Caring for the Cosmos
December 2009: Green Shopping
These days, with gift-giving as much a part of Christmas as gold, frankincense, and myrrh were of the story of Jesus' birth, materialism and a sense of obligation can easily dominate the season. To shift the focus back to spiritual matters, consider including God on your Christmas shopping list. By minimizing the environmental impact of purchases, we can give him the gift of a greener earth. Toward this end, I encourage shoppers to review the following tips before hitting the mall.
- Store canvas bags in a closet near your coat, and grab them on your way out the door on shopping trips.
- Browse GoodGuide.com for eco-friendly products and manufacturers, plus ways consumers can help the planet.
- Avoid impersonal gift cards that only generate more trips to the shopping center, opting for homemade crafts, foods, and other items that demonstrate thoughtfulness through their uniqueness and the time invested to create them.
- Steer clear of inexpensive gizmos and trinkets that inevitably break down, disappointing children and ending up in landfills.
- Instead of shopping for everyone on your list, convince relatives and friends to pool names, selecting one each to buy for, reducing packaging, wrapping, and emissions-generating mall runs.
- When not familiar with a recipient's tastes, consider making a donation in their name, rather than purchasing a dubious gift to clutter up their attic.
- Encourage schools and other organizations to let children experience the joy of giving by forgoing favor bags at holiday parties, contributing funds earmarked for goodies to Heifer International. When my daughter's class followed this suggestion, the children reacted with enthusiasm, not the expected disgruntlement, as they perused Heifer's catalog, selecting a farm animal to donate, realizing a mere $20 can make a world of difference to a village.
- Bundle up presents in gift wrap made from recycled paper.
- Send holiday greetings on recycled paper Christmas cards.
Copyright © 2009-2013 by Jennifer Kirsch. All Rights Reserved.