Dreaming of a green Christmas? Well, the first place to start thinking about how your holidays impact the world around you is with the presents you buy. In this article, we are going to take a look at each step in the gift giving process and how you can make choices that keep your presents a little bit greener, from cloth diaper covers for the new mom to refill candles that are all-natural..
First of all, consider how you shop for presents. Instead of going out seven or eight times to different stores, why not make a list of the presents you would like to buy first, and then see if there is any place you can get everything at once. One great (and obvious) first choice is a mall. Toronto is full of malls, and it is likely that you can find all the gifts you need at just one spot. And that means less CO2 going into the environment from your vehicle! Or better still, visit an women's online clothing store and don't use the car at all.
Next, think about the type of presents you are going to buy. Both the materials that are used to make the gifts and the amount of packaging used for the gift are important here. You might, for example, want to make a present of a collection of Bobby Orr memorabilia to the hockey fanatic in your life. Or, maybe you're getting an aquarium test kit for a fish lover. Instead of choosing a package that includes an unnecessary amount of Styrofoam and plastic covering, choose a gift that is packaged in a minimal amount of superfluous wrapping.
And then there is the way that you package your gifts yourself. Up until recently, gift wrap wasn't a huge deal, as long as you remembered to recycle it. However, all recycled materials from Canada were being bought by China and India up until a few months ago. A burgeoning middle class in each of these countries means that there is more demand for new material rather than products made from Western recycles. Therefore, gift wrap just sits around and waits to be incinerated rather than recycled. To be truly green, try using no wrapping or re-usable gift bags instead. Or, get a gift that doesn't need wrapping. If you have a child that loves being active, a class in contemporary dance will give them months of fun and requires no material supplies.
From purchase to wrapping, the way you give presents this Christmas will have an impact on the world around you. As with everything else, make conscious decisions to use products and methods that minimize your eco-footprint!