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Protect Our Planet and Your Health This Holiday Season

Five tips for more sustainable giving and gathering.
sustainable holidays image

Climate change is a major public health crisis, and we believe we must all, as an organization and as individuals, act to be more sustainable. At Blue Shield of California, we understand the intrinsic relationship between the environment and personal well-being. We have ambitious goals to be carbon negative by 2023 and have zero-waste operations by 2025.

With the holiday season upon us, it’s time for giving and gathering – and frankly, a lot more waste. On average, Americans throw away 25% more trash from Thanksgiving to New Year's. That's about one million extra tons of trash per year, according to the Environmental Protection Agency

More garbage means more air pollution, planet-warming greenhouse gases, water contamination, and resource consumption. But there are things, big and small, that we all can do to produce less waste this holiday season and protect our planet.

In line with Blue Shield of California’s sustainability and NextGen goals, here are a few environmentally-friendly best practices for decorating, entertaining, and gift-giving to help you celebrate more sustainably this year:

  1. Prepare your favorite meal or dessert using seasonal produce from your local farmers market.
  2. Celebrate by volunteering with a local charity.
  3. Wrap up your work week early and give the gift of presence to friends or family.
  4. Join a Buy Nothing group, wrap your gifts with old maps or magazines or give an experiential gift like a museum or park pass.
  5. After the holidays, recycle your holiday plants by turning them into mulch.

New to sustainable giving? Here are some great resources to get you started this holiday season: