The holidays are a time to give back and enjoy the company of the ones you love. Here at the NOAA Marine Debris Program, we love our ocean and we hope you do, too! So during this season of giving, consider giving back to our ocean by taking a few of these simple steps to make your holiday “green.” There are lots of little things we can all do to have both a joyful and environmentally-friendly holiday season!
Practice some smart shopping. When doing your holiday shopping for gifts and groceries, think about the packaging those items come in. If possible, opt for items with minimal packaging or stock up on bulk ingredients. And of course, don’t forget your reusable bags, which are not only environmentally-friendly, but much sturdier for when you’re stocking up on ten pounds of flour (true story).
Skip the disposable cutlery. It’s a special time of year to spend with the people that we care about, so celebrate by taking out the nice dishes and silverware and skipping the disposable stuff.
Try some reusable and creative wrapping ideas. Consider wrapping your gifts in something other than wrapping paper. There are so many cool ideas that not only make your gifts stand out, but help to make your holiday green! Consider reusing old newspaper or some of that packing that your gifts were shipped in. Even better, think about using reusable fabric to wrap your presents this year. Some families even choose a particular pattern for each person and reuse them year after year, making a fun new tradition! If you’d like to be the gift-giving champ, think about “wrapping” a gift within another gift, like a gift wrapped in a pretty new scarf or a present tucked in a new purse or shaving kit!
Take care of any packaging the right way. There will inevitably be some waste at the end of your holiday merriment. Make sure you take care of it the right way—save the things that can be reused next year (you may never have to buy wrapping paper again!) and recycle what you can.
Want some more ideas to keep your environmental impact low this holiday season? Check out these tips from the NOAA Office of Response and Restoration. It’s the season to spread some joy and love around, so remember to do your part to show our ocean some love this holiday.
Happy holidays from the NOAA Marine Debris Program!