Every year, many people look forward to gift-shopping for the upcoming holiday season. It’s the time to get into the spirit of giving and to wrap for your loved ones their favorite things from their wish list.
However, the holiday season is also a time of much waste. Once the festivities are over, gift wrappers, leftovers, and used party decorations are thrown away, and some gifts may only be used for a short time before they’re discarded.
If you’d like to reduce the negative environmental impact that may come with gift-giving, you may want to consider adopting better habits such as using eco-friendly gift wrappers or recycling paper bags from the previous holiday season. You may also want to gift your loved ones with items that are more environmentally friendly.
That being said, this article provides you with ten zero-waste gift ideas you may want to consider for an eco-friendly holiday season.
1. Vegan Candle Sets
Brighten up your loved ones’ homes by gifting them a wonderful set of scented candles. Scented candles are really popular at Christmas time, so why not give a more eco-friendly alternative, such as a vegan candle set like this one from Earthbits.com, which comes with sustainable packaging too. Now your loved ones can enjoy their holiday nights with a beautiful aroma and the knowledge that they’re using environmentally friendly scented candles.
2. Zero-Waste Cleaning Kit
Another eco-friendly gift option is a zero-waste cleaning kit. Most cleaning kits consist of plastic-free cleaning products made for your home and kitchen, such as a bamboo soap dish and a wooden cleaning brush. These are all made from organic, biodegradable, and sustainable materials. In addition, they’re often wrapped in recyclable and plastic-free packaging.
3. Sustainable Shoes
If you’re planning on gifting a loved one with a pair of shoes, you can now do so with a lighter conscience. Nowadays, more shoe brands are making a move toward producing sustainable shoes. You can now purchase shoes made from sustainable materials, like upcycled leather and textiles, natural fair-trade rubber, reused tires, and recycled nylon. By gifting zero-waste shoes, you’re helping recycle and save valuable materials from going into landfills.
4. Wooden And Organic Toys
Buying sustainable and eco-friendly gifts for children can be tricky, especially since every toy you see at the mall is made from plastic. But before you stress out over these plastic toys, you should know that plastic-free toys for kids do exist. For instance, you can find toy blocks made from 100% natural wood pieces, and some major brands have even begun producing brick sets using recycled or plant-based plastic.
Another zero-waste option is beautifully hand-carved wooden animal toys. Some small businesses may even offer handmade kids’ toys made from organic fabric. These wooden and organic toys are free from any dangerous petrochemicals; plus, they’re also compostable (though it would be best to donate them when the kids outgrow them).
5. Reusable Water Bottles And Coffee Mugs
Help your friends and loved ones start their zero-waste journeys by gifting them their own reusable water bottles and coffee mugs. Reusable bottles will save them from repeatedly buying plastic water bottles from the store, which only increases the amount of plastic in landfills. Some reusable water bottles also have the added benefit of being insulated, which means they can keep drinks cold or hot for a longer period.
Meanwhile, gifting reusable coffee mugs is perfect for friends and family who can’t go a day without coffee. Now, instead of visiting a coffee shop and taking out coffee in a plastic cup, they can enjoy making a cup for themselves at home.
6. Sustainable Shaving Tools
This next zero-waste Christmas gift is perfect for people who constantly buy plastic razors. There are sustainable shaving tools made from a combination of natural bamboo and chrome. A sustainable razor is a smart investment, as it can last for a long time. You only need to replace the blade when needed. Meanwhile, the old blades can be collected and donated to a recycling center.
7. Minimal-Impact Makeup
Your stylish friends can also receive eco-friendly gifts this year. Nowadays, zero-waste makeup is available for purchase, thanks to some sustainable brands. In addition to using non-toxic ingredients in their products, these brands also use eco-friendly packaging, placing their cosmetics in refillable bamboo makeup palettes instead of single-use containers. These eco-friendly containers allow you to take the pressed eyeshadows or blush anywhere and refill them again when needed.
8. Reusable Dishcloth
Dishcloths may not seem like the most ideal holiday gift, but you might be surprised by how useful they can be for most homeowners. A reusable dishcloth is not only functional, but it can also save your friends from spending money on paper towels. Most reusable dishcloths can absorb more water than paper towels, and they can be used over and over for a number of tasks, such as wiping down counters, drying dishes, and cleaning surfaces around the house.
9. Time and Effort
Holiday gifts don’t always have to come in the form of items packed in boxes. You can also gift experiences. Spending time with your loved ones is a surefire way to spread the holiday cheer without producing more waste.
If you’d like the time you spend together to be more special, you can take your family for fun activities, such as horseback riding, hiking, or camping. Ultimately, there are many ways you can gift experiences to your loved ones.
You can also gift your effort by doing something nice for them, such as cleaning their car, taking their dog for a walk, babysitting their kids, or baking them their favorite goodies.
As you can see, getting into the spirit of giving with an eco-friendly approach is possible and even more rewarding than gifting plastic products. Not only will you be giving unique gifts, but you’ll also be reducing your carbon footprint. So, take note of the gift ideas above and maybe even consider sharing this list with your family and friends. That way, they may also be inspired to have an eco-friendly holiday season.
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