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  • Writer's pictureJanee Pennington

RETHINKING THE Giving Season...

Updated: Feb 27

One of my favorite joys in life is giving and gifting to those I love or someone who may just need a little love and support. The holidays can bring a special kind of magic to our lives and so much of that magic is the joy we get from doing for others. Let's be honest, that magic can also bring a level of pressure. For some of us, this pressure can influence us to push past our budgets and reason. Let us also not forget the bags of trash that get hauled out of the house, filled with wrapping paper and plastics. However, it is possible to ease the pressure and make sustainable choices, while still enjoying the mystical warmth and spirit of the season.

If I was a gambling woman, I'd bet money that Santa's sleigh is solar powered and his reindeer have a low carbon footprint. Here are a few ideas to keep your holiday celebrations eco friendly:

+ Wrapping paper, while it does have a purpose, that purpose is short lived and then it is straight to the landfill. A fun way to forego wrapping all together is to hide the gifts around the house and plan a scavenger hunt or give clues for the recipients to find them. This idea may even become a new family tradition. If you must wrap the gifts, consider using leftover wrapping paper and bags from last year or recycle those newspapers as gift wrap. Glass jars recycled from your kitchen can house jewelry, scarfs, baked goods, and other small gifts. Allow yourself to think outside the box. Creativity is our friend!

+ Thrifting is eco-friendly gifting! Buying second hand is not only better for the environment but can usually be budget-friendly as well. My niece attended a red carpet event with us earlier this year and found a gorgeous Tadashi Shoji gown for $20.00. The dress was gorgeous and she loves it. The possibilities are endless. Ask the person you're thinking of thrifting for what they've been wanting to add to their wardrobe and then set out on the hunt (socially distanced with a mask of course). You can often times find vintage finds that sell on Etsy for double or triple the price. A DKNY black blazer? Vintage Levi jeans? A Ralph Lauren sweater? Consider it done. A lot of second hand stores carry other items as well. Maybe your sister would love that retro lamp in her office? The best part is when shopping at thrift and consignment stores, you are usually supporting a small business.

+ Times are tough for some, and that could mean this year's holiday budget is almost non-existent. The silver lining to that is most practically free gifts are also waste-free! Instead of breaking the bank at the stores, consider writing a poem or a song, baking something yummy with ingredients you already have at the house (remember to be Covid conscience when gifting), offering a coupon for a service like cleaning the house or fresh produce from your garden. Maybe you were gifted a bottle of white wine but you're a red wine only person, go ahead and re-gift that bottle! Another idea is to head over to your book shelves and and pass on one of your favorite reads, you can even suggest that they continue to pass it on once they've finished the book. Meaningful gifts don't always have to be bought at a store, you'd be surprised just how much a handwritten letter from the heart can mean to someone in your life. Facebook also has BUY NOTHING sites in most communities. There is nothing like asking for the gifts you would like to give when other people may have the items to give away free. Another reminder to wear a mask and remain socially distanced when picking up or giving items. I absolutely LOVE this site! Waste not, want not.

+ Last but not least, consider sending an e-gift! These days many companies give the option to send your gift card by email instead of purchasing another plastic card that will go straight to the landfills once used. Millions of people buy gift cards every year and if we all switched to e-gifts, it would make a difference! Another plus side is you don't have to worry about misplacing the card when it's saved on your phone. Groupon and AirBnB also have great deals on "experiences" like a pottery class or a guided hike, great ideas for gifting to family and friends.


Wishing you all a Happy Holidays and sending love and light for continued good health. I hope you found today's post helpful! Let's remember to check in with one another. I'll end with this great video with more tips on how to keep your holidays eco-friendly, touching on everything from leftovers to whether or not a real tree vs an artificial tree is more sustainable:

Thank you for checking in this week! Until next time.


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