While we make our holiday shopping lists and check them twice, we often forget the true spirit of giving. The spirit of giving can not only be about finding the perfect gift, but also about giving back to our community. We can deepen the joy we spread through environmentally friendly, ethical, and sustainable purchases. Why not try giving the gift of helping the planet, your community, as well as your wallet this holiday season? Here are six holiday gift ideas that are environmentally friendly that won’t break your budget.
Cards You Can Plant
Gift cards and money are some of the most common gifts given this time of year. They allow the receiver to purchase exactly what they want and go on a fun shopping experience well after the holiday season has ended. Gift cards eliminate the pressure of purchasing the exact right thing from your loved one’s favorite store.
But, what about the card you put that gift card or cash in? It usually ends up in the trash by the end of the holiday get together. Seedy Cards on Etsy, for example, uses 100% recycled paper that is infused with wildflower or herb seeds. Once you share your message of holiday spirit and love, the card can be planted to give even more year after year.
An eco-friendly Christmas card?! 🎄🎅 😱 Yep, we stock that! These beautiful cards are made from seed paper & each one is embedded with different seeds, so you can grow your own vegetables, herbs or flowers! https://t.co/RK26eJWqpq pic.twitter.com/F8s6jfbPPu— KiahOrganics (@KiahOrganics) December 16, 2018
Sustainable and Ethical Fashion
The fashion industry is a major pollutant on our planet. Many companies create excessive water waste and use toxic chemicals in their dye and production processes.
Not to mention that the fashion industry has been under scrutiny for creating harsh working conditions for their workers, thus being a major contributor to human trafficking around the world. Amour Vert creates ethical, sustainable, and environmentally friendly fashion.
As a San Francisco-based company, they organically produce their fabrics, reduce and remove any excess waste in their production processes, and work with local factories that provide safe and fair working conditions. Amour Vert will also plant a tree for every tee they sell. They sell clothing for women, men, and children.
#GwynethPaltrow is not just a fantastic actress, she is also very woke and verbal about sustainability. Her company Goop partnered with Amour Vert to create an eco-fashion line of shirts made from organic fabrics, silk dyed and printed with low impact dyes #WednesdayWomanCrush pic.twitter.com/jvN4CP9pH5— HandmadeTag (@handmadetag) December 19, 2018
Reusable and Ethical Kitchenware
Have a foodie in your life? Give the gift of reusability and environmentally friendly kitchenware this year. There are very few people who haven’t seen marine biologist Christine Figgner and her team’s YouTube video removing a plastic straw from a sea turtle’s nose. This video sparked a major movement with many American companies to remove plastic straws from their waste production completely.
Starbucks and American Airlines both announced straw bans a few weeks ago. Figgner states in a Time Magazine interview that plastic straws make up 4 percent of the 9 million tons of plastic pollution waste every year that enter our world’s oceans and wildlife.
You can give the gift of reusable straws here. Now your loved one can feel good about the holiday season drinks they enjoy from their local coffee shop without feeling the guilt of hurting our ocean wildlife.
Other reusable and environmentally friendly gift ideas for a food lover are fair trade and recycled telephone wire cups and bowls from Bridge for Africa, zero waste produce bags for the super market, fabric bowl covers to eliminate using tinfoil or cellophane to cover your favorite holiday salad or Chex Mix recipes, and Unpaper towels that that are produced with zero waste products from the Green and Happy Shop in the Netherlands.
Tech Savy and Energy Saving
Electricity and our electronics are a major part of our lives. A recent study determined that Android users touch their smartphones 2,617 times a day. The frequency of our phone use, and other electronic devices, globally, requires a lot of electricity usage on our planet.
Many people keep their phone chargers plugged into their wall sockets 24/7 without much thought as to how this could be affecting our energy usage. We can reduce our carbon footprint and impress that tech guru with their holiday wish list by purchasing a solar powered phone and tablet charger. Anker creates one you can buy on Amazon that powers both Apple and Android products.
Looking for a good excuse to take a holiday vacation or impress your friend who is a world traveler? Intrepid is a global travel company that is committed to sustainability and safety in their travel experiences. You can give a travel gift voucher for your world travelling friend. Intrepid’s tours are meant to provide a local immersive experience, support local economies, and introduce sustainable travel that focuses on reducing our carbon footprint.
Volunteer or Donate
Give the gift of time or resources back to your community this year. Not sure who to donate to? You can use GuideStar’s Nonprofit Directory to search for charities in your area or search by causes that are important to you.
The holidays are about far more than buying the perfect gift. They are about connection and celebration of the love and joy we share with those who are important to us. Use this year as an excuse to not only connect with your loved ones, but also your community and our amazing planet that we call home.