Earth Savvy Ways To Keep The Joy In And The Waste Out of Your Christmas Holiday Celebration

Here we are again in the midst of the Christmas holiday season and the rush is on for the right gifts, festive decorations for the home, food for the holiday table, and outfits for holiday parties. It is also the time of year for countless published statistics on holiday waste, along with articles and snippets about keeping the Christmas holiday green. So at the expense of sounding mundane, keeping Christmas green lessens the negative impact on our environment and provides a positive example for those loving Christmas the most… children. Keeping an eco-friendly balance on the Christmas holiday season doesn’t have to take the joy out of the celebrations and shouldn’t take much effort to accomplish.

A large portion of holiday waste is product packaging. Opting to buy local greatly decreases the amount of packaging needed. Shopping your local stores with re-usable bags eliminates the use of plastic bags or paper bags otherwise needed to get items home. One step better is to use your re-usable bags and shop a local farmer’s market or craft fairs as chosen items are not in commercial packaging. Gift wrapping too is a consideration in excessive product packing. Rather than wrapping gifts in newly purchased gift wrap, opt for no wrappings and just tie up with natural hemp or flax string, pop in a re-usable bag, or use items around the house that can be recycled. Pieces of fabric like old sheets or pillow cases, newsprint, or old maps, decorated with items like old buttons or ribbon, make interesting gift wrap and support the effort of saving our forests. Plus, kids are so creative and will have fun making their own wrappings. If wrappings are bought, purchase from an eco-friendly store wrapping paper made from recycled paper or sustainable fibers such as hemp.

Plastic has a huge negative impact on the environment and the more we can keep out of landfills the better. Avoid Christmas decorations and gifts made from new plastic or that use any kind of petroleum. There are many more eco-friendly options available. Decorating with ornaments made from recycled paper embedded with wildflower seeds can be planted after the holidays; holiday eco home decor like recycled glass serving trays and dishes add elegance to holiday entertaining while eliminating stress to the environment resulting from new glass production; natural fragrance soy wax candles avoid petroleum, support the American Farmer, and bring a soft holiday glow to any room. Already in possession of a lot of holiday stuff? Don’t toss it just to buy new! Instead get creative and re-use or up-cycle.

Gift giving is the fun part of the holiday season and if you choose wisely you can keep it earth friendly. BPA free recycled plastic toys will bring delight to any child while being safe for their health and the health of the environment; garden boxes with seed paper to plant after the holidays, or live plants, add natural life to outdoor and indoor spaces; and natural skin care products void of the chemicals and preservatives that contaminate waterways, are perfect earth savvy gifts. Consider too, holiday gift giving doesn’t have to be about things, it can be a certificate for an outing or get together, or a promise to help with a chore.

Nothing seems to be in more overabundance during the holidays than food. It is a large part of the holiday season and provides comfort and enjoyment as we sit with family and friends. Take an account of past holiday feasts and you’re sure to admit you can reduce the amount of food on your menu. Fruit, bread, and dairy products are the most common items that get thrown out, so these are a good place to start. If you find that once again you have made an entirely too much food, take it to a food shelter! Feeding the hungry is soul warming, especially during the holiday season, and sets a good example for children. Scraps left from plates can be used to feed animals or added to the compost pile. When shopping for your holiday meal, remember to buy local to avoid excessive packaging, cut down on shipping and fuel costs, and support your local farmers. And for goodness sake, re-usable tableware is the way to go to keep things eco-friendly with the added benefit of a shared family activity… dish duty!

Putting on ‘the Ritz’ is a fun part of the holiday season, but fast fashion items do so much damage to the environment and in many cases are not considerate of workers. Responsible fashion items that are Fair Trade, made from organic and sustainable fibers, or are recycled or up-cycled are considerate of our delicate environment and factory workers. Organic growing methods prohibit the use of any chemicals providing a pure product for consumers with no damage to the environment. Fair Trade items take into account the workers and assure factory conditions are up to par and fair wages are received. For eco-friendly holiday fashions, shop consignment stores for recycled fashions, hold clothes swaps, or re-work a fashion from your closet to minimize negative environmental impact. If not handy, on-line stores offering organic cotton, hemp, and bamboo clothing from green manufactures are the best place to shop holiday fashions. Adhering to green standards for manufacturing, packaging, and shipping, the offered products have a lower carbon footprint.

The Christmas holiday season is a joyous time to spend with family and friends. Just a little bit of thought and consideration toward reducing waste, lowering your carbon footprint, and giving to those less fortunate, sets a good example for children and reduces the negative impact on our environment. So this holiday season as you rush around for decorations, holiday gifts, and party attire, pause to give thought on how lucky we are to have all that Mother Nature offers and plan to put in a little effort to keep it green.

Saving Tips For Shopping Holiday Gifts and Toys

As holidays are quickly approaching, many people have already turned to Internet for their Christmas Holiday Shopping to save time, money, gas, and avoid crowds. Online shopping is not only convenient, it’s safe too. If you are planning to undertake a frugal holiday shopping without a big hole into your pockets, then take advantage of these tips that will enable you to shop economically for Christmas gifts and toys. Here are some tips to make your online holiday shopping a little easier and more frugal.

  • Set up a budget: The first step to be considered before you start shopping is setting a budget, and sticking to it; no matter how many great deals or bargains you find!
  • Search for coupons: Start searching for best coupons as soon as possible. Because coupons and deals with huge savings come a month or weeks before Christmas and they will not last for a longer period.
  • Price comparison: Compare the price of the same product at different stores. Some of the best prices comparing sites are Bizrate, PriceGrabber.com, NexTag, and Shopzilla, where you can easily see the rebated prices of a product available across various stores.
  • Make use of credit card: It’s best to make your online purchases via credit card. A credit card offers an extra level of protection in case something goes wrong and the online store is not handling the situation to your satisfaction. Most credit card companies will reverse a charge if you dispute it for good reason and have tried your level best to resolve the problem to no avail.
  • Shipping details: Be sure to check the shipping details and handling charges before you make a purchase. Many stores offer Free Shipping coupon separately while others may have discount coupons including Free Shipping.
  • Check for secure e-commerce: Be sure, that the store from where you are making online purchases is offering secure purchases. If the site is offering secure purchases then it will display it. For those that does not, look for the http: in address bar to change to https: on store’s shopping cart or page where you put in your credit card number.
  • Look for electronic deals on Black Friday and Cyber Monday: If you’re planning to gift a gaming console like Xbox, Wii, PlayStation or a tech gadget to your kid this year, then it would be a better option for you to shop for Black Friday and Cyber Monday deals. Many stores offer huge discounts for a short span of time on these particular days.
  • Deal Alerts: You may also subscribe for e-mails from retailers as they include coupon codes and alerts to discounted “online-only” deals.

Last but not the least, if you have the storage place and saved enough money via online shopping, then you can stock up and get a head start for next year, by taking advantage of After Season Sale. Many stores provide huge discounts on decorative pieces and toy sets after Christmas. So, this can be one of the best times to buy gifts for New Year or Birthdays.

Go ahead, and do your Holiday shopping online. You would be pleasantly surprised at how stress-free your holiday shopping can be by following these simpler ways.

Happy Shopping!!

How Do Online Product Reviews Help Consumer Decision Making?

With the growth of online shopping on the internet, online product reviews sites are of great help in the decision making process for consumers. After all, they cannot gain physical access to a particular object one is considering to buy, such that they merely utilize the information provided for them by these sites to come up with a decision.

Online product reviews are known to be the latest emerging marketing strategy on the internet. Aside from the sites intended mainly for posting reviews about certain products, old or new, in the online market, there are also forums wherein people who have recently used the product can provide useful information for decision support on other consumers. In some cases, the feedbacks listed on the site can forecast the actual performance of the product or model upon launching on the market. After all, the pre-release marketing has been considered as one of the strongest factors that could indicate actual performance, especially with the high level of accuracy that reviewers have provided.

At its core, online product reviews sites are intended to provide product information and is geared more towards personal usage experience at the core of the review and evaluation of the product. Each aspect of the product or model is analyzed to suit each individual user’s needs and preferences. Whether users value affordability, utmost functionality, ease of use, or innovation of technology, each of these aspects are evaluated during product reviews for an idiosyncratic match. It is also a great way to promote the word-of-mouth marketing and create more buzz about a certain product.

For the reviewers, they use varying metrics to come up with a benchmark for a particular product or model. It is therefore a valid way to provide useful information for different population segments and come up with realistic feedback.

Aside from consumers, sellers also make good use of online product reviews. It allows sellers to come up with the counteractive marketing strategy to respond to the consumer reviews published on various sites online, which particularly tackle on two basic questions: when and how. The information provided on the consumer review utilizes two aspects of information regarding the product: the information attributed to the product and the information formulated by the buyer or tester of the product. The latter type of information has more weight since it expounds on the actual product performance aside from what the product claims to do or deliver.

The timing of release for consumer reviews for certain products therefore set as a strategic variable that both parties (consumers and sellers) can use to their advantage. Of course, how one person utilizes the information provided in the review is dependent on the individual preference and criteria that a consumer has created for them. Hence, one can notice the increasing amount of online product reviews currently available on the internet since they serve as a good source of information for those who want to make intelligent buying decisions. Just make sure that if you are going to utilize this information is to look at the site’s credibility to ensure that the consumer review information you got is valid.