Updated: Dec 4, 2019
If you follow me on social media, it's no surprise to you to see this blog title. The environment, climate change and sustainability are new and important passions of mine so this year I wanted to focus on a sustainable holiday gift guide since the holidays are arguably the most wasteful time of the year.
Before we begin, I do want to cover a few things:
Wrapping paper with shimmer and glitter and a bunch of colours is actually not recyclable at all. Instead opt for brown paper (which is recyclable) and go for a minimalistic wrapping. Add natural elements like dried orange slices for aesthetic, rope instead of ribbon, leaves, pine, etc. If you already have wrapping paper in your basement left over from last season, I think you might as well use it. I think the most important is not buying any more and therefore sending a message to those companies who manufacture the wrapping paper.
FAVOUR LOCAL SHOPPING
Three major benefits to shopping local: 1. Buying local means creating and keeping jobs here in those shops; 2. When you buy local, you are avoiding long distance transport (meaning less CO2 emissions) and 3. These local business pay taxes and that money goes right back into society through things like healthcare and affordable education. #PerksOfShoppingLocal
When selecting a gift for that special person, be mindful of
A) the sustainability/environmental aspect of it, and
B) of how useful this gift is to the person in question, will they keep or discard within a few month?
We want to make sure we gift smart and with purpose to avoid unnecessary waste in the future.
OK NOW LET'S BEGIN!! Here are 10 gift ideas that are sure to reduce your environmental footprint and are guilt free. This is for all you conscious buyers out here. These are perfect gifts no matter if you want to receive them or gift them:
1. Experiences Nothing tangible = no waste! You can gift tickets to a concert or comedy show, movie passes, spa certificates and so on. An experience creates sometimes unforgettable memories without the waste of packaging!
2. Beautiful Soy candles I have yet to meet a lady who didn't like candles! They are cute, smell good and scream self care. These soy candles are better than regular candles because they don't emit chemicals and are 100% biodegradable. I've provided three options below that are also made here in Canada!
Mejuri / candles are $30 (click here to shop) * and it's hand-poured in Toronto
Milk Jar Candle Co / candles are $29 (click here to shop) * hand-poured with love in Calgary and until Dec. 3rd, $5 from every candle sale is donated to charity (usually it's $1 per candle)
3. Locally made goods Buying items made in your home town or country by locals helps support your local economy and helps them keeps jobs here. It's hard to compete with big multinational firms so they could use all the support they can get! This can come in the form of jewelry, candles, art, decor, etc.
4. Reusable home goods If you really want to make changes for the environment, but you are afraid of it taking a hit on your budget, ask for some staples this holiday season. Metal straws, reusable coffee mug, mesh bags for produce at the grocery store, reusable bags for shopping, reusable sandwich/snack bags, beeswax food wrapping, cotton pads for the beauty lover and so on! This is also great for someone who just moved into a new place for instance.
5. Lush products I love Lush. A lot of Lush products have no packaging other than a little brown paper bag. Their black pots can be returned in store and are melted into new pots they use again, while their transparent pots are made from plastic found in the ocean. They also sell shampoo bars, which avoid plastic as a whole and create a zero waste product, it's amazing. Seriously, Lush is an amazing company. These three products are on my current holiday wish list:
Jason and the Argan Oil shampoo bar $11.95 (shop it here)
Conga shower jelly $8.95 (shop it here)
Snow fairy bath bomb $7.95 (shop it here)
6. Products from companies with an environmental purpose Some companies sell goods to fund environmental efforts, like 4 Ocean. For each bracelet sold, they remove one pound of trash/plastic from the ocean! You can also consider TenTree that plants 10 trees for every item sold. Cute and good for the environment, that's what I call a win-win!
7. Homemade food and snacks One cute gift you can give is a homemade recipe! No one can be disappointed with a jar of cookies or a plate of brownies. And maybe you can ask your gramma for those famous chocolate chip cookies she makes that you love so much ;) But this only works if the stuff is homemade because we're trying to avoid wasteful packaging.
8. Clothes made in Canada - If you want to gift clothes for Christmas to your favourite fashionista or are thinking of asking for clothes, why not opt for clothing made in Canada? Here are some retailers that have Made in Canada pieces:
Le Château - shop all Canadian made pieces here.
MICHI - activewear made with love in Canada / shop here.
Yoga Jeans - shop Canadian made denim here.
9. Donations Ask your family to donate to your favourite cause! :) Why not? Given we are on the topic of sustainability and eco-friendly gifts, here are some related causes to consider:
Ocean cleanup - ex. 4 Ocean
Wildlife preservation - ex. Wildlife Preservation Canada
Deforestation - ex. One Tree Planted
10. No gift holiday season Yes you read that right. You may not need anything at all and why make a list just to make a list? Tell your loved ones that you truly don't want anything and that quality time with them is all you need, so go completely waste free with a no gift Christmas :)