Sustainable Gift Ideas

Merry Christmas! If you’re anything like me you’ve been thinking of special Christmas gift ideas for the special people in your life since November 1st (or honestly since like September….). Gift giving can be such a fun and special way to show your friends and family you love them. Whether it’s a heartfelt card or a gift they mentioned in passing that shows how much you listen, Christmas presents show how much you care. However, there are some definite downsides (which is very hard for me to admit, as a real Christmas enthusiast); feeling the need to spend money, buying presents you’re not even sure if people will like….and of course – the waste. 

I have been trying to slowly make changes in my everyday life to try and live more sustainably. I’ve been trying to put more thought into my purchases; will I use this for a long time? How much packaging is there? Can I find this second hand? If not – is it made ethically etc.? So of course, this year I’ve been thinking more about how I can still give my friends and family special Christmas gifts, while still trying to stick to values (as much as I can of course…no one’s perfect!) So here is a list of some ideas I’ve been coming up with for sustainable gifts!

1. Second hand! 

Maybe take a look around a thrift store for some gifts! Some good ones in Guelph are Plato’s Closet, Value Village, and the Patch. Whether is a cute accessory, vintage sweater, or 2nd hand décor pieces, thrift stores can be a great place to check before buying something new.

2. DIY 

Can you make someone a gift?  It can be incredibly heartfelt to receive a gift that someone made you! Some ideas for DIY gifts are homemade cards, candles, photo collages or photo albums, or make a homemade calendar! You could also make some homemade sweet treats. YouTube also has tons of ideas and tutorials (check out one of my favourite Canadian channels TheSorryGirls, they just made a video of DIY gift ideas: )

3. Upcycle

You could also combine the first 2 ideas; and upcycle something you find at the thrift store! Again, there are loads of great ideas and inspiration online. 

4. Reusable

One of the things I have been trying to do is reduce my waste; I do my best to bring a reusable coffee mug everywhere, use reusable straws, etc. You could definitely pick up some special gifts to reduce your loved one’s waste! Here are some ideas: 

  • Coffee mug (just picked up an adorable one from Indigo)
  • Reusable straws, or cold drink cups (who wouldn’t love one of those cute Starbucks)
  • Reusable cutlery set and takeout container

5. Gift card to ethical fashion

Shopping ethically can often be more expensive than fast fashion, which is a definite deterrent for lots of people. So why not pick up a gift card to a store with excellent values, but slightly less excellent prices, to lessen the blow? Some ideas are Frank and Oak, People Tree, Everlane or Reformation. 

6. Support Small

You could also check out local shops, they are often more ethical than the bigger chain stores. It can be an excellent feeling to support local artists as well! Things like the One of a Kind fair in Toronto, Fair November in Guelph, or local artisans can be excellent for picking up beautiful and special gifts.


I hope these ideas helped you out a bit! Happy holidays everyone ☺ Good luck with the gifts!