It's that time of year again. The season of giving!
As The Grinch so un-delicately put it: “The avarice never ends.” (A fair statement from someone who lives on a landfill.)
While we’d love to wholeheartedly agree with him... we also love presents. So, instead, let’s meet him halfway. This season, we’re giving gifts with purpose to hopefully reduce our footprint on our precious planet.
To start, here are some pretty good reasons why:
- Over Christmas, society produces roughly 30 percent more waste than usual (think: wrapping paper, cards, wine bottles, etc.)
- Households produce an extra 5+ bags of trash compared to average
- Take care of everyone on your list with our ultimate eco-friendly gift guide. Your non-recycling friends and family won’t suspect a thing.
As a bonus, since nobody wants naked presents, we’ll also introduce you to one of the newest trends that we hope is here to stay: sustainable gift wrapping!
Without further a-do - let's get into some of our favorite sustainable gifts!
1. Reusable Bags
For the farmers' market enthusiast, your shopaholic, yet eco-conscious friend...or just anyone you know that grocery shops?
Give them the gift of never having to use a plastic bag for their produce, snacks, and other goodies again. We're huge fans of brands like Ecobags and Stasher Bags for this, which are made from sustainable materials, such as recycled cotton and silicone.
Team BYOB (bring your own bag) and BYOS (bring your own snacks) all day.
Know anyone that consumes coffee on a daily basis and is constantly on-the-go? Potentially every human in your life? This one's for them!
Stojo cups collapse into a leak-proof disc you can easily toss into your bag once you're done with your drink. They're made from silicone and are BPA-free, fully recyclable, AND microwaveable.
Can you say winning? We'll take 10, please.
Kookoo for coconuts and clean water? Kor’s unique, sustainable filter system is made out of coconut shells and charcoal to filter out the yucky stuff and transform your tap water into pure, drinkable water.
Not to mention its sleek aesthetic, so it'll make a pretty addition to any kitchen.
Perfect for your outdoorsy significant other. If you're looking to give the gift of coziness, with a side of social responsibility, Patagonia is an awesome company to support and give to your friends or family.
Even at their large scale, they're extremely conscious of every resource that goes into each step of the company and products' lifecycle.
5. Final Straw
We all know straws suck, like any other single-use plastic. Thankfully, companies like Final Straw have created an easy way to avoid them. Their reusable straws are collapsible, fit into a small case for carrying, and come with everything you need to clean them.
Did we mention they come in adorably named case colors, such as "sea tur-teal" blue? Save the turtles and save your loved one's teeth from coffee stains.
For your friend that says "treat yourself" at least once a week and likes to indulge in clean beauty products (or the occasional bubble bath.) Lush has an extensive line of luxurious products, from shaving kits to bath bombs, so there's something for everyone on your list.
As much as we love their products, our favorite part is their heart-warming environmental policy.
For the aesthetic, interior decorating-obsessed. With a large focus on empowering women, The Little Market sources handmade goods to support small artisan communities and artists.
For example: these amazing handmade glass jars that are created with the mission of protecting Moroccan culture and techniques (and are a super chic container to keep your cookies in.)
Do you enjoy your skin feeling like a baby's bottom? I'm sure the people on your shopping list would too.
This lotion was created by vegan, sustainability crusader, Stevie Van Horn, who is on a mission for a zero-waste lifestyle. This lotion contains only 5 ingredients, sourced with love: organic olive oil, local beeswax, organic shea butter, raw local honey, and organic pomegranate seed oil.
Disclaimer: Due to the honey and beeswax, this item is technically not vegan. However, Stevie ensures these ingredients are sourced from sustainable beekeepers who manage their hives symbiotically to increase bee populations!
In our opinion (maybe a little biased), there's nothing like giving the gift of health and wellness.
Shopping for the fitness junkie? A new mom? Your BFF? Our super tasty products are free of all the major allergens like dairy, gluten, and soy, so there's truly something for everyone.
P.S. Our brand new turmeric golden milk latte mix is the perfect stocking stuffer for a cup of anti-inflammatory warmth.
10. Non-Physical Gifts
Aside from the gift of a warm hug, there are tons of options to get your loved ones that won't even require wrapping. Some of our favorites:
- Coupon for a homemade dinner or massage
- Spa day (you can even do a DIY one!)
- Tickets their favorite artist or sports team
- Do they have an upcoming vacation? Book a fun activity or excursion at their destination
The possibilities are endless.
Reduce Your Gifting Footprint
While purchasing items with purpose is key this season, being mindful of what we're consuming is inclusive of considering every little step that goes into the purchase.
For example, just driving to the mall is producing carbon emissions. One gallon of gasoline = 8,887 grams of CO2, to be exact. Here's a few ways to reduce your footprint even further.
- Ride your bike, take public transportation, or use a ride share app's pool feature to get yourself from A to B
- Bring reusable shopping bags for your goodies
- Support and shop local, small businesses
Sustainable Wrapping Ideas
1. Reduce, Reuse, Recycle - Wrapping Paper!
As much fun as it is to tear into presents like the Tasmanian devil, if you take it easy you can save and repurpose the gift wrapping or bags for your own presents. Saving the environment and your wallet.
Get Creative: Make your own wrapping paper out of recyclable brown paper and cute stamps!
Because for some reason everyone has extra newspapers laying around. This is a chic and sustainable way to wrap it up without needed to reach for the sparkly red paper that may not be recyclable.
Pro-Tip: Use some twine as the ribbon and you have yourself an adorably eco-friendly package.
3. Nature's Bows
Forgo the big red bow this year for a more au naturel gift topper. Use bits of nature like dried lavender, eucalyptus or small springs of holly berry and pine tree to spruce (pun intended) up your presents.
We would like to note, at the end of the day, presents are great, but there's no better gift that spending time with your loved ones. And Grandma might love a new sustainable water filter, but I'm sure she'd be just as happy with a hug and your smiling face.
Love, Ora Organic
*Nothing in this post is sponsored, we just really, really dig companies that want to make the world a better place and want to provide you with some handy tools to do so as well.