A Quick Guide to Sustainable Gift Giving


Giving gifts is one of the best feelings especially if it's for someone very special. To make your gift extra special, you can opt for sustainable ways that can also benefit the environment. This will make your gift more meaningful and valuable.

Here are some tips for environmentally-friendly gift-giving practices:

  • Purchase gifts from stores with sustainable business practices

Shop in businesses with eco-friendly practices like sustainable gift shops or a unique vintage store with ethical practices. This way, you can be certain that you're helping to reduce waste and help local communities by supporting their advocacy. Plus, you're also likely to find good deals that are perfect for gift giving.

These companies help influence consumers in being mindful of their impact on the environment. It can also help promote health and safety benefits while sharing eco-friendly products like reusable straws, cloth diapers, reusable tote bags, and more.

  • Buy local products

You'll help reduce the carbon footprint of your purchases and help local businesses by supporting local products. During this economically challenging time, you'll be able to help local merchants and also avoid harmful chemicals and byproducts involved when buying goods from out of the country.

Local sourcing also takes less gas needed for transportation, and also reduces greenhouse gas emissions. Local items also tend to be more fresh compared to items that are transported from long distances.

For instance, if you're opting to give food items as a gift, local produce is guaranteed fresh. If you prefer to opt for handmade products, locally-made goods are better as they come from the original idea of a skilled maker.

These items feature intricate details that are not easily replicated. There are levels of variation in each product, and the personal touches of the artist impart each piece with its own personality. This makes the handmade gift more special and one-of-a-kind.

  • Shop online

Online shopping is better for the environment especially in terms of delivery. This is because a single truck used to deliver multiple items is a good replacement for multiple car trips by multiple households. Almost every purchase requires a vehicle on the road - shopping for gifts online will help reduce greenhouse gasses, and it's also safer to shop while staying indoors especially during this pandemic.

It's also recommended to start early when shopping online. Planning ahead will avoid a rush in processing, packaging, and transportation of your purchases that can add to their carbon footprint.

  • Minimize your own waste

Minimize your waste by bringing reusable shopping bags. They are stronger than plastic bags and can be used for years to come. Also, many stores offer discounts or program points if a customer shops with a reusable bag. Those small savings can become bigger over time, and you can also use that on your gift shopping.

Reusable bags are also simpler to carry, and they feature comfortable cloth handles. They also come in various sizes and colorful designs that are perfect to give as gifts as well.

  • Leave the car at home

If you need to go to the store to shop instead of shopping online, walk or bike to your destination as much as possible. It's also a good way to burn some calories while shopping.

  • Minimize packaging and waste

Make sure you also use eco-friendly packaging using natural resources - those that can be repurposed or recycled. The recipient of your gift will surely enjoy not just the content itself, but also the effort you put into creating an attractive and sustainable gift.

Eco-friendly wrapping is also more creative as you can use colorful scarves, cloth bags, or even calendars and maps as gift wrappers. You'll end up with a cute gift that's worth displaying under the Christmas tree.

You can also put your gifts in sturdy boxes that can be upcycled. This way, there is literally zero waste as the person you're giving it to can use it for various purposes - that's giving two gifts in one.

Brown paper bags are also great because you can put various designs and add hand-written messages. You can also use sustainable tools like biodegradable tapes, and natural design elements like cinnamon sticks, fallen leaves, small pine cones, and cotton buds. You can also look for gifts with minimal packaging so there's also less waste.

Your gift-giving experience doesn't need to be frivolous. Choosing sustainable ways is more meaningful and long-lasting. You'll be able to impress a loved one with a gift that comes from a sustainable process that's also beneficial to the environment.

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