As we approach the end of 2023, the hottest year on record, how can we approach the “season of spending” with sustainability in mind?
Sustainable spending isn’t only about spending less, it’s also about helping the planet and supporting ethical practices.
If you’re looking for some cost-effective ways to make your holiday celebrations meaningful, memorable and sustainable, consider the following:
- Support local businesses and artisans. Shopping at local markets and stores can reduce your carbon footprint and boost your community’s economy.
- Give experiences that create lasting memories rather than contribute to clutter. Concert or theatre tickets, a spa day, or cooking classes make for great gifts. According to research, experiences are often better appreciated than material gifts.
- Gift no-cost gifts. People tend to overestimate the correlation between the cost of a gift and its emotional impact. But low- or no-cost gifts, such as home-baked treats or teaching someone a skill they’ve been wanting to learn (e.g. knitting), convey thoughtfulness, care and appreciation. They also tend to generate less physical and financial waste than material gifts.
- Purchase items made from sustainable (e.g. recycled) materials or reuse wrapping to reduce waste. When I travelled to Japan, I discovered that they have turned the practice of wrapping gifts using fabric, known as furoshiki, into an art form!
- Give back to your community, by volunteering your time or donating to charitable causes you care about.