Christmas might be a little different this year for many of us, but that does not mean it cannot be a wonderful one. We can make it more wonderful by making sure that our festivities this year are as sustainable as possible. Here are a few ideas for sustainable holiday gifting:
Avoid Buying Heavily Packaged Products
During holiday seasons, many shops would market their products at a holiday premium by wrapping them with layers and layers of nice-looking packaging. A typical example would be chocolates. I love chocolates myself, but it is sad to see how most chocolates are being sold in all these unnecessary packaging. Choose your gifts wisely and sustainably would be the first step to go sustainable. Keep things simple, after all it is all about spending the quality time with your family and friends.
Give Practical Gifts and Spread The Word About Sustainable Living
One great way to show someone how much you care about them is to buy them practical gifts – something that they really need, something which will help them live in a sustainable way themselves. Giving practical gifts could also reduce the amount of waste going to landfills each year after the holidays. For example, an eco-starter bundle could be a great choice for someone who may have expressed an interest but has not yet started to switch to sustainable living. Or perhaps some gardening tools, to help them grow their own plants.
Choose Gifts Made from Eco-friendly Materials
When looking for sustainable holiday gifts, you should always think about the material they are made from, and where they come from. Of course, this analysis of materials should extend to the packaging too. Try to only choose items made from eco-friendly or biodegradable materials. For examples, candles are common small gifts, but many are petroleum-derived products, coming at huge environmental costs and reducing air quality at home. Instead, you could opt for something more natural and sustainable – beeswax candle, for example could a good choice.
Consider Gifting Experiences Rather Than Things
Of course, when thinking about sustainable holiday gifts, it is worthwhile considering that you do not have to give a physical object at all. To eliminate material costs and packaging altogether, you could consider gifting experiences rather than things. For examples, tickets for a bakery class, soap making class, or even a day-pass to your favorite theme park.
Consider Making Home-Made Gifts
Another idea is to make your sustainable holiday gifts at home. This could speak so much about the love and joy you want to share with your loved ones. For example, you could make some edible treats, some homemade soap bar, some natural beauty products, handcrafted objects or artworks. There are plenty of options to consider which means you do not necessarily have to buy anything at all.
Avoid Plastic Wrapping Paper
Whether you are making you own gifts or buying them, wrapping could understandably be important for most people. Keep in mind that most, if not all, wrapping paper ends up going to garbage bins right away. Unfortunately, there is just a huge amount of single-use waste going to landfills each year after Christmas. That is not what the festival should be about. Therefore, it is important to choose how you wrap your gifts. Avoid buying wrapping paper as much as you can (most wrapping paper comes with plastic coating or is from unsustainable forestry enterprises and paper pulp mills). Do not use plastic ribbon or other plastic elements. Instead, find alternative packaging options. For example, gift in glass jars or old ceramic items, wooden boxes, or reclaimed fabrics. Or reuse the packaging you got from previous purchases, such as reusable bags, or even a shoe box.
Christmas is one of our favorite festivals of the year. 2020 has been quite a special year which helped us appreciate more. We wish everyone happy holidays with your loved ones.