by Monica Starr
As the holiday season quickly approaches, we find ourselves looking for unique and thoughtful gifts for our loved ones. During this time of the year, it is important to remember what the holiday season is truly about and the fact that our actions continue to impact our environment. Giving gifts that are sustainably sourced from local businesses can be a great way to approach this time of year through an environmental lens. Purchasing eco-friendly gifts that you know will be put to good use is not only beneficial for the person receiving it, but it is beneficial to our environment as we transition into the new year. Similarly, supporting some of our amazing local businesses that we have here in Florida is a way to support other families throughout the season. There are countless ways to be more environmentally friendly this year and this holiday guide can give you some great ideas!
It can sometimes be difficult to find companies that manufacture products sustainably with a low carbon footprint, but taking that extra time to research where you are buying from can make all the difference. Most companies are proud of their sustainability plans and will advertise accordingly. If you have the time this holiday season, take that extra step to research the business or company that you are financially supporting. From there, purchasing useful gifts that you know will not end up in the trash shows commitment to sustainability and the person receiving the gift will appreciate it. Similarly, purchasing gifts from local businesses that do not need to be shipped across the country will reduce vehicle pollution and most likely save you money on those additional shipping costs. There are numerous popular local shops all over Florida that fit the environmentally friendly
As we approach the holidays, thinking about the gifts we give and their impact is so important. Using wrapping paper alternatives or gifting a reusable bag is a great way to avoid waste. Other small things like using LED lights instead of older bulbs is much more efficient. Setting an appropriate timer on your outdoor lights can help save both energy and money. The holidays are a great time to reflect on the year and it can be a great fresh start to embracing sustainability while making environmentally friendly choices.
Monica Starr is an intern with Ecology Florida, serving as the Public Communications Facilitator for Ecology Florida News. Monica is a graduate student at the University of South Florida studying Global Sustainability.