The holiday season has officially arrived! So, today I wanted to share with you all some eco-friendly gift ideas and wrapping styles to help you make a more conscious effort for the planet this holiday season. I want to preface this post in saying that perfectionism is not the goal when it comes to being more environmentally conscious.
Small steps are great and you do not need to conquer everything all at once. The only point is to be more AWARE of what is going on and how our actions effect the planet. I am not perfect, you are not perfect, we are all humans and we are all flawed. So, embrace the learning challenge and recognize that every little step helps.
ECO-FRIENDLY GIFT IDEAS
1. REUSABLE GIFTS
A reusable product for a friend or loved one is the gift that keeps on giving. They can use these products with pride and know that they are making a difference by choosing a reusable product over a single use product. Some of my favorite products that I use include:
- Beeswax wraps (alternative to cling wrap)
- Reusable cooking tray cover (alternative to using aluminum foil)
- Yeti Mug (or similar reusable mug, I really love the Yeti because it stay warm or cold for over 8 hours)
- Reusable Water Bottle (I love the brand Contigo because they are affordable but any will do)
- Reusable Tea Steeper (You can purchase biodegradable tea sachets to fill yourself at home, or opt for a metal tea infuser)
- Reusable K Cup (I am not a coffee drinker, but my parents use this quite often when making their coffee)
- Plants (I would love to receive a plant as a gift, and with so many different varieties, there is one for everyone)
- Reusable Shopping and Produce Bags (This is a great gift to give to someone who wants to become more environmentally friendly. The mesh produce bags are fantastic to eliminate the use of the plastic at the grocery store.)
This is where Pinterest becomes your best friend. If you want to get a little crafty this holiday season there are tons of things you can do with items that you probably have lying around in your house. Check out my DIY board on Pinterest to get some ideas.
3. EXPERIENCES OVER THINGS
This holiday season I have tried to be really aware of what the person really NEEDS. Do they need another black top or another pair of pajamas? Probably not. So, I have tried to find experiences for my friends and family that we can do together. This could be a concert, a show, a day trip somewhere, or it could be as simple as a dinner date planed by you. Get creative and make memories with the person in a new way.
4. MAKE SOMETHING EDIBLE
Take out the baking trays and get going on some of your favorite holiday treats. Giving someone a nice tin of treats during the holiday season is a very thoughtful gift. If baking is not your thing, try preparing some freezer meals for your friends and family. Maybe you have an amazing lasagna recipe that you want to share, this is a great way to do so. This type of gift is especially good for new families who are busy, or for elderly people in your life.
5. SHOP ETHICALLY
When purchasing your gifts try to shop from ethical companies that are looking our for the planet, their employees and for the animals. There a few websites I like to refrence when determining the ethical score for companies. These include “Good On You” and “Ethical Consumer“. Check out these websites while compiling your holiday shopping list. “Good On You” even has an app so you can check on the go.
6. SHOP LOCAL
Instead of paying for shipping or scowering big box stores, opt to shop local. By shopping local you are supporting members of your local community and their families. For many small shops and small brands the holiday season income is what thy depend on to keep their business sustained for the rest of the year. Go to a local vendors pop-up or ask your friends and family what their favorite local company is. By supporting local, you are supporting your community and many families in the process.
ECO-FRIENDLY WRAPPING IDEAS
1. OPT FOR PLAIN WRAPPING PAPER
Most wrapping paper is not recyclable because of all of the glitter and dye put into the paper. However, if you opt for things like butcher paper, newspaper, old cloth, or thin wrapping paper you will be able to recycle it. To jazz up the plain wrapping paper get creative. Draw on the paper or use some fun stamps to make it look more festive.
“Wrapping paper can only be recycled if it passes the scrunch test – simple paper wrap can be recycled but foil or glitter-decorated paper cannot and needs to go in the general waste.” (P.S. before recycling your paper be sure to remove any bows or tape, this can not be recycled)
Learn more about why wrapping paper can not be recycled.
2. USE PAPER BAGS
Instead of using shinny plastic bags at Christmas, go for paper bags. These are available at most Dollar Stores or Craft stores and they end up being cheaper than the typical bags. If you want to jazz these up, draw on them, or use things like twine and paper gift tags, or some foliage to make it festive.
3. USE A REUSABLE SHOPPING BAG AS A GIFT BAG
By giving a reusable gift bag, you are giving an additional gift. Not only, will your gift be given in something ethical, it can also be reused by the person for years to come. This is a bit of a more expensive option than paper gift bags, but it is a great alternative and a gift that keeps on giving.
4. REMEMBER: THIS DOES NOT NEED TO BE BORING
Just because you are using more plain products does not mean you have to make the gift wrapping boring. On the contrary, get creative with it and have fun. Below are some inspiration images that will help to get you excited about wrapping in this way! Don’t forget, the wrapping is really not what is important in the gift giving process, it is the gift underneath and the gesture that really matters.
I hope that this post gave you some inspiration and ideas on how you can make the holiday shopping season a little more environmentally conscious. If you have any ideas that you want to share feel free to leave in the comments below or in the comments on my latest Instagram post.
QUESTION: HOW WILL YOU USE THESE TIP TO MAKE IT A MORE ECO-FRIENDLY HOLIDAY?
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Your trusty, gutsy gal,
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