Holiday Shopping – Part One

Green Living Tip:  Holiday Shopping – Part One
Adapted by – Jen Fontaine

With the holiday season just around the corner, we’re all likely to be doing more shopping than usual: looking for gifts, shopping for ingredients to make special meals for family and guests. So it seemed like a good time to share a series of ideas on shopping. This is just a first installment, borrowing five tips from a website dedicated to this area:

  1. Look for solar- or hand-powered devices, rather than those that require batteries. Since this is not always an easy search, consider looking into rechargeable batteries.
  2. Avoid synthetic fragrances and air fresheners. These often contain phthalates, which are also found in nail polish and other products, and are at best questionable in terms of their health impact. To give your home a holiday feel, consider just keeping some cloves and cinnamon sticks simmering in a pan on the stove.
  3. Beware of plastics; some of these contain Bisphenol A, better known as BPA. Try to use and choose stainless steel, aluminum, or glass; and consider safe wood toys decorated with lead-free paint.
  4. Don’t buy wrapping paper (even if it’s recycled!). There are dozens of other creative ways to wrap gifts:  use a pretty towel or napkin, a scarf, or even the Sunday comics. This may seem like a small adjustment to make; but apparently, Americans produce 25% more trash during the holiday season, which amounts to 25 million tons of garbage!  Quoting from the site below:  “[I]f every American family wrapped just 3 presents in re-used materials, it would save enough paper to cover 45,000 football fields.”
  5. Be wary of the term “natural,” which actually doesn’t carry much meaning. Look for labels that certify products as organic, non-toxic, fair-trade, etc.  A list of labels we can trust are given on the site.


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