It's that time of year again. The Christmas music has begun playing, the sales are on, and holiday shoppers are in full force. As the holidays approach, now would be a good time (if you haven't already begun) to start thinking about what gifts you want to get for your family and friends. We've got three eco-friendly tips to help make your holiday shopping easier.

1. Only Use Reusable Bags

It can be all too easy to get caught up in the excitement of the holidays and shopping for those special people in your life to forget about the impact even the smallest shopping outings can have on the environment.

One of the biggest culprits is plastic shopping bags. To avoid having to accept them every time you buy a gift, keep reusable bags in your car or purse, and use them as an alternative to plastic shopping bags. Most plastic store bags can't be recycled and by letting the store associate know you have your own reusable bag, you might inspire other shoppers to do the same.

2. Buy Lasting Decorations 

You know that Christmas ornament you've had since you were a kid or the holiday decor that came out every year around the holidays? Instead of buying single-use holiday decor which will inevitably end up in landfills, invest in items that will stand the test of time and create long-lasting traditions and memories.

3. Make Eco-Friendly Choices 

Before you go shopping this year, do a little research to find out which companies and brands are environmentally friendly. Lush Cosmetics, TOMS, and Apple are just a few examples of eco-friendly brands that care about the planet.

If you plan on gifting beauty products, cosmetics, or another type of personal care or household product, make sure the Leaping Bunny logo can be found on it. This is an internationally-recognized certification for products which are not tested on animals. If you're unsure, ask any store associate which products are cruelty-free and they should be able to point you in the right direction.

So, when shopping this holiday season, just be conscious of each purchase you make. Ask yourself if the product you're buying is eco-friendly and if the receiver will treasure it or be able to use it more than once.

Do you have any eco-friendly shopping tips for the holidays? We'd love to hear them! Please share them in the comments section below.