Often times the best gift you can give someone is your time. Spending a day with someone you love is a great way to embrace the spirit of the holidays and lower your waste at the same time! Plan an outing or invest in an activity instead of buying a last minute or generic gift. Limiting material consumerism is a great way to gift a little greener and still enjoy the season of giving. Create memories that will last longer than any physical gift, without the unneeded packaging or wrapping!
As we near the winter solstice, this time of year can feel exceptionally bleak. Finding energizing hobbies and pastimes is the perfect way to combat the cold.
Tap into your creativity and reduce your carbon footprint at the same time this holiday season. One way to do this is at KID Museum’s Maker Gift series, where kids can make their own holiday gifts in age-specific workshops that include light-up holiday cards, stuffed ornaments, and 3D-printed cookie cutters.
KID Museum also offers Child or Family Memberships for a green gift that lasts the whole year. The museum emphasizes creative thinking, collaboration, and perseverance through the act of making something. For example, the museum’s Invent the Future Challenge invites middle school students to design and develop their own solutions to environmental issues. These are skills that will continue to make an impact way beyond the holidays. www.kid-museum.org
Montgomery County Parks hosts several festive events during the early winter season. Attend the Garden of Lights at Brookside Gardens through December. Listen to local musicians and enjoy a cozy cup of hot cocoa. If you’re looking for another way to get out of the house and experience the winter weather, take someone hiking on one of your local Montgomery Parks trails! This is a refreshing activity and an opportunity to explore the area with your favorite hot beverage. For more winter fun, check out one of Montgomery County’s skating rinks located at Cabin John and Wheaton.
Consider giving someone a monthly membership to a yoga studio or Rec Center. Montgomery County Recreation has a variety of memberships that allow access to weight rooms, pools, exercise equipment, and game rooms at several facilities. Treat a friend to a yoga, meditation, or pilates class through ActiveMONTGOMERY’s Fitness & Wellness programs. Use this link to download a printable experience gift certificate.
Shifting our focus away from material gifts and towards more quality time spent with family and friends brings much needed brightness and warmth. There are many ways to spend a little extra time engaging with those around you this season. Host a craft, baking, or holiday movie party. Maybe take someone out for a hearty meal or a stroll in the park. Attending local sporting events, exhibits or shows will provide entertainment for everyone and is the perfect way to enjoy those you love most. Even writing someone a personal note or card, explaining the reasons they rock, will always lift their spirits! These are all great options to reduce our waste and embrace the reason for the season.
This blog post written by Natalie Sanford, a volunteer with the Department of Environmental Protection and loves ecology, climate science, and sustainable lifestyle alternatives. She graduated from Appalachian State University with a degree in Environmental Science and can be found on LinkedIn.