Yes, its only September, but I can tell you that before you know it, it will be time to think about the holidays, if you aren’t already doing so! Personally, I was taken off-guard by the (seemingly) short summer and was surprised when it was time for back to school a few weeks ago.
If that is any indication of the months ahead, then we need to take steps to plan a green holiday season now! Retailers are already pushing the holiday season. Halloween – a good 6 weeks away – is almost sold out in some stores. Thanksgiving and Christmas are creeping onto the shelves now. And we’re still wearing shorts and flip flops!
When you plan ahead, you can make better, eco-friendly choices! Make your lists now and feel prepared and in control. That will help you spend less, and enjoy the months from October-January a lot more.
Here’s our tips for planning a green holiday season:
- Set spending limits for each gift recipient now. It may help to decide that you have a set spending limit for the entire holiday season and then dividing it up between each of the persons that will receive gifts from you.
- Avoid impulse purchases. Carry your list with you at all times. Check off gift purchases as you go. If its not on your list, wait at least 24 hours before returning to the store.
- Consider homemade gifts when appropriate. Don’t purchase a box of chocolates at the store. Perhaps a gift of homemade peanut butter cups or infused spirits would be just as nice. An investment of time is often worth far more than the dollar these days.
- Talk to your children about expectations. I have four children who each get plenty of time, attention and more over the year. Christmas is not a time for us to go wild. They each get 1-2 gifts from their parents, and we always take them shopping to help out those less fortunate.
- Select gifts that are organic and/or minimize packaging. Did you know that Amazon.com is working with manufacturers to get rid of clamshell packaging in favor of frustration-free options? When you consider that Wal-Mart and Target are not even using recyclable packaging when it is available, you can make wise eco-friendly shopping decisions.
- Prepare meals with organic ingredients and locally-grown food. It will taste better, support local businesses, and keep pesticides and hormones off your dinner plate.
- Plan family get-togethers at home. Don’t go out to dinner. No need for a holiday show. Plan some family fun activities with dominoes, DVDs or even reading books together. The memories you make will be at least twice the money you save -trust me!
- Use LED lights for your holiday decorations. LEDs are more energy efficient and greener than traditional options. Come January or February, your utility bill will thank you for choosing green holiday lighting.
Do you have any green holiday season tips to share?
Please add your comment below!