‘Tis the season to be merry – and green! With another holiday shopping season now in full swing, shoppers are hitting their favorite stores and online retailers scooping up hot deals while checking items off their lists for loved ones. With all the hustle and bustle, earth-friendly shopping habits might not be top of mind. But with a few simple steps, you can save money while also helping make the environment a cleaner, greener gift shared by us all!
- Carpool with friends – As you head out to your favorite shopping locations, there’s no reason to make the voyage alone. In addition to helping cut down on the stress of stores packed with strangers, making it a team effort will reduce the numbers of cars on the road and emissions in the air. If every American family reduced their gasoline use by one gallon during the holiday season, we’d eliminate one million tons of greenhouse gas emissions. It also frees up parking, which is at a premium this time of year.
- Fuel your car with E15 – E15 is a 21st century fuel option that is ideal for all drivers with cars 2001 and newer who value lower greenhouse gas emissions, clean, renewable energy, and savings at the pump. Americans have already driven over 2 billion high-performance miles on E15. Reindeer don’t run on E15, but chances are your car will love it. Now available in 29 states (including at more than 200 gas stations in MN!), E15 differs from most fuel by containing five percent more ethanol, an American-made biofuel that burns cleaner than oil. Visit GetBiofuel.com to find a location near you!
- Use reusable shopping bags – You may already use reusable shopping bags at the grocery store, but there’s no reason to not use them when you hit the shopping mall. You can even find fun holiday-themed bags that bring a little extra cheer to the season while cutting down on waste. Fourteen million trees are chopped down every year to make the paper shopping bags like those found at most retail stores. Santa has his reusable gift bag, make sure you have yours too.
- Recycle wrapping paper and boxes – Opening presents, especially if you have small children, can result in full-fledged disaster zones. Take a moment to sort recyclable items out from the clutter and place in your curbside bins. If you have wrapping kits, some items like bows and ribbon can be saved for next year. If every family reused two feet of ribbon, it would save 38,000 miles of ribbon – enough to tie a bow around the entire planet.
- Strategically buy online to cut down on shipping – Online shopping is hotter than ever, but multiple purchases from the same retailer will result in needless boxes and more delivery trucks on the road. In 2017, for the first time, shoppers will spend the majority of their holiday gift budget online this year, according to Deloitte’s 2017 holiday retail survey. But be strategic and combine your online buys, it will do much more than just save you money.