out to cut down your own Christmas tree this season!
When the holidays have passed, and you're ready to get rid of your tree, recycle it! Most trees end up in landfills even though many cities have Christmas tree recycling programs, turning old Christmas trees into mulch or wood chips. You can also discard your tree in ponds and lakes where fish use them as habitats (where permitted).
These are some of the ways we can have a more sustainable, mindful holiday season and we hope you'll shop small and do good for nature!