5 Ways to Shop Sustainably This Holiday Season

Looking forward to the holidays but want to make sure your gifts are good for the environment? You’re not alone. Environmentally friendly shopping is a growing priority, with even the youngest generation prioritizing sustainability in their shopping. Since it doesn’t take much for businesses to use green colors and leaf motifs on their packaging, it can be a struggle to figure out which products are actually environmentally-friendly and which are just corporate greenwashing. Thankfully, we at Frost Science have done the research and want to share five tips to make your holiday shopping eco-friendly and sustainable. We’re also highlighting green products at our new online Science Store, where you can share the joys of hands-on science with your loved ones! You can also visit the Science Store at Frost Science in person, open daily at 11:00 a.m. until closing.

  1. Minimize the Wrappings
    One of the biggest contributors to holiday waste won’t even spread holiday joy. 40% of plastic in landfills is solely from packaging. Toys can be one of the biggest offenders in this category, especially with the recent popularity of “blind bag” toys. Some toys have almost twice the volume of waste in the packaging than in the actual toys. Instead, look for items that have fully recyclable or compostable wrappings, especially when it can be repurposed as a playset or craft. Speaking of packaging, don’t forget to use eco-friendly wrapping paper or reusable gift bags!

    Our Pick: Animal Set

  2. Use Sustainable Materials
    In 2017, plastic toys made up about 90% of the toy market. In addition to polluting our water, the type of plastic used may not be easily recyclable. Though some plastic is unavoidable, look for plastics that are built to last. When you have a choice of materials, seek out materials like wood, especially recycled or derived from managed forests.

    Our Pick: Kids Sea Life Puzzle

  3. Think Local
    Most of us don’t think beyond the gift-giver, when we ponder where our gifts come from, but many holiday gifts traverse multiple continents before they are wrapped. These trips add up when it comes to emissions and may make even the smallest gifts environmentally costly. Instead, why not check out some of the amazing artists in our South Florida community that use recycled materials to create gifts with ethical supply chains and low carbon footprints? You can support the environment and the local community in one purchase.

    Our Pick: Eco Earring

  4. Help the Next Generation Grow Up Green
    Ask anyone with a toddler, and they will tell you that children mimic everything around them. This holiday, you can take advantage of that by helping kids in your life explore the natural world and learn how to take care of the planet. Not only are green toys packed with fun, but several recent studies have shown that engaging with environmental toys helps kids get excited about being good environmental citizens.

    Our Pick: 100 Questions About Oceans

  5. Give the Gift of Experiences
    Finally, don’t devalue the benefit of gifting experiences. Experiences can last well beyond the lifetime of a gift and can fundamentally change someone’s worldview. Our local community offers hundreds of eco-friendly experiences that make great gifts, from sustainable snorkeling to nature treks, and even beach cleanups. Plus, in our opinion, you can never go wrong with a gift membership to Frost Science.

    Our Pick: Frost Science Membership

Frost Science is proud to support local artists and environmental initiatives that help extend eco-friendly learning beyond the walls of our museum. This holiday season, join us in making your shopping good for the planet! Get your shopping on now with the Science Store.

The Science Store is proudly owned and operated by the Phillip and Patricia Frost Museum of Science in Downtown Miami. Your purchase helps support our nonprofit mission to inspire people to enjoy science and understand its power to positively impact our world.