Can you believe how fast (and slow) this year has gone by? It’s already November and soon enough it will be the holidays! The holidays are full of joy and cheer but can also be incredibly wasteful. From food waste and a Christmas tree to the piles of wrapping paper, at the end of the holidays there’s a lot going to the dump. Luckily, there are many ways to help prevent this waste. Here are five tips for eco-friendly gifts.
First, consider giving experiences. Yes, this year is a little more difficult, but we can still be creative! Is there a local drive-in that you can give a gift certificate to? Or how about an outdoor class? Giving experiences oftentimes supports local businesses who need a little extra love during these times and, of course, there’s no waste!
Another way to give an experience, is through gifts like this fermentation kit:
If in-person classes aren’t available, kits like this one are a nice way to help friends and family learn a skill they’ve been curious about!
Give a Service
Any service that you don’t have to do yourself is a luxury. Something as simple as giving the gift of having someone’s car or house cleaned can feel glorious–especially during the stress of the holidays. Letting your friends and family relax is one of the best gifts you can give!
Give Something Homemade
Perhaps you’re an amazing baker or you can knit the most beautiful scarves. Homemade gifts are filled with love and that’s the whole point of the holidays, right? To show those you love that you love them?
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Consumables are great because they don’t clutter people’s houses! A nice bottle of wine or some decadent chocolates are a thoughtful but less wasteful gift compared to a durable item which they might not use or have to go through the hassle of returning.
Give Natural Materials
When choosing a non-consumable gift, make sure to look for natural materials. For kids toys, go with wood, metal, cloth, and wax–i.e. nearly any material except plastic. Plastic toys are usually not constructed as well and thus don’t last as long.
These crayon rocks make great gifts or stocking stuffers. They’re made from all natural soy wax from soybeans grown in the USA. These rock crayons come in vibrant colors made from mineral pigments. You can get 64 in a cardboard box, or 8, 16, or 32 in a cloth bag.
For adults, choose natural fiber cloths like cotton, silk, or wool for clothes, linens, or blankets. These materials are more luxurious and don’t shed plastic microfibers when washed.
Give Reusable Gift Wrapping
Finally, when wrapping presents, consider reusable wrapping. Wrapping small gifts in a cloth napkin or using a cloth produce bag is a great way to reduce waste while gift wrapping.