General Guidelines for Green Gifting This Holiday Season

Date: 2020-12-22 01:50:32

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The end of each year poses the same dilemma to people concerned about the fate of the planet. Buying stuff drives a significant chunk of global greenhouse gas emissions—high-income countries, which make up just 16% of the world’s population, are responsible for nearly half of consumption-related emissions—meaning that we’ll all have to do a lot less of it to avert irreversible climate catastrophe. But … it’s the holidays! Sharing gifts with family and friends is a wonderful thing. “I didn’t get you a present because climate change” doesn’t sound very festive.

There’s no perfect way to shop. Going in person vs. ordering online would normally be one way to reduce the emissions associated with your present-giving, but this year, that’s not exactly advisable. Certain rules still apply: Avoid plastic and other petrochemical-derived products; one well-made, durable gift is much better than multiple cheap ones; and where possible, support a local business.

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