It's that time of year again, where many of us are getting ready for the holiday gift-giving season. And as many of us are learning, this practice can often be very wasteful and harmful to the environment. From all of the single-use materials that are used to wrap gifts to the many items that end up being returned and then trashed, what may initially be a thoughtful intention can turn into a huge waste of resources. So here are some ideas on how you can give more eco-consciously this holiday season.
Give Them Things They Actually Need
If you feel comfortable doing so, ask the person what they need! This way you can avoid getting your friend their millionth bottle of blue nail polish, when they could actually use a new red lipstick. If you don't feel comfortable asking the person what they need, or would rather surprise them, try paying close attention when you are visiting their home or spending time with them. Does the comforter on their bed look torn up? Are they scraping the last bits of their favorite lip balm out of the tin? Paying attention to these little things means that you are a lot more likely to purchase a gift that this person will value and appreciate.
Experiences are a wonderful gift because it's something that you and the other person can enjoy together. It can be something as small as taking them out for lunch or as large as booking a trip for them, depending on how much you want to and are able to spend. Look for unique experiences in your area. For example, there is a movie theater close to where I live that serves food and drinks to you in your seat. You could go to a concert together, spend the day at a local botanical garden or try out a dance class. This is a great gift idea for those people in your life who are minimalists, seem to have it all, or insist that they don't need you to buy them anything.
Consumables are another great minimal gift idea because it's something that the person can use up and get rid of. To keep things more eco-friendly, try to opt for items that have sustainable or no packaging. Candles are a great option for basically anyone. My personal favorite are the ones by Lunar Landings*, which are vegan and come in glass jars. Some other ideas are bath bombs, perfume, or a bottle of wine.
Reuse Your Wrapping Supplies
Did you know, most wrapping and tissue paper is not recyclable? This is why I try to keep as many wrapping supplies as possible whenever I receive gifts or packages. Not only will you save some money by not purchasing more of these items, but you will save more of them from going to landfill. Gift bags are my personal favorite, my family has a whole bunch of them sitting in a closet that we reuse each year so we don't have to purchase new ones. We will also try to keep the tissue paper as intact as possible so that it can be reused as well.
The holidays don't have to be the very wasteful time of year they usually are. We can all do our part to shop more sustainably and purchase gifts that our friends and family members will love for years to come. So this year, and in the years to come, let's all try to support small business, buy more sustainably and remember that the holidays are not about gifts, but about spending time with and showing that you appreciate the people you love.
*Use my discount code "ARIELLEDALIA" to receive 15% off your purchase from Lunar Landings