Make the Holidays GREEN

All the hustle and bustle of the holidays are right around the corner--the sound of children's holiday cheer, smell of hot cocoa, anticipation of family traditions and the search for that perfect present. The thought of being green during the holidays may get lost in the shuffle, but the South Carolina Aquarium has ways to help you and your family give gifts that give back to the planet this holiday season!

Gift your loved one with a South Carolina Aquarium membership. Not only can members visit the Aquarium as often as they like, but they'll receive exclusive benefits like special discounts, invitations to member-only events, a subscription to their member magazine and more. It's truly the gift that keeps on giving!

Shop for the sea turtles with Strawesome and Aardvark Straws. Strawesome has reusable glass straws and Aardvark Straws has paper straws for purchase, each a perfect alternative to single-use plastic straws. They're both adorned with adorable sea turtles, and proceeds go to support the Sea Turtle Care Center™.

Continue to help create healthy habits by gifting other alternatives to single-use plastic, such as reusable bags, water bottles and coffee cups, produce bags, sandwich wrappers, eating utensils and even toothbrushes! There are tons of eco-friendly substitutes for everyday items, so you can help your loved ones minimize their plastic waste and maximize our planet's health and well-being.

Eco-friendly solutions exist for daily skincare routines as well. Many skincare items and over-the-counter drugs, especially exfoliators, contain plastic microbeads that go down the drain and into our waterways. Make a DIY body scrub out of coconut oil and sugar or honey and oats. And don't forget the eco-friendly container! Mason jars are durable, made in many sizes and are great for homemade gifts.

Speaking of eco-friendly containers, did you know there are tons of ways to green up your gift wrapping, too? Newspapers, brown paper bags or even fabric make for creative and fun gift-wrapping presentation. Looking for the perfect eco-friendly topper or special decorative touch? Tie it up with brightly colored yarn, craft ribbons of any size and color out of cloth or make little scrap paper bows. The possibilities are truly endless, so don't be afraid to get creative!

After all the gift giving is over and the decorations begin to come down, families are left with garbage bags full of wrapping paper, empty boxes and decorations that are no longer needed. With a few simple steps, your family can help minimize what ends up in a landfill.

1. Recycle your live Christmas tree at a local Christmas tree recycler.

2. Save wrapping paper and bags to reuse next holiday season.

3. Break down boxes and take them to a cardboard recycling center.

4. Donate the older decorations you no longer use or need.

5. Reuse holiday cards for crafts.


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