Even though last week’s article was focused on Bill McKibben’s $100 Christmas, I’ve got a hunch that we are all going to spend a bit more than that. So, if you haven’t gotten your tree or all your gifts already, what are some good, sustainable gifts you can get for those you love?
Let’s start with the tree. Please avoid a plastic tree. Yes, it can be used over and over again. But when you are finally done with it, that plastic will still be polluting the world for centuries. In the meantime it will be shedding microplastics into your home every time you brush against it. It is very unlikely to save a live tree from being cut. Just look at the lots the day before Christmas. You’ll see many sorry trees still siting there waiting to be chipped. So get a live tree. Cut it yourself if you can. It’s fun to trump around in a tree farm, find the perfect tree, cut it down and take it home. A fresh cut tree lasts longer anyway. When decorating, don’t use “icicles.” Most are made of plastic, and they make it difficult to properly dispose of the tree. Without them, when Christmastide is over and the ornaments and lights are put away, all you need to do is put your tree on the curb for it to be picked up and turned into mulch. Better yet, if you own land, buy a live evergreen from a local nursery. Enjoy it indoors, then put it out in the cold to go dormant until spring when you can plant it.
As for gifts, there are many, many websites catering to sustainable gift giving. Here are just a few of them:
Free the Ocean has toiletries, household goods, clothing, candles and toys
The New York Times has an article, “Sustainable toys for the holidays,” in its “Climate FWD” newsletter (scroll down to the second article).
Grist has “79 Climate Friendly Gifts” to peruse.
If you are going to shop locally or online at a small business (a really good idea right now), the Washington Post has a list of things to consider when trying to shop sustainably.
And if you are searching for a gift for the person who has everything, a gift to your local food pantry in their name might warm their heart more than another possession.
Finally, here’s a climate news quiz about space cooling and green giving.
You can find this and all the Creation Care blogs for the church website I have written at a consolidating blog I have created: ststephenscreationcare.blogspot.com
Thanks for your interest in caring for God’s creation!