Four Ways to Green Your Holiday Shopping

If you want to keep your environmental impact to a minimum this holiday season, a great place to begin is with your shopping. Before you begin to work on your shopping list, take a look at these tips that you can follow to reduce your eco footprint.

1.Shop Online. According to a study conducted by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, shopping online has a smaller economic cost than visiting malls. The total carbon footprint of so many single vehicles traveling too and from shopping malls and the higher incidences of returns makes shopping at brick and mortar stores less friendly to the planet. In addition, online businesses typically consume less natural resources and energy than traditional retailers.

2. Plan Your Trip. Can't avoid the mall this year? If your holiday season won't be complete without some traditional shopping, plan to spend one day getting all of your shopping done. Plan a route that will result in the fewest miles traveled and be careful about your buying decisions, so that there is no need to make a return.

3. Bring Your Own Bags. When you finish paying for your purchase, place it in a reusable cloth shopping or tote bag, so that you can say no to paper and plastic. Make sure you bring a few with you, so that you can fit all of your purchases.

4.Take Public Transportation or Car Pool. If possible, try to avoid traveling solo in your car. Take the subway or a bus to the shopping center, or make the day a shopping trip with a group of friends. Even if you split up when you get to the mall, you'll save gas and reduce carbon emissions by carpooling.

Do you have any green holiday shopping tips of your own? Share them in our "Comments" section.



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