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Gearing up for the Holiday!

I love the Holidays.  I love getting together with family, and eating yummy foods, and taking a break from everything else that’s going on in my life to remember something more peaceful.  But, there’s a downside to the Holidays.  If you’re like me, you struggle with the implications of the Holidays – the ‘need’ to buy things for everyone, and the ‘need’ to buy the ‘right’ gifts for everyone.

With so much telling us that we need to buy, buy, buy, how can you approach this season in a way that doesn’t revoke your environmentalist credentials?

The answer: Think outside the  box. Here are some tips that I follow to try and make the Holidays a bit more ‘green.’

1. Look for handmade gifts from local vendors.  The high-spending time is the perfect time to give those local small businesses your support.  Check out Etsy (you can search for local sellers using the search tools on the left hand side) for great handmade things, and make it to those Holiday Craft Bazaars.  Yes, you’ll see some horrible sweaters at them, but you’ll also find some great, unique gifts with a story attached to them!

In DC, you can check out Eastern Market, or the Holiday shop in front of the National Portrait Gallery.

2. Look for alternative ways to wrap your gifts.  Giving someone a bottle of wine? Cut the sleeve off a shirt, sew up the bottom, and tie with ribbons! Use magazines for bows (fyi, making paper flowers is a great afternoon activity with friends! And a great excuse to spend hours on pinterest!), or paper bags for wrapping paper.  Use your creativity! Wrapping that took some time to make won’t get thrown away and will show the recipient a little more love.

Check out this link for more ideas.

3. Make sure you’re gifts mean something – don’t just buy to buy.  Is the gift something the recipient will use or enjoy? or is the gift just a social necessity? If it’s just for social necessity, maybe try making something small that you can give to all those people: little ornaments that take just a few minutes to make, or a homemade rice-krispie treat wrapped in a pretty bow can fulfill those duties and still spread Holiday cheer.

4. Don’t forget that people love homemade baked goods! I love it when people offer food for a gift. Something  yummy is always a plus.

What other green holiday tips do you have? Tell us on Facebook, or on Twitter!

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