Going Green this holiday season doesn’t have to be difficult. In fact, it can even save you some hard earned money. Here are my top tips for greening up your holiday gift giving this year.

Skip the Wrapping Paper

Bring new life to old paper items in your home. An old calendar, newspaper, map, atlas, magazine, fabric pieces, or greeting card can be repurposed into a beautiful wrapping paper. Don’t be afraid to get creative. This is a perfect project for children. Here are some great homemade wrapping ideas from EarthEasy.

Shop Online

Online shopping can not only be more convenient, but it can also be a little greener. Shipping trucks and warehouses tend to run a little greener than the average consumer. So save your gas and make your purchases from the comfort of your own home. During the holidays you can also find some spectacular deals online so you may save a little money in the process.

If you really want to ensure your items are getting to you in the greenest possible manner, purchase products from an online retailer that uses green shipping methods. Most retailers who use green shipping will have a green shipping seal on their site. You can also sign up for an individual account to ship your packages.

Purchase Gift Cards

Gift cards are a great way to green up a little bit. Try purchasing an online gift card that can be emailed to the recipient. They will require no printing, no plastic, and no waste. There are tons of great online retailers with paper and waste free gift cards. Most large retailers now have an e-card option for gift card giving, or check out an online boutique savings site like Kudzoom for a unique e-card gift.

Buy Local

When you do decide to head out for some holiday shopping, consider buying local merchandise. Buying locally ensures the money you spend contributes more to the community where you live. Plus you can find some of the most unique and treasured gifts from your local artist or artisan.

Buy Green Gifts

Consider purchasing green gifts. Many larger cities have local green directories, or check out the National Green Pages for a list of green businesses.

Give the Gift of Time

New gifts are nice, but some people do not require a physical gift to be happy. Consider if someone may benefit more from your time. You can offer your services as a gift for someone who may need them. Know a new momma? Consider gifting her a night (or two) of free babysitting, or a nice homemade dinner. Sometimes you may be more appreciated than any physical gift ever would.

Giving green doesn’t have to be a hassle. As you can see, it can save you time, money, and sanity. What ways do you plan on greening up your holiday giving this year?