Sustainable gifts they’ll love: a guide to eco-friendly and mindful gift giving (2020)
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It’s hard enough to think of gift ideas at the best of times, let alone gifts that are both unique and kind to the environment.
Eco-friendly gift giving is an easy way to reduce your environmental footprint and go zero-waste on a budget. Luckily, there are many ways to give gifts that are good for the planet, our health and hip pocket.
If you’re looking for sustainable gift ideas or wonder what to buy for the eco warrior in your family, keep reading!
Beginner’s guide to eco-friendly and mindful gift giving
give experiences and services
Whether it’s an hour massage for a friend, a dinner package for the parents, a surfing lesson for a sibling or weekend away with your partner, “experiences” make memorable gifts.
Gifting experiences or services requires little or no use of natural resources, and are very personal and memorable. You could even gift your own services. Get creative with what you can offer others – perhaps it’s a tech lesson with an older relative, or a car wash and vacuum for a busy friend.
Your time, energy or expertise are as ‘gift-worthy’ as anything you can put in a box.eartheasy
browse local first
Instead of heading straight for mainstream brands, explore your own circle first. Do you have friends or family who create and sell cool stuff? Can you find the same or similar Amazon product at a local business?
Hit up weekend or boutique design markets near you, search Instagram and Facebook groups, or ask around at local boutiques. No only could you nab one-of-a-kind gifts, you’ll be giving your money back to the local community.
rethink your gift wrapping
Your typical wrapping paper and a lot of tissue paper usually can’t be recycled because it’s often dyed, laminated or may contain gold/silver designs or glitter, all of which are not recyclable.
Exploring how to wrap gifts gifts without using plastic is a great chance to get creative. You could use newspaper or fabric, write on the wrapping instead of buying individual cards.
switch to a paperless version
Instead of physical books or gift vouchers, you could opt for ebooks or online vouchers if possible to cut down on waste and clutter. It’ll also save you time and energy – no need to leave the house!
shop in store when possible
While some online stores that are on the front foot with sustainable packaging, the majority are yet to catch up. Braving the crowds and shopping in store allows you to skip the excess packaging and bubble wrap and say “no thanks” to extra plastic bags.
avoid single-use items
Instead of mounds of individually-wrapped chocolate or choose something that will last them a lifetime, or at least a few years. Opt for good-quality , low-waste options that will go the distance. They’ll think of you every time you use it!
Mindful GIFT IDEAS that are good for the environment
give a donation in someone’s name
Support a causes closed to a loved one’s heart by donating to their favourite charity or organisation in their name.
make it yourself
For that personal, heart-felt touch try some edible diy gifts. You’ll discover new recipes and have some fun in the kitchen at the same time. Keep it eco-friendly by giving them in glass jars.
Buying vintage gives you points for buying secondhand AND giving a truly unique gift that you won’t find in mainstream stores. Think jewelry, handbags, hair accessories, sunglasses coasters, or other homewares.
inspire friends and family to adpot eco-friendly gifting
Leading by example and showing others how easy it is to adopt sustainable gifting habits will inspire others to try it for themselves. Seeing how unique and memorable you gifts can spark creativity and inspiration in your loved ones, who might adopt their own eco-friendly gift giving habits in the future.
What are your favourite kinds of eco-friendly and mindful gifts? Share them in the comments below!