The holiday season is perhaps one of the most difficult times to be green. There are so many temptations to shop, shop, shop… and so many of the temptations are such poor choices for the environment. These are some of my thoughts on how to green things up just a little.
Avoid Black Friday Crowds
Admittedly, I have a long standing bias against Black Friday shopping. Comes from even before I thought much about the environment. Too many years working in retail and dealing with Black Friday crowds from the other side.
But it’s really ridiculous to fight the crowds that are so common on that day. To me there’s no Christmas present so important that I have to deal with that nonsense. The bargains are nice, but if you really need them, do consider that there’s Cyber Monday and you could just shop online. It can be more efficient. Sites such as Amazon are even starting “Black Friday” deals today and you might find something reasonable in their special deals.
Carpool if You Just Gotta
If you need to fight the crowds, think if any friends want to go shopping with you. It’s more fun, although you may have to be careful if you tend to buy more when you shop with friends.
And don’t worry about how good a parking space you get. A little extra walking isn’t going to be that much of a problem.
Think About What is Wanted and Will Last
Try not to buy gifts just to have something to give. It’s an easy mistake to make when you’re desperate for something to give, but it also results in a lot of unnecessary junk being bought.
Instead, think about gifts that really will last. It doesn’t have to be perfectly practical, but have some thought behind it.
If you don’t want to give something that lasts, think about free trade chocolates, organic produce gift baskets and such.
For the Kids?
Even kids who spend some time thinking about the environment are likely to want the latest trendy toys. It’s hard to blame them. There are a lot of really cool toys out there.
At the very least, think about if the toys you buy will have more than a momentary fascination for your kids. How many end up eternally in the toy box after a few days?
There are some great toys for kids that are more environmentally friendly too. Try to balance things out as best you can for them.