Rethinking the holidays

It’s that time of year again. The days are at their shortest, the temperature has plummeted (at least here in Illinois), and the stores are hitting all of us with messages to buy, buy, buy.

Whether you’re tired of the commercialization of the season, want to lighten up your environmental footprint, or just don’t have a lot of money to spend on gifts, here are some alternatives to consider.

New Dream’s guide to simplifying the holidays is a good place to start.  The site includes SoKind, an alternative gift registry that encourages the giving of homemade gifts, charitable donations, secondhand goods, experiences, time, day-of-event help, and more. It also features a catalog of low-cost, non-material gift ideas and a printable coupon book, an easy-to-use template that you can print out, customize, and give to family and friends of all ages.

Looking to give the gift of experience instead of stuff? The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency’s list of 50 things you can give that are more about experience is a great place to start. Although some of the suggestions highlight Minnesota experiences, they can help spark ideas that are local to you (or your recipient).

Finally, you can give the gift of charity this holiday season. Make a gift contribution to an organization that does work that’s important to your friends and family.

For other tips on reducing holiday waste, see:

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