Emphasize Sustainable Holiday Gifts this Year

Emphasize Sustainable Holiday Gifts this Year

It’s that time of year where we exchange gifts with friends and loved ones. The problem for the Earth is when we buy new things we are contributing to global warming. Stuff takes energy to obtain their needed raw materials, manufacture and ship them, with greenhouse gas emissions flowing at each step. And let’s face it, most of us don’t need more stuff.

This holiday season consider giving experiences instead of stuff to please your recipient, support local businesses and nonprofits, and protect the climate. Tickets to the Altarena Playhouse or Alameda Theater are appreciated gifts. Or consider purchasing a gift certificate at one of our many delicious restaurants in town. What about tickets to Subpar Miniature Golf or a round of golf at Corica Park Golf Course? Gift certificates to one of our wineries, distilleries or breweries for those who like to imbibe are fun gifts. Tickets to our town’s museums are welcome gifts such as to the Pinball Museum or USS Hornet. Another option is to make a donation to the recipient’s favorite charity in their honor.

If you must give an item, consider shopping in your home for things you no longer need or hitting up the thrift shops in town for gently used items. Consider home baked or canned goodies. Another option is to give items which protect the climate. My niece and nephew gave us much appreciated LED lightbulbs years ago which are still going strong. In large families organizing secret Santa’s can cut back on the stress of holidays and require fewer gifts.

When you wrap your gifts, reusable gift bags are gentle on the environment as they can be used over and over again. My neighbor and I have been passing the same gift bag back and forth between us for years. Or get creative with wrapping materials such as colorful comics or decorated paper bags. And for holiday lighting opt for LED lights instead of incandescent lights.

Let’s make this holiday season fun and easy on the planet. Happy holidays everyone!