Sustainable Gift Ideas for 2020 Holiday Season
The end of November kicks off the holiday season, otherwise known as "the most wonderful time of the year". But for our planet, it's not always the best time of the year.
From extra energy used to light Christmas light displays to excess trash from gift wrap and packaging, the environment can take a beating.
So as you celebrate responsibly during an unusual year, remember to also take the planet into consideration as you are gifting.
Here are some sustainable gift ideas for the 2020 Holiday Season that give back and make a difference.
Sustainable Greeting Cards and Wrapping Paper
Send your season's greetings in a way that truly does bring joy to the world.
One way to do so is with eCards. Because let's face it, most cards end up getting thrown away after the season ends. So not only will you save the waste of the card itself, but you'll also save the trees that would have been used to grow it. As a bonus, these eCards support causes!
But some people like to have the physical card to save or put up on the fridge. If you're buying a physical card, consider buying one that can be planted. That's right, your card could grow into a plant!
Along with cards, traditional wrapping paper also contributes needless waste. When wrapping gifts, use old newspapers or recycled wrapping along with hemp twine. And if you get gifts in bags from others, save them for reuse.
Give the Gift of Plants
Speaking of plants, why not give one as a gift? Lots of plant nurseries now have delivery services which can include a sentimental note.
If friends or family just moved into a new home with a yard, buy them a small tree that will grow to last generations. If they have a smaller indoor space, consider easy-to-care-for succulents.
Or, you could always order a classic bouquet of flowers. Remember to try to go for plant or flower varieties that grow locally to avoid the pollution that comes from importing.
Homemade or DIY Gifts
If you're an artist or creator of any sort, it only makes sense to share your talents with those you are gifting. Whether it's a painting, a ceramic dish, jewelry, or woodworking, they will be sure to cherish it knowing that you created it by hand.
Don't have artistic abilities? As long as you can follow a set of directions, you could still create a thoughtful DIY gift. All it takes is 10 minutes on Pinterest searching "DIY gift" to find something to make. You could macrame a plant hanger. Or you could make a homemade candle with ingredients that are easy to find in your kitchen.
Bonus points if you make a product that helps them live a more environmentally friendly lifestyle, such as beeswax wraps!
Reusable Gifts to Reduce Plastic
Like beeswax wraps, reusable gifts are ones that you can feel good about buying new because they'll replace a single-use product and can be used time and time again.
Many environmentally minded homes have already made these sorts or product transitions, which is fantastic. But some plastic-based products still dominate the market.
Help your gift recipient reduce plastic in ways that are more surprising. Reduce plastic in their bathroom by buying them a bamboo toothbrush, toothpaste tablets (yes, toothpaste tubes are plastic!) or bamboo q-tips. Reduce plastic use in the shower with shampoo bars and a refillable, reusable razor. Reduce waste in the kitchen with a reusable dish scrubber and reusable ziplock bags.
It's amazing how much trash can be kept out of the landfill with simple, affordable product changes. Your gift will help move forward a zero waste revolution!
Symbolic Gifts and Donations in Honor Of
We've all been there - trying to think of a gift to give the person "who has everything". We're scouring shops and the internet for gift ideas for their age group, gender or hobbies, trying to find something so that you can have an item wrapped up for them under the tree.
But gifts don't always need to be something physical. And often the most meaningful gifts are the ones that you can't get from a store.
Maybe it's a "coupon book" they can redeem for help with chores, date nights, or compliments. For long-distance friends and family, it could be a commitment to write letters every month as pen pals.
Most meaningful of all, it could be proof of a donation to a nonprofit for a cause they care about made in their honor. Slip the donation receipt into a plantable card and you not only make them feel good with a gift that carries true meaning, but you also benefit a deserving organization.