eco-friendly gift giving

Gift-giving is a lovely way to show appreciation and create connections with others. It seems it has gotten a bit out of hand these days and often contributes to plastics in our waterways and oceans, use of fossil fuels to ship from foreign countries, and clutter in our homes that both stresses us out and takes time away from the very relationships we are trying to strengthen with all the gifts.

This year, let’s think outside the plastic clamshell contained gifts.

Reduce… the number of gifts given. One thoughtful gift will be remembered. Will ten?

Natural… choose items made of glass, metal, wood, plants instead of plastics and synthetics (most stuffed animals are just plastic disguised as cute huggable creatures)

Reuse… buy used or hunt your house for items to regift (kids love old digital cameras) 

Local… shop craft fairs and local boutiques for unique, useful gifts (kitchen towels, socks, mugs)

Experiences…vacations, ice-skating, sleigh ride, ski lessons, massage, high tea, phone call

Consumables… organic liquor, soaps, local honey, meals/desserts in a jar, flowers/plants

Donations… to oceans, schools, social justice, animal rescues, pollinators, urban farming

When buying gifts, even if made of natural materials, used or consumable it’s easy to get caught up in the “idea” or beauty of things. The questions we might ask ourselves are whether the item will get used by the receiver, will it get used fully, or is it just something to look at, maybe used once. Another question to ask ourselves is if the user has enough or more than they already want. Just because someone likes chickens doesn’t mean they want to receive them from everyone as a gift.