Gift Tips and Tricks For a Less Wasteful Holiday Season

December 3, 2018

It December which means social media is hemorrhaging gift ideas. I just find it very ironic that sustainability is morphing into a consumer frenzy (which you can read my thoughts about here). While some of the posts are actually really beneficial most of the time I’m just overwhelmed by all the ads…

This post is not going to be like that. Let’s take a deep breath together and repeat after me “The Holiday Season is not about buying stuff we don’t need.” Ok, That might have been a little bit of a mouthful, but you get what I mean. This post is not urging you to buy stuff but rather a resource that provides you options other than going to the mall and playing tug of war with a soccer mom over the last plaid poly-blend scarf at Banana.

To be clear, I am REALLY into the gift-giving thing. Mostly because there is nothing I love more than taking time to find a gift that is meaningful to family and friends. I was also raised to never just buy stuff just for the sake of buying a gift. I take my sweet time finding exactly what my loved ones have been wanting or need.

Now that being said, as I have been going through my sustainability journey (and my student loans continue to add zeros) this year, I am looking at how I purchase gifts through a different lens. I can’t afford to spend 100 dollars on an artisan made a bowl just yet (as much as I want to) and I don’t have time with finals coming up to make my own candles… So as I go to the Christmas markets in New York City, I will be keeping a few things in mind as I make my purchases.

Here are some things to consider when you are shopping- 

  • How is the object made?
  • How is the gift packaged?
  • What will happen to the gift at the end of life? Can it be reused?
  • Will this sit in a closet untouched or will it be used and loved?

Some Solutions 

  • Buy candles in pretty glass jars (they can be reused for storage)
    • Or even better make it or support a small business that does
  • Buy specialty food or drinks in reusable packaging
    • Or even better make it or support a small business that doe
  •  If you are buying knit-wear be mindful or the fibers being used- Is it made of wool or acrylic/ polyester?
    • Or even better make it or support a small business that does
  •  Chip in to buy something they need!
    • Ex: maybe your mom wants a new set of dinner glasses- split it with other family members and buy something she truly wants!
  • Buy products that give back!
    • If they aren’t under the category of sustainability, try to find an ethical product that donates to an organization

When you run out of ideas and almost buy something just to give that person “something.” 

  • Don’t just buy an Amazon gift card that is made of plastic
  • Support a small local restaurant
  • Buy an experience!
  • Or make a gift card yourself (ex: one free lunch date on me:))
  • Bake something! (my go-to, because one more cookie won’t hurt anyone…)

Do you see what I’m going for? I’m not saying not to buy. I also know there are so many other amazing bloggers giving you sustainable brand’s gift ideas. All I’m saying is if you are stressed and overwhelmed by the holiday season, and you are looking to buy your gifts close to home. These are a few essential things to keep in mind that hopefully won’t stress you out too much.


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