This holiday season, my goal is to maximize the sustainability of all the gifts I give. This means that I want to try to be as environmentally conscious as possible when shopping for and buying gifts for my friends and family. This is not something that I have done before, and with everything being so new, I found it a little difficult to get started. If you are also interested in doing something similar, I have compiled a list of things that I have learned to make it easier for you!
- Make a Plan
My first tip is to think about some general gift ideas first. In my experience, it can be stressful to try to come up with an idea within the narrow box of “eco-friendly” or “sustainable.” It is better to think of the idea first, without those restrictions, then think of a creative way to make it more eco-conscious. For example, I decided to get my friend a coffee mug and the way that I found to make it more sustainable was to buy it second hand instead of buying it new.
It is also easy to overbuy, so making a list can definitely help!
- Research Your Options
Once you know what you want to buy, go ahead and research different eco-friendly options. There are so many different companies out there that sell sustainable products.
If you don’t know where to start, check out this great gift guide from Brightly to get some ideas!
- Support Local Businesses
A great way to be more environmentally conscious is to simply support a local business! This way, you save on the environmental costs of shipping and packaging that come with online shopping as well as products that are locally sourced and ethically made.
- Wrap the Gifts in Recycled Paper
Once you have your gift, make sure to wrap it up sustainably as well! Most wrapping paper cannot be recycled because it is often dyed, laminated, and sometimes has glitters and plastics. Take these next few weeks to save up old newspapers and magazines from your mail, then wrap your gifts with them.
In the end, it’s on the inside what matters! :)
- Give the Gift of An Experience
If you are still out of ideas, one of the easiest sustainable gifts to give is the gift of an experience. This is especially great for the person in your life who feels loved when you spend time with them. This can be as simple as a promise of a future coffee date or as extravagant as a whole planned vacation (planned for post-COVID times).
Even though the holidays are looking different this year, you can still make them special by trying out new traditions, including finding new ways to give gifts that celebrate both the people you love and the earth!
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