The Best Ways to Give Back to the Environment

November 22nd, 2022
Reading time: 4 minutes

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As Thanksgiving rolls around, it is important to give thanks. The holiday season is an excellent time for reflection, to look at the world and people around you, and express gratitude. As we get ready to celebrate with family and loved ones, it’s also essential we learn to give thanks for the environment.

Being environmentally conscious this winter is a great way to thank our planet. When we give back to the planet, we aren’t just helping the environment. We are contributing to the fight to ensure future generations can enjoy life as great as ours, with clean air, water, and good weather. Therefore, in the spirit of giving, here are five ways we can honor the season of gratitude by giving back to our environment.


Reduce Waste Contribution

One of the core parts of the holidays is gift-giving. Being able to buy the people in your life something that shows your love and appreciation for them and watching their faces light up is incredibly heartwarming. However, gifts often lead to a lot of waste. Wrapping paper, ribbons, and plastic are all examples of waste that piles up during the holidays. This season, try and reduce your waste by buying biodegradable items, like newspaper or compostable wrapping paper, or even try and reuse bags and boxes from the previous year.


Donate to a Green Cause

Since this is the season of giving, a great way to help the environment is to donate to an environmental cause of your choice. Whether you would like to help the ocean and coral reefs, fight environmental injustice and racism, or give to a nonprofit whose work you admire, there are a lot of different places where you can donate. Some great examples are the Ocean Conservancy, Friends of the Earth, or even a local organization that will directly contribute to your community.


Buying from Environmentally Friendly Organizations

Another great way to help the environment is to buy your goods from environmentally conscious organizations. One way is to buy your Thanksgiving ingredients from a local farmer’s market. You can also research the brands and stores that you are buying from to ensure, for instance, that they have B corporation certification, which means they adhere to social and environmental standards for their products. It’s also a good idea to make sure companies are transparent about the products and ingredients they use and how they reduce their carbon footprints.


Reducing Your Carbon Emissions

The holidays are one of the most significant sources of carbon emissions, with all the travel happening as people visit their loved ones. While it is unavoidable to cut out all carbon emissions while traveling, there are some steps you can take to ensure you are emitting the least amount of emissions possible. One way to consider is taking trains, buses, or carpooling to nearby destinations. If you have to fly, book non-stop flights and use e-tickets instead of single-use paper tickets. 

The holiday season is a wonderful time to share and appreciate the people around you. However, with the changing climate, it is essential we take into account our carbon footprints. The Earth takes care of and nurtures us year-round, and it’s vital that we return the favor.

Woman posing for photo
Liz Mugho
Marketing Intern

Liz is a passionate advocate who loves writing and nature. With a background in marketing, journalism, and nonprofits, she uses her skills in research, storytelling, and communication to ensure that she is bringing forth unique and compelling articles that aid Brightmark’s mission. Liz is a current undergraduate at the University of Washington pursuing a degree in Anthropology.

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