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Practicing Sustainability During the Holidays 

Updated: Dec 28, 2020

The winter holidays are all about spending time with family and friends and showing appreciation for those people. One way this is commonly done is through gift-giving. Gift-giving has become a giant for many industries, creating a boost in sales. But gift-giving has its negative effects too. One gift people like to give is the gift of an animal, as a pet for the receiving person. Another problem associated with gift-giving is the wrapping of the gifts.

But what happens when the appeal of having a pet wears off, or the person who received the gift doesn’t have the resources to properly care for another living being? Many pets given as gifts are returned to shelters, torn from the families they may have bonded with and isolated. When a shelter passes full capacity, some pets may even be put down. Every holiday season, shelters are flooded with unwanted animals, especially cats and dogs. This is even more of a problem when, in these times of uncertainty, people can’t provide for themselves, let alone another pet.

This season, don’t give someone the gift of a living being. Instead, you can buy them an adoption certificate for an endangered animal. They can have cute plushies and photos of the animal they saved, while not having to take care of it themselves. With this, you can give the gift of an animal without jeopardizing a real one.

Another sustainability problem the holidays bring is wastefulness. We all know how much excess goes into preparing for the holidays- from expensive, wasteful light displays to consumer overconsumption- but one problem we may all be guilty of is over-wrapping presents. Every year, people buy rolls and rolls of gift wrap for their gifts, or to stuff their baskets with. Then the gift-receiving people tear off the wrap and throw it away. This creates a lot of waste. As a sustainable alternative to plastic, paper, or cellophane gift wrap, you can cut up spare fabric and use it to wrap gifts. This will give your gifts a personal touch and allow you to customize each gift wrap, while being good for the environment. This holiday season is more conscientious about what gifts you give, and how you wrap them.


“Should You Adopt A Pet During the Holidays: Michelson Found Animals.” Michelson Found Animals Foundation,

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