The act of giving is a powerful one. We all love to see smiles and happiness on our friends and family’s faces when we know we found them the right gift. However, there is one downside.
Gift giving can come with a lot of waste, and it’s not always just the gift wrap or packaging. Learn how to minimize your waste this holiday season while maximizing cheer.
The easiest way to reduce waste is to choose a non-physical gift, AKA an experience. Maybe there’s a specific activity they’ve always wanted to try, a skill they want to learn or improve, or an event you know they’d enjoy.
It could even be booking a holiday or trip for the two of you. Besides reducing waste, this also leaves them with a memorable experience and possibly quality time with you. So it’s a win-win for both sides and the environment.
Sometimes this doesn’t work out, and that’s ok. We’re not saying that physical gifts are bad, especially if it’s something you know will receive a lot of love and use. You just have to go about them a different way. Carefully consider your shopping and presentation instead of going the traditional route.
● Bring your own bag(s) when shopping.
Plan out a shopping day so you can bring your own reusable bags accordingly. If this isn’t possible for you, get a small collapsible bag that’s easy to carry so you have a place to put gifts that you pick up on lunch breaks, your way home, or whenever is convenient for you to shop.
● Shop secondhand. And no, we don’t mean regifting.
Visit vintage or thrift stores instead of big box stores to find some truly unique gems. The history buffs on your Christmas list will definitely appreciate it!
● Skip the shop-bought gift wrap.
Get creative and use materials that you already have at home. Maybe it’s old newspapers, magazines, comics, paper bags, or maps. Maybe you can paint or color over the existing packaging. You don’t even have to stick to paper - glass jars make an excellent alternative. If you’re good at sewing you can rework dust bags (from handbags and shoes) into gift bags.
If you’re crafty, why not make your own gifts? Same goes for sweet treats. Grocery stores are always overcrowded during the holidays, so if you know how to bake surprise your loved ones with some homemade goodies. They’ll be much more special than anything store bought.
May your days be merry, bright, and sustainable.