This is the perfect time of the year to consider sustainable gift giving if you’re in the mode of buying or wrapping presents. Along with other mind boggling statistics, a CDC blog post you can read here states : “If every American family wrapped just 3 presents in reused materials, it would save enough paper to cover 45,000 football fields”.
These statistics are from several years ago. If we consider the increase in online orders during the pandemic, the sheer number of cardboard boxes that will end up in the garbage this year will be more detrimental for the environment than ever before.
If you want to consider your impact on the environment during this gift giving season, then take a moment to pause before purchasing or wrapping a gift and consider these eco friendly ideas:
- Give a virtual gift: If you want to give someone a lovely gift that the recipient will enjoy over a period of time and be able to access right away, consider giving an e-book or a subscription to a streaming service that they may not have at the moment like Audible, AcornTV, HBO Max, Amazon Prime or Netflix. The subscription length can be tailored to your budget.
- Gift a new experience: For people on your list who thrive on new experiences, consider giving tickets to a show, a game or a concert you know they would enjoy watching.
- Give something that will help the recipient be sustainable: This could be anything from insulated water bottles, to solar powered lanterns and eco totes for groceries.
- Give something that helps the planet on their behalf: This is the perfect gift for someone who has everything. Donate the amount you want to spend to an organization that helps the planet in an impactful way on their behalf.
- Give something handmade locally: Gifting local artisan made products helps the local economy and is more climate friendly than having something shipped from thousands of miles away.
- Gift a service that the recipient may need: A gift card to a service like a spa or a yoga class will also help the local economy while providing the recipient with something they will enjoy.
- Give something handmade by you: If you love to bake, sew, knit, paint or make things from scratch, this is the perfect time to give presents that are handmade by you. This is so much more personal and will be appreciated by so many!
- Gift plants or seeds for a vegetable patch: Consider giving unusual plants or an assortment of seeds so the recipient of the gift can plant their own vegetable patch – this is earth friendly and will give the recipient the joy of more beautiful greenery in their lives.
- Give the gift of your time: Offer to help the recipient with something they need. An afternoon of your time may be of more value than any material gift.
- Use the Furoshiki Japanese gift wrapping method that utilizes decorative, reusable fabric or pack your gift in an eco shopper bag that can be reused. Both of these have beautiful presentation and provide the gift recipient with the ability to continue with sustainable gift giving in the future.
Just a few moments of extra thought can have a positive environmental impact and are well worth that time and extra effort!
Do you have any sustainable gift giving strategies that are simple to implement?