Extra shopping during the holiday season–gifts, packaging, decorations, lights–all come with with a spike in emissions and waste. But you don’t have to be a Scrooge or a grinch to celebrate more sustainably. In fact, you can give a lot of joy by giving experiences instead of stuff. Even if you replace only few wrapped gifts with single gift of spending quality time together, you will have notably cut your carbon footprint.
Consider giving gift certificates to classes, a massage, concert tickets or a shared meal. Research shows that people end up happier when they spend money on experiences instead of stuff, and gifts don’t even have to cost money to mean a lot to your recipient. You could plan a beautiful day in nature with a loved one. Know a new parent or someone with young kids? Offer a few hours of childcare. Do a chore for a member of your family or roommates. You could even write an “IOU” for sharing a skill of yours that someone admires, like knitting, ice skating, baking or even taking the perfect selfie.
It might sound cheesy, but creating memories together will last longer than just about anything that needs to be gift-wrapped.
Photo credit: senivpetro