Tag Archives | green shopping

5 Budget and Eco-Friendly Holiday Gift Shopping Tips

5 Budget and Eco-Friendly Holiday Gift Shopping Tips Sweet Greens
While this time of the year is the most wonderful  – it is also the busiest. You may feel like there are so many things that you need to prepare and buy and deciding where to start can be overwhelming. Instead of getting things done ahead of time, many of us tell ourselves we will get everything done when the holidays get closer. Then, the next thing you know the holidays are upon us and we end of spending too much money, getting completely stressed out, and not making the best choices – not exactly the feelings that you want to experience. It happens to the best of us, right?To get your holiday shopping off on the right foot, I thought I would share my favorite budget and eco-friendly holiday shopping tips. These are all tips that I use every year to make sure that this time of the year is definitely the most wonderful without breaking the bank or losing my head!

1. Make a List – Check it Twice
Every year, I create a simple holiday gift list in my iPhone. It includes the name of everyone on my holiday shopping list, gift ideas for each of them and my spending limit per person. Since my list is on my phone, I can consult and update it at anytime. Then, I mark off each person as I finish their holiday gift shopping. This has saved me a lot of time and money and I never have to ask myself – did a buy a gift for so and so? Or, how many gifts did I buy for Eben or the mister? I just check the list and I am done!

2. Start Early
The earlier that you start your holiday shopping, the better. Just think, if you finish all of your holiday shopping early, you can spend the day after Thanksgiving at home, snuggled up with your family and a yummy warm beverage. I can’t think of anything more stress-free then having all of the holiday shopping done before December even arrives. It really frees up all of December to focus on making fun memories with my family. This is another place that #1 comes in, if you shop early picking up items when you find them on sale – you save a ton of money.

3. Shop Locally
Instead of hitting the closest big box store this holiday season, consider supporting small, independently owned businesses. Many towns have a shopping area that is filled with adorable shops that focus on the work of local artisans and many have eco-friendly options. In my opinion, a handmade gift is the best gift! You could also give a gift from your local farm, such as; fresh vegetables, fruits or dairy items. Another option is to check out Etsy for fantastic handmade goods, you can click here to shop Etsy shops located in your local area.

4. It’s All About Quality
Each year, I like to focus on purchasing the mister and Eben quality gifts that they will enjoy for years and years to come. I focus on items that I think they will really enjoy and steer clear of items that are disposable, or would only be enjoyed temporarily. My favorite items to purchase for them include; books, experiences (see below), heirloom quality items that they will keep forever and gifts that focus on their favorite hobbies.

5. Give the Gift of Experience
I am a huge fan of giving the gift of experience, some that I have given in the past include annual passes to local nature and science museums, state parks, botanical gardens, art centers and even scuba lessons. I think gifts that allow the recipient to learn something new or go to place they have always wanted to see builds memories and brings much more happiness long-term than any material gift could ever could. Plus, it’s just another excuse to spend more quality time with my family – and that is the best gift of all.

What are your favorite holiday shopping tips? Please share them in the comments section – I would love to hear! 

5 Green Tips for Back-to-School Shopping

colored pencils

It’s that time of year again! If you have more than one child or your only has been through a few rounds of back-to-school, the novelty of buying all new supplies and clothes may have worn off now that you realize what an impact fall shopping has on your wallet and the environment. Read on for 5 simple tips for back-to-school shopping.

#1: Go Through Last Year’s Supplies
Most teachers call for a pretty generous supply of notebooks, folders, pens, and pencils. Go through your craft room or office to see if you have any untouched notebooks or folders in good enough shape to reuse. It’ll save you time and money and prevent unnecessary waste.

#2: Try On Last Year’s Wardrobe
Not all clothing items or brands fit the same—some run bigger than others. Plus, clothes that are worn less frequently have also been washed and dried less frequently and may still offer some wiggle room. Have your student try on last year’s clothes to see if there’s anything you can salvage before buying new. For items that have been outgrown buy second hand or from a sustainable, green brand in cases where you must buy new.

#3: Check Amazon
Before spending a fortune on new text books and the English class reading list, check Amazon! Chances are you’ll find what you need in like-new condition for much less. Buying used books where possible is a much greener option. If your student isn’t required to make notations, you can sell them back at the end of the year—bonus!

#4: Send a Waste-Free Lunch
The average American family spends $400 extra per year on disposable lunch ware and creates about 4,320 pieces of trash—mostly plastic packaging—unnecessarily. Not to mention the fact that plastics contain harmful chemicals like BPA and phlalates. Send your kids’ lunches to school in a reusable lunchbox, and replace bottled water and boxed juices with stainless steel bottles you fill at home.

#5: When Buying New, Buy Green
There’s no doubt you’ll still need to make some new back-to-school purchases this fall. Look for brands that use recycled paper and pen or marker canisters to make new supplies. Green backpack, shoe, and clothing brands are springing up everywhere, too!

What’s your favorite way to go green during back-to-school shopping?

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