It’s that time of year. Time for festive lights, holiday parties—and a frenzy of shopping and waste. The reality is, as joyful as the holidays can be, they aren’t easy on the planet. According to the Environmental Protection Agency, the volume of household waste in the U.S. increases by a whopping one million tons between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Day. And while the average American spent $770 on holiday gifts last year, more than a third of the world’s population has less than that—roughly $2 a day—to live on.
Fortunately, there are plenty of gifts you can give that reflect the true holiday spirit of generosity—from protecting our air and water for future generations, to creating opportunity for folks living in poverty.— Phaedra Ellis-Lamkins