Ways to be Sustainable During the Holidays
By Isabella Russo and Acacia Blyth
2,887,500,000 more pounds of garbage are generated per week during the holidays than during the rest of the year. This is an unfortunate statistic that represents the cost that comes with the holiday season. However, this number isn’t meant to make everyone feel guilty or dampen festive spirits. Alternatively, this shocking report is meant to invoke curiosity to search out solutions to reduce our environmental impact whilst still enjoying holiday traditions. One way we can do this is by shopping sustainably.
Before we dive into all the different ways you can make sustainable purchases and seek out companies that value sustainability, we must first understand what it means to be sustainable. In broader terms, sustainability means to consciously take actions that ensure the balance between environmental care, social-wellbeing, and economic growth. In relation to shopping, sustainability is when a brand prioritizes labor equality and safe conditions within factories, positive CO2 and water footprints, and the overall awareness of their environmental impact.
During the holiday season, there is a rapid increase in the amount of gifts purchased, and most are bought through unsustainable companies. This is not meant to shame anyone, as we all shop at these places because of the convenience and accessibility. With the holiday season being as busy as it is, it can be difficult to find the time to shop sustainably. So, as a little holiday gift, we did the work for you. Below are our top 4 sustainable companies that might have just what you are looking for this season.
Mission: To empower women around the globe by partnering with vendors who want to do the same. They help to pull women out of poverty and put them into stable conditions.
2. Diaspora Co.
Brand: Spice company that has ethically sourced and organically grown products
Mission: Purpose is to build a more equitable and delicious spice trade by connecting with the culture and heritage that they source their products from.
Brand: Quality toys for babies
Mission: The company's main purpose is to help children in need. Therefore, with each purchase the company donates 10 meals to children in need around the world.
Brand: Home essentials
Mission: Committed to producing products that are made ethically and in humane ways with strict standards.
When choosing to gift sustainably, shopping at the right companies is only half of it. It is also important to wrap your gifts in a sustainable way. Every Christmas 2.3 million pounds of wrapping paper are thrown into the landfill, most of it far from biodegradable. Thankfully, there are countless wrapping paper alternatives. Here are just a few ideas:
Reuse old wrapping paper
Using leftover paper bags (Decorate!)
Multi purpose boxes
Brand: Eco-friendly wrapping paper
Mission: Provide a solution to reduce the amount of paper wasted during the holiday season with fun styles and durable materials.
While shopping sustainably can be time consuming, difficult, and sometimes expensive, it is important to do so. If you have the resources available, work towards more sustainable gift giving. Doing your part promotes a sustainable shopping culture, something that is more important than you might think. When you shop responsibly you are addressing pressing issues such as human rights and the climate crisis. So this holiday season we encourage you to do what you can to gift sustainably.