The student news site of Glenbard South High School in Glen Ellyn, Illinois

The Independent

The student news site of Glenbard South High School in Glen Ellyn, Illinois

The Independent

The student news site of Glenbard South High School in Glen Ellyn, Illinois

The Independent

The Wizard of Oz: Interviews with the Cast
Olivia Abbott and Aniyah NelsonApril 7, 2024


A Guide to Sustainable Shopping this Holiday Season

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Complete this season of giving by considering more sustainable avenues of shopping! Source: Openbravo

The duration of time between Thanksgiving and New Year’s is considered peak shopping season, where consumers across the United States are in a constant state of gifting and regifting- trying to search for that one perfect parcel that will bring a smile to the face of a loved one. 

Holiday time also coincides with surging consumption of products produced by unethical, environmentally negligent and fast fashion brands. Sustainability in fashion and marketing is a turbulent topic, with companies eager to display their green habits and factors of production to consumers. 

Despite new green methods that companies may exhibit, the fashion industry remains one of the largest culprits amidst the growing climate crisis. According to a study conducted by the United Nations Environment Program, “the industry is the second largest consumer of water”, and is responsible for “8-10% of global carbon emissions, more than all international flights and maritime shipping combined”. 

The good thing is that you can make a fundamental difference in curtailing overconsumption during the holiday season by engaging in intentional, micro habits. Keep reading to learn how you can encourage others to limit their shopping habits and conserve money during this busy time for consumers, while still enjoying the giving nature of this season. 

Begin Searching Online

A majority of consumers attribute their compulsive buying habits to spontaneity and a lack of research prior to their shopping excursions. When it comes to sustainable shopping, researching before you begin searching for gifts is a wonderful way to be frugal during the holiday season. 

Websites including EarthHero, Ultimate Green Store and 4Ocean contain a host of zero-waste, environmentally-friendly alternatives to typical fast fashion or unethically produced products- and they are offered at an affordable price!

Search for Sustainable Packaging

According to research done by the CDC, if every single family in the United States switched over to wrapping merely three presents in reusable and recyclable materials, it would conserve enough paper to “blanket 45,000 football fields”. 

You do not need to swap out aesthetics for sustainability though. Although some types of bold, non-recyclable wrapping paper can look particularly appealing during the holiday season, opt for packaging like newspaper, biodegradable paperboard or jars to store your goodies in. 

Even better, consider making your own gift for a loved one! Oftentimes, recipients of this heartfelt gift will be extremely appreciative of the care and forethought that goes into making a gift that is not store-bought. 

Think Outside the Box

Many people revert to the tried and true candle, food item or sweater as undeniably enjoyable gifts for friends and family. However, all of these products produce single-use plastic, which can actively be prevented by swapping out an item for an experience.

Examples of gift “experiences” could include concerts, sporting events, community events or classes to learn a new hobby. All of these options prove to be a rewarding and memorable  experience for all involved, and something that will often stick with them as opposed to a fleeting gift. 

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About the Contributor
Matilda McLaren
Matilda McLaren, Feature Editor
Hi! My name is Matilda McLaren and I am a senior and the feature editor for this year. I am involved with Best Buddies, Future Medical Professionals Club, and Student Equity Council. In my free time, I enjoy reading new books, playing sand volleyball, watching my favorite TV shows, and going to Panera!

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