Eco Friendly Gift Ideas for Holidays
Holidays are coming, and it's time to think about creative and thoughtful gifts. Caring about the environment doesn't mean you can't enjoy giving fun gifts! Here are some ideas that will help with your holiday shopping while keeping waste at a minimum.
For the DIY-ers out there, homemade gifts are a great way to create unique items and reduce waste. You can use up items you already have lying around, plus you get a little creative exercise in the process of making something new. Try using recycled materials or repurposing old things into something useful. If you could, try making something that can be composted or recycled.
Here are some examples:
Braided Bracelets from scrap fabric – by Sandie Seasongoods
No-Sew Felted Mug Cozies – by Garden Therapy
Old Teacup Candles – by Postcards from The Ridge
Paper Picture Frame – by Red Ted Art
Heart Clasp Wire Wrapped Bangle – by Happy Hour Projects
Wood Burned Bottle Stoppers – by A Beautiful Mess
Leather Tassel Keychain – by Lia Griffith
The joy of reading should never be forgotten. Everyone loves to curl up with a good book, but sometimes it's hard to find the right one. If you want to give the gift of reading this year, try giving a book as a present. Books make great gifts for kids, teens, and adults alike!
There are all sorts of ways to give books as a gift:
- You can buy them new at your local bookstore (or online)
- You can get them secondhand from thrift stores or garage sales
- You can even use an old journal as a placeholder until you find the perfect match!
Be Creative with Wrapping
Use pieces of paper that you can reuse, like old recycled gift tags or wrapping paper. Use fabric to wrap gifts. For example, you can cut up an old shirt and use it as a gift bag or make a reusable cloth bag and fill it with goodies instead of using plastic bags! You may even be able to convince your recipient to give their gift back after they've opened it if they love the look and feel of the fabric as much as you do.
If you want to keep things simple and use something traditional, try using newspaper instead of traditional wrapping paper. It's cheaper, easier on the environment, and can be reused several times before throwing away once more into a recycling bin where it will eventually decompose naturally (compared with regular plastic wrapping).
Reusable or Zero Waste Items
Reusable items are better for the environment and your wallet. Plus, they can be used for years and years, which is why they often cost more than disposable products. However, in the long run, these reusable items save you money because you won't have to buy them again and again!
Reusable items can be used in many different ways. For example, a coffee mug could be used to hold flowers or water; a cotton T-shirt could become a dress or scarf; an old pair of jeans could become a skirt or shorts; a container box could be turned into a pen holder (or anything else). You get the idea! The possibilities are endless when it comes down to reusing materials instead of tossing them out immediately after first use.
Gift for Experience
Gifts are so much more than just physical objects. They can be a memory, an experience, and an opportunity to share something special with someone else. When you give an experience as a gift—whether it's tickets to a concert or museum visit or a day trip—you are giving someone something they will remember for years to come. Experiences also create shared memories between you and your loved ones, building relationships along the way.
An experience gift is perfect if you don't know what your giftee wants, but still want them to have something meaningful this holiday season. Physical items may lose value, get broken, and we cannot carry them all the time. But we can carry great memories all the time in our life.
There are many practical items most people will need. If you are stuck with ideas, think about unique or luxury versions of these items.
High-quality foldable umbrellas, reusable shopping bags, cozy socks, personal planners, heating pads, purse organizers, silicone food storage bags, alarm clocks, aprons, lunch boxes, quick-drying travel towels, compost bins...
When you have choices, look for items made of the most eco-friendly materials.
FSC (Forest Stewardship Council) certified Bamboo: Bamboo is fast-growing, self-generating, and more sustainable than timber.
Cork: Cork is the bark from a Cork tree, and it is an alternative to leather. It is an easily recyclable and sustainable material.
Hemp: Hemp is a versatile plant and is used to make a variety of products, fabric, building blocks, home décor, oils, protein powder, and more. Unlike cotton, hemp can be grown with no pesticides and fertilizers. It also yields more than 250% fiber than cotton with much less water.
Recycled paper: Recycling paper is one of the easiest ways to make a positive impact on the environment. Every ton of recycled paper can save 17 trees, power a home for 6 months, and 200 bathtubs of water.
Wool Felt: Felt is a low-impact and 100% biodegradable textile. Synthetic felt is usually made from recycled PET plastic.
Aluminum: Although it is energy-intensive, it is one of the most eco-friendly and sustainable materials. We are recycling Aluminum well and it can be recycled infinitely.
Eco-friendly Paints: Most printer toners, paints, glues, and permanent markers contain VOCs (volatile organic compounds). VOCs are chemicals made from petroleum fuels and high concentrations could cause adverse health effects. Look for water-based, plant-based, or zero-VOC paints.
The end of the year is such a busy time and trying to be eco-friendly is an extra challenge. But it is an essential part of the celebration because we want to have a joyful time with loved ones every year, for many years to come.
Christmas is the most celebrated time of the year, but we should be mindful of waste and environmental impacts. $400 million spent on 10 million unwanted gifts ended up in landfill in Australia, 230,000 tonnes of food waste in the UK, 2,887,500,000 more pounds of waste in the US… A survey conducted by OnePoll reveals additional waste during the holiday season does not help people enjoy the time.
Changing habits is hard, but more people are planning to become more environmentally friendly. When you are more aware of the impact of your actions, you will find many ways.