You’ve got a dilemma: You want to give gifts that your friends and family will love during the holiday season, but you want to do so without creating undue environmental impact — not such an easy task in today’s global economy.
Mass-market merchandise requires raw materials — petroleum products, rare-earth minerals and so on — that are often toxic to extract. Manufacturing byproducts and product packaging go into landfills and oceans, where they can last thousands of years.
What’s more, even things that break down or recycle easily often travel long distances to get to your front door, using fossil fuels and other non-renewable resources. So even if you buy imported foods for the holiday feast, you add more carbon to the atmosphere.
But there are ways to at least minimize your impact during the #holidays:
1. Support small, local businesses. The closer you are to the product’s source, the less fuel it takes to get to you. Locally grown foodstuffs and handmade items — that one-of-a-kind scarf from the craft fair, for example — have minimal environmental impact and are usually better than anything you can find at a big-box store.
2. Shop sustainable businesses. Businesses that pledge to recycle, use #sustainable materials, plant trees and offset carbon emissions are easier on the environment; just be wary of claims that seem too good to be true. “Fast fashion” brands are some of the worst for creating trash.
3. Give an experience. Tickets to the movies, a local play or concert; a restaurant meal; or gift certificate to a yoga session, spa or salon make great gifts that don’t require a lot of sweatshop labor or create extra greenhouse gases.
4. Shop the thrift. Giving used goods a second chance is a great way to keep lots of clothing and household items out of landfills while saving money. Bonus? Buy from a #thrift shop supplied by #donations to ClothingDonations.org, and you’ll help fund veterans programs.
5. Donate. #Charitable organizations need help on Giving Tuesday and throughout the year. Choose a cause that aligns with your giftee’s goals and #give in their name. It won’t be the same as unwrapping the latest air fryer or smart speaker, but still makes a thoughtful #gift.
#Giving can be its own reward — especially if you shop #sustainably.
One way businesses salute the nation’s veterans and current service members is to offer them special discounts on Veterans Day. Chains such as Baker’s Square, Red Robin and California Pizza Kitchen offer a free meal with proof of service, while retailers such as Walgreen’s, Dollar General, Target and Publix will offer percent-off and other deals over the long weekend. What’s more, the national parks will waive admission for everyone this Veterans Day — and give disabled veterans free Lifetime Access Passes in gratitude for their service.
There are plenty of ways to celebrate Veterans Day in the nation’s capital, Washington.org says. An annual wreath-laying ceremony at the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Wall will honor those who gave their lives in Vietnam, and memorials dedicated to the U.S. Navy, Air Force and Marines will also host thousands of visitors. Museums often have special programming for the event, and there’s usually no charge for veterans and current service members. And the Washington National Cathedral will host a tribute concert to veterans on the eve of the holiday featuring its choir and the U.S. Marine Orchestra.
The Fourth of July is one of the biggest holidays of the summer. It’s perfect for family vacations and trips to the beach or the lake. It’s also a time to reflect on the independence and freedom that we have as Americans. Take the time thank veterans for continuing to fight for our freedom!
Memorial Day is symbolic for many reasons. For many people, it signifies the start of summer. It represents the beginning of camping season and time spent around the pool and the grill. Memorial Day makes us excited for the warm, sunny days of a brand new summer, waiting with vacations and adventures.
But, the most important reason for Memorial Day 一 actually, the only reason we even have Memorial Day 一 is to honor those in the United States Armed Forces who have lost their lives serving our country. It’s an important reminder to all of us to take the time to truly be thankful for the freedoms and safety we have due to the brave men and women who fight for our country.
Wondering what you can do to give back to veterans in your community? We’re glad you asked!
Any and all of the donations you make to us go toward funding and supporting the programs we provide to veterans. We accept:
- Clothing items (sweaters, coats, shoes and more)
- Kitchenware (storage containers, cooking utensils, pots and pans)
- Accessories (jewelry and scarves)
- Entertainment/media items (DVDs, CDs and board games)
Making a donation to us is easy and stress-free! Simply put your gently used items in a bag or box marked clearly with the words “for donation.” Then, visit our website to schedule a donation pickup time. Set your bag or box outside by your mailbox, and we’ll come by to pick it up for you. It’s that easy!
Another way to honor our veterans is to simply say, “Thank you.” It doesn’t seem like much, but acknowledging how much you appreciate their service will mean more than you know. Also, while some veterans don’t want to talk about their time serving, some do. Ask them about being in the armed forces, and if they offer up information, be sure to listen.
We hope you had a great Memorial Day this year and enjoyed your time with family and friends. But we also hope you took the time to give thanks to the people who allow you to celebrate.