As much as holidays like Thanksgiving and Christmas are essential in people’s lives, many experts call it the most wasteful months of the year as American people generate 25% more trash during this time. This 25% of extra trash weighs around 25 million tons in total or 1 million tons per week. These figures are only in The U.S. alone, so the global amount would be so much higher.
If that’s not an alarming figure, then imagine how the planet will look like in the next few years if this trend continues, especially as these extra tons of trash are mostly made up of plastic, which eventually breaks down into microplastics.
These smaller plastic particles eventually break down into smaller pieces called nanoplastics, which are virtually invisible to the naked eye. Studies show that these nanoplastics end up in the ocean, consumed by sea animals you eat, which means they will end up in your body and enter your tissues and organs.
While there is no technology capable of cleaning up the mess of the previous generations of wasteful holidays, you can make a difference by joining the no-gift holiday club that many families are already part of. It is an act of revolution to save the future of the planet. But if you’re bummed out by this idea of not giving and receiving gifts for the holidays, it is understandable. Fortunately, there are alternatives to it that also have lesser environmental impacts.
The No-gift Holiday Alternatives You Should Know About
It could be difficult for many to break away from something you’ve gotten used to, even if it means a better future. But to help you ease into consuming less until you get used to not giving and receiving gifts for the holidays, here are some alternatives you should try for the upcoming holidays:
1. Give Something That You Own.
Buying something from a store is easy as many shops accept all kinds of payment forms. It is something that many people appreciate, but the gifts that don’t serve people any purpose, the wrappers and plastic bags they come with, will only contribute to the growing trash problems. Some of them will never be used even once, discarded, and never be recycled until they end up in landfills.
So, do the planet a favor and pick gifts from your wardrobe or book collection that you don’t use anymore. As long as they are still in good condition, it would be appreciated. You could also choose to give a toy, home décor, kitchenware, or a plant. It’s the thought of giving that matters after all.
2. Give Something Hand-Made or Homemade.
Crafting brings out your creative side, and it could also be something you could use to make something you want to give to your family and friends for the holidays. For starters, you could make a personalized greeting card and decorate a paper bag you’ll be using to wrap your gifts in.
Now, you could sew or embroider something wearable like a hat or even a tote bag for the gift itself. Another option would be to make pillow covers, framed art, a wall decoration, a phone casing, or even some baked pastries. The list of options is endless, and whatever you make and give will surely be appreciated as what you’re giving is something original and not mass-produced.
3. Give Some Tickets, Coupons, Subscriptions, and Vouchers.
Gifts don’t always have to be material, as you can also choose to give a magazine subscription, discount coupons, and some vouchers. These gifts would allow your gifts’ recipients to choose something they need and will use, which would lessen the unnecessary waste generated by the holidays.
Additionally, if you choose to give these kinds of gifts, you could also buy one for yourself, allowing you to join your family and friends to create a memorable experience that no material gift could ever give. So, if you decide to buy tickets to see a movie, a Christmas dinner, a trip to a museum, or a trip to a different city, then you could all go together and enjoy the day making beautiful memories that you can treasure. The holidays are about togetherness so these gifts would be apt for the occasion.
Happy Less-Waste Holidays
If you think about it, giving your family and friends your time and making their holidays something memorable is the spirit of Christmas. You don’t need to continue feeding the capitalist system with your hard-earned money. This holiday season, save your money and save the future and celebrate the holidays without feeling guilty.