Every year millions of pounds worth of gifts are unwanted and go to waste. You may be shocked to hear that a Stanford study found that 25 million tons of waste is produced around the holidays, a lot of it from unwanted gifts. At the same time, we are all trying to be more sustainable and think about the impact we are having on the environment. We need to be more cognizant of the impact that our gift-giving has on the environment.
Last year, we talked about some ways that you can reduce your environmental footprint during the holidays. However, we thought it would be time to come up with a similar post specifically around Christmas gifts.
Which is why, when choosing your secret santa gifts, you may want to ensure they are both wasteless and can help us to be more eco-friendly.
Not sure what to get? Here’s some inspiration:
Reusable shopping bag
Did you know plastic can take up to 1,000 years to decompose? That’s why a reusable shopping bag is the perfect stocking filler. There are some really cute designs that can be folded and kept in handbags, so you always have one with you whenever you pop to the shop.
A KeepCup or Chilly’s bottle
If you know someone that loves to have a hot drink on the go, then why not get them a KeepCup. Whether they take this to be filled at their local coffee shop or fill it up themselves before leaving home, it can be used over and over again to reduce waste. Alternatively, a stainless-steel bottle can not only be used to keep water cold for 24 hours and avoid the need to buy more plastic, they also keep hot drinks warm for 12 hours.
Ethically produced clothing
If you want to buy an item of clothing for someone this Christmas, why not look to small independent businesses where the clothing is produced ethically, the packaging is recycled and many even donate a portion of the profits to charity or plant a tree for each order. Big Wild Thoughts have some super cute Christmas designs and 10% goes to the relevant animal charity. Not only that, but the items of clothing will be far more unique than those that come from fast fashion brands.
The Zero Waste Cookbook
Every year we throw away more than 6.5 million tonnes of food – the majority of which could have been eaten. This is why it is a good idea to prepare eco-friendly recipes. Ensure your gift has long term wasteless benefits with this cookbook that contains 100 recipes for cooking without waste.
A gift can’t go to waste when the recipient chooses it for themselves. Guarantee they get something they need or want – with zero waste this Christmas. You could also get the voucher for an eco-friendly brand where they’ll find ethical products to choose from across stationary, toiletries, homeware and more. There are other ways to get vouchers too – if they love to read and have a kindle, for example, then how about a voucher to add to that and put towards wasteless books?
Zero waste kitchen or bathroom starter kit
Your wasteless gift could help someone to start living a zero-waste lifestyle if it includes all the bits they need to get started. If this is for the kitchen it may include beeswax food wraps and stainless-steel straws while in the bathroom it could be a bamboo toothbrush or reusable face cloths. Whichever one you choose; you can buy this as a set or you could purchase the relevant items individually and create one yourself.
From purifying the air to helping reduce stress, plants have so many benefits plus they are the perfect wasteless present. As you are buying for Christmas, why not consider something a little festive such as a Christmas cactus, poinsettia or amaryllis. Alternatively, how about a peace lily that is easy to care for and comes with endless benefits.
One way to get a wasteless gift – is to not buy an actual gift at all but an experience. Rather than creating any waste, this gift will create memories that last a lifetime. From afternoon teas and spa days to alpaca walks and speedboat tours – there’s something for everyone. So, whether you are looking for an experience for her or him, you’re sure to find one they will enjoy.
A digital subscription
A digital subscription is a great gift and creates zero waste. If they have Spotify, how about upgrading them to Spotify Premium for a year? If you are buying for a bookworm, then how about Audible instead? Alternatively, you might sign them up to Netflix or Disney+. You could do this for a year and if they love it, then you could always renew it for their Christmas present the following year too.
Adopt an animal
This gift allows you to do a good deed while being wasteless and is something all animal lovers will absolutely adore. You can do this various ways – it could be adopting a wild animal through the WWF such as an elephant or you might sponsor a guide dog. Both will come with a welcome pack and regular updates.
Now you have your gift – how about an eco-friendly card to go with it such as this one which is full of seeds and can be planted after the festive period is over. Likewise, remember, most wrapping paper isn’t recyclable, so if you are buying a wasteless gift you’ll want to be considerate about how you wrap it too. You could use brown paper and twine, which will look just as effective and will mean they still have something to open on Christmas Day.
Reduce Your Carbon Footprint with Some Great Zero Waste Gifts!
There are a lot of ways to lower your environmental footprint during the holidays. You can make a big difference by buying these zero waste gifts. We know your friends and family will enjoy them!