Green Gift Giving

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The holidays are coming up and one thing on a lot of our minds already is giving. I know we still have a few weeks but I wanted to talk about this now before the shopping frenzy begins.

We’ve all received gifts that have made us wonder, “What on earth am I going to do with this?” Let’s face it – we’ve probably all given them, too. Unfortunately, many unwanted items end up in landfills. In fact, about 55% of the trash we generate ultimately winds up sitting in a landfill. Thankfully, there are a few ways to give greener gifts that your recipient – and the planet – will appreciate.

Skip Products Altogether – Gift an Experience

Why not skip a material gift for an activity or experience someone will enjoy? Many fun activities can be gifted in the form of a reservation, gift card or membership. For example, your friend the fitness buff might enjoy some gifted time on their gym membership. Know someone who loves the outdoors? Buy them a season camping pass for their favorite state park. There are ideas for all types of personalities:

  • Gift card to a favorite restaurant or bar. 
  • Concert tickets. 
  • Amusement park passes. 
  • Camp or retreat enrollment. 
  • Golf passes. 
  • Lessons or classes. 

A lot of people are unlikely to buy these sorts of things for themselves, so the gift is sure to be appreciated.

Green Consumable Gifts

Consumable gifts are another green gift option. Choose yummy indulgences – they are especially well received.

Handmade Gifts 

Learn to make your own gifts – certain items are really simple, and chances are you’ll be able to come up with your “signature” gift that your whole family will come to anticipate and look forward to from you. Here are a few ideas to get you started:

  • Salsa 
  • Bath salts 
  • Cookies and baked goods 
  • Body oil 
  • Infused cooking oils 
  • Infused vinegar 
  • Herbal tea blends 
  • Spice blends 
  • Dry soup mixes 
  • Homemade hot cocoa 
I'm going to be sharing tutorials and recipes for many of these gifts over the coming weeks!

E-Gifts

Digital gifts are another green option. They are easy to deliver and there is something for everyone:

  • Music downloads 
  • E-books 
  • Upgraded memberships to favorite websites 
  • Netflix subscription 
  • Podcast downloads 

Green Gift Wrapping

Greening your gift giving doesn’t stop with the gift itself – be sure to present your gift with eco-friendly gift wrapping as well. Try to use recycled materials, or better yet, recycle your own:

  • Decorated shipping boxes
  • Old newspapers
  • Shredded magazines (as filling)
  • Reused gift bags
  • Brown packing paper tied with string
  • Recycled paper scraps as gift tags
  • Reusable cloth totes as gift bags
Green gift giving doesn’t have to be hard. In fact, the opposite is true. Aiming to give eco-friendly and sustainable gifts can actually help you ensure that you never give a “What the…?” gift again.
Are you greening your giving this year? What's the strangest gift you've ever received?
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Kylie Wiser is an herbalist specializing in skincare and women's health. She shares recipes and resources on Everblossom to help others live a more holistic lifestyle. She lives in Fargo, ND with her huge family and lots of houseplants.

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5 Responses

  1. beth anne

    This is a really great post!
    My father in law always wraps his gifts to “the kids” in the funnies from sunday 🙂 I love it!

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