I love the holidays but as I work towards living what I call a guilt free eco lifestyle it can be hard to enjoy this time of year with all of the unconscious consumerism happening all around. Now before you write me off as a holiday hater, know that that couldn’t be further from the truth. I LOVE the holidays, the gift giving and receiving, the lights, baked treats, hot drinks, time with family and time to reflect on the year past. ..it’s the best! Giving gifts that do less harm to the planet is a priority of mine during this time of year. I love the idea of giving thoughtful gifts to my friends and family that they will love and might have the potential to spark a new way of thinking about being more green. Below are some of my favorite and easy last minute eco gift ideas. I hope they inspire you to give eco gift giving a try this holiday season.
Now for the fun part, the presents!
One of my favorite places to get one of a kind ideas for items that are as unique as the loved ones in your life is Esty. Not only are you supporting an artist directly by buying from them rather than the mall, you can also refine the search to find items made from recycled materials…how cool is that?
My next two ideas are prefect for friends, co-workers or holiday parties. You can never go wrong with giving a live plant or booze. These are kind, non-expensive, thoughtful gifts ideas. Before picking up a plant check out this short article about great house plants that help improve indoor air quality, which is especially helpful in the winter when windows are rarely opened. Giving a plant also helps people feel more connected to nature, always a great side effect. The other easy and highly enjoyable eco gift idea is something I’m sure you already buy. Booze! Next time your stopping by the store to pick up a bottle of wine or beer for a holiday party, take a moment to find a local and/or organic option. That way your dollars are supporting a healthier environment or supporting a business in your community or state. I’m frequently surprised just how many options there are when I take sometime to choose my booze buying based on one of these two criteria.
Need a little nicer gift? Try a Merino wool sweater by Smartwool or Icebraker. These are nothing like your grandmas wool sweater. They are super soft, warm and best of all sustainable. Both companies take pride in making sure the earth and animals are taken care of while making their products. You can feel good about buying something fuzzy for the ones you love.
For the person that has everything and you just don’t know what to get them. Donating in their name is one of the most thoughtful heart felt gifts there is. My parents are these types of people. They have everything they need and want and never give any ideas when I ask “What do you want for Christmas this year?” Silence or a change of the subject is all I get. So I bought them a llama, yes you heard right. Through Heifer International you can buy families in developing countries live stock animals; with the animals comes training on how to care for and make a lively hood from them. The families also have to give away one of the animals offspring to continue the cycle of giving. To be honest I wasn’t sure how this was going to go over. Would my parents like it? Would they understand it? Would they think it’s weird or cool? Lucky I took the chance, my parents have big hearts so I hoped for the best. When they opened it up, there was confusion at first but when they saw a photo of the family that received the llama, there were tears and hugs all around. That photo is still on their mantel today. There is magic when we feel like we can be a part of something bigger then ourselves and that’s what donating in someones honer does for them, it makes them a part of the solution. So pick your favorite local or national non-profit regardless if it’s environmental focused (homelessness, educations, women’s issues, hunger, the list goes on) and give in the name of someone who has so much already. Who wouldn’t love to know they did good without having to do anything? ;)
I hope your holiday season is filled with only love, fun and joy! I’d love to know what your favorite eco gift ideas are or what you will be gifting this season?
Peace & Love,