The gifts we exchange during the holidays can have a substantial environmental impact!
Americans spent around $15.2 billion on unwanted holiday gifts in 2019, and 4% of them ended up in the trash, according to a survey by finder.com and Pureprofile. With record-breaking holiday shopping seasons in the last few years, this trend can be bad for our bank accounts, but the environment is also worse off.
It is estimated that millions of packaged and unused gift items are sent to landfills every month, generating enormous amounts of waste borne by the environment.
Returning gifts can also come a hefty carbon footprint. According to an impact report, in 2020, shipping returns alone resulted in 16 million metric tons of carbon emissions. A major proportion of these emissions are from returning holiday gifts. Every returned package leaves a trail of emissions. Have you ever even imagined this?
But no worries, there’s a fantastic selection of eco-friendly options available.
To go greener, consider choosing pre-loved gifts from platforms like FaceBook Marketplace, Vinted or eBay, or opt for local shopping to support your community while reducing your carbon footprint.
Thrill seekers may appreciate an outdoor experience such as a day entry ticket to a park, a wildlife refuge, relaxing spa day, or a pottery making afternoon for that arty person in your life.
For an eco-conscious touch, you can gift carbon offsetting by donating to charities or adopt an animal from a local charity, supporting their rescue efforts and animal care!
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