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5 Tips for a Sustainable Holiday

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5 Tips for a Sustainable Holiday

‘Tis the season of celebrations and gift-giving, providing opportunities to give thanks and share time with loved ones throughout the holiday season.  At the same time, the holidays provide a chance to give back to others, our communities and our planet, and one of the easiest ways to take steps toward a sustainable holiday is through giving gifts and hosting celebrations that give back to the environment.

For this reason, we have compiled a list of several ways your gifts and holiday festivities can go beyond being meaningful for the recipient and make a positive impact on the health of our planet.  Here are five tips to get started:

  1. Reduce Travel – While COVID-19 has put a damper on travel plans for many of us, there are still numerous people traveling to see family.  If you will be traveling this season, consider traveling by car rather than airplane whenever possible.  If a location is too far for a road trip, consider choosing a mid-point location for all family members to visit.  According to Sierra Club, domestic airliners are less fuel efficient than cars (2+ people/car).  That being stated, if you have no choice but to take to the air, flying nonstop is a more efficient choice than booking a trip with layovers.  There is also an added benefit to road travel which is that it decreases your risk of exposure to COVID-19.
  2. Skip the Wrapping – Wrapping paper comes in many styles and designs, and while they can add to overall gift presentation, the paper does not help with reducing waste.  There are many ways to get creative, from reusing paper (newspapers, magazines) to wrapping with reusable bags and containers, or repurposed cloth.  If you still find yourself shopping for new wrapping paper, look for products that are made from recycled paper, and be sure to recycle it again.
  3. Buy Local – When planning your holiday menu or deciding where to shop, keep in mind that you can save on emissions and support your local community by choosing both local and sustainably sourced food and gifts.  Whether you choose to shop at the local farmer’s market for a farm-to-table holiday feast or pull from your own organic aquaponic garden, you can offer both fresher and more sustainable meals.  Additionally, by shopping local for gifts, you will reduce emissions from shipping, as well as benefit your local economy.
  4. Give Sustainably – When choosing gifts to give this holiday, you may want to get creative with products that help your loved ones get started or continue their sustainable lifestyles.  There are so many great ways to give green gifts including but not limited to reusable straws, composting kits, gardening and aquaponics systems such as AquaGrove, online books (instead of paperback), seeds for gardens, reusable water bottles and more.
  5. Give to Give Back – Did you know that you can give gifts that give back on multiple levels?  Think about it… There are numerous nonprofit organizations that work to combat climate change and offer sustainable solutions for a greener and healthier planet, and they are always looking for support.  Consider “adopting” wildlife through WWF for a child who loves polar bears, sloths, penguins or turtles, or planting a tree in someone’s name or their memory through The Nature Conservancy; maybe you have an ocean enthusiast who would like gear or a membership to 4Ocean, Surfrider Foundation or another nonprofit working to keep beaches clean.  For those who are interested in joining the effort to combat climate change, consider gifts from the shop at The Climate Reality Project or other environmentally focused organizations. Gift options are limitless, and they give back to the nonprofit group receiving the financial support, as well as to the planet and the gift recipient.

Making your holidays more sustainable can be easy with just a few extra steps in planning and shopping. Giving sustainably is more than just delivering presents to your friends and family as part of this special holiday season – It is giving back to our environment, which is a gift that will keep giving and provide benefits for many years to come.

To learn more about giving the gift of AquaGrove this holiday and how to get started with your own aquaponic garden, contact a team member today.