Eco-Friendly Holiday Guide - Reusable Giftwrap Ideas and More
Christmas doesn’t have to be a burden on the planet. With a bit of mindfulness and effort, we can minimize our environmental impact this holiday season.
During the holidays, the amount of waste and excess things is at an all-time high. Most households have 25% more waste between Thanksgiving and New Years. Thankfully, there are plenty of things we can do to save waste.
Here are my tips to help you celebrate the holiday season while still caring for our beautiful planet.
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Sustainable Holiday Tips
Buy Less & Buy "Green"
Simply be more mindful with & how much you’re buying this holiday season. Here are some tips to get you started.
Minimal Plastic Packaging
When possible, prioritize products with packaging that can be recycled. Which means little to no plastic.
The most sustainable option is always to use what you have. However, if you are needing to buy new lights, LED lights will last you longer and use less energy.
Make A Donation
Go through your clothes, toys, home goods etc and make a nice, big donation before you get started on your holiday shopping.
Think about it, does your toddler really need ALL those clothes and toys that rarely get used? There are families out there who can’t afford new toys, and they would be thrilled to buy them second hand for their kids for Christmas. And there is someone out there who could really use that warm coat in the back of your closet that you haven’t worn in years.
Not only will this help make space for new items to come into your home, but you’ll be helping out families that are less fortunate this holiday season. And that is what Christmas is all about.
Donate Your Christmas Tree
The life of a Christmas tree doesn’t have to end in a landfill. You can donate your tree to environment conservation groups or recycle it with your city. Check out The National Christmas Tree Association, which has tons of information about tree recycling programs that can be found in your area!
Gift Wrapping Alternatives
There are lots of fun ways to wrap your gifts that are more sustainable than standard gift wrapping! Here are some ideas:
Reusable Giftwrap & Giftbags
Skip wrapping paper all-together and use a reusable container the recipient can repurpose, like a basket or decorative bowl. You can also cover the item with a scarf or fabric scrap and tie with natural twine.
You can also use reusable gift bags that your recipient can then reuse! I love these ones
Gifts in Baskets or Bowls
Another easy, sustainable replacement to gift wrap is to put your presents in a nice basket or bowl that the recipient can then reuse in their home.
Customize Your Own Gift Wrap
Kraft paper and newspaper are great inexpensive gift wrap options. If you want to make the wrapping more personal, decorate the paper yourself with stamps or natural greenery embellishments. I also like to let my daughter color and draw on it for a fun, personal touch!
Use Tape Sparingly
Or don’t use it at all. By not using tape, more of the wrapping paper can be reclaimed and recycled. If you’re using ribbon or string to finish off your gift, you might not need that tape. Just be mindful of it this holiday season. Maybe you can use one roll of tape instead of the 3 you’d normally use. Every little bit helps!
Buy Recycled Wrapping
If you want new wrapping paper, you can buy it made from recycled materials. It doesn’t have glitter, foil, or a shiny coating.
Save Your Wrapping Paper For Next Year
If you open your packages with care, you can fold up & set aside that wrapping paper to reuse next year. It will save you money, too! Also save bows, ribbon and string to reuse next year!
Maybe this isn’t possible for the kids tearing open their gifts, but that’s okay! Like I keep saying, every little bit helps.
Eco Friendly Gift Ideas
Shop Small & Local
Supporting a small business or local shop goes a long way! Your money is supporting people more directly than if you shopped at a big box store.
Small business owners get so excited when you buy from them. Big retailers don’t, you’re just another number to them. Make someone excited this year when you buy your gifts!
Gift an Experience
Gifting an experience-focused present is a great way to avoid waste! It puts the focus of the gift on spending time with someone and less on buying them more stuff. Plan a picnic with their favorite foods, go ice skating, try out a cooking class or plan an elaborate home movie night with a marathon of their favorite movies! Anything curated to their taste is surely to be the best gift of the season!
Upgrade an Item
One of my favorite tricks for people who have everything is to buy them something they already have and love, but upgrade it! Upgrade gifts are perfect because most people wouldn’t spend money on something they already own and then they can donate their current item to a new home. Upgrade an item like a fancy wine bottle opener paired with their favorite wine, a sleek new jewelry box, or specialty coffee maker for the caffeine fiend in your life!
Gifting someone a subscription is really like gifting multiple gifts! Services like a meal kit subscription, monthly beauty box or wine of the month club are perfect for people who might appreciate some meal planning help or receiving a monthly delivery of items they wouldn’t normally splurge on! The best part is there is a subscription for almost any interest and hobby!
Making your own gift might sound cheesy, but can be so much more special when a gift is homemade. Make your own herb-infused olive oil, vanilla extract, spice mixes, soap, or frame their favorite photo from the year!
What's your favorite eco-friendly holiday idea? Let me know in the comments!
Holidays don’t have to be a mess of plastic, paper and expensive gifts!
I hope these tips give you some ideas how to make your holiday season more eco-friendly!
Check out these other sustainable blog posts!