How to Be an Eco-Friendly Gift Giver

How to Be an Eco-Friendly Gift Giver

The festive season can be as overwhelming as it is stressful. If you want to make the holidays simpler, easier, and greener, one of the ways you can do that is through sustainable gifting. I have plenty of eco-friendly gifts, including homemade and thrifted ideas. As well as environmentally-friendly alternatives for tradition celebrations so your festivities can be waste-free.

It's easy to assume that buying fewer gifts from eco-friendly brands is all your need to do. But there are a few more things to consider when making a purchase. This is how you can be a more sustainable gift giver by making gifting more environmentally-friendly.

Make Sure the Gift Is Wanted

Any gift that someone doesn't want and won't use is going to be wasteful so it's best to avoid poor choices altogether. Over 21 million Brits will receive at least one badly chosen gift over the holiday season—if that's you, here's how to deal with unwanted gifts. What's even worse is that 1 in 10 of us will intentionally buy a terrible gift to give to someone else.

This results in almost £5 billion wasted. Very few unwanted presents are resold or donated, instead they end up in landfill. It's better to thrift your gifts rather than buy new. Either way, make sure it's something the recipient wants and will use.

There are several ways to tackle sustainable gifting, including setting a budget, exchanging wishlists, and even opting out of gifting altogether. Not everyone is going to be on board with the suggestions you make. Some people won't want to change their holidays traditions. But there should be a compromise everyone can agree with.

Sustainable Minimal Jewellery

Support Small Businesses

The reasons to buy handmade are plentiful, and where you choose to spend your money is powerful. Small businesses make one of a kind gifts that have been handmade with love. Not only do you know exactly who made it and where; you're also buying a gift with thought and intention.

You can support small businesses in lots of different ways. But the support that makes the biggest difference is buying from them directly. Instead of giving your money to big brands and chain supermarkets, have a handmade Christmas. You'll be gifting more meaningful presents that people will remember.

Small businesses and independent makers typically have more eco-friendly practices. They're more likely to prioritise sustainable practices, such as limiting waste, providing plastic-free packaging, and carbon neutral delivery. They also offer guarantees, repair and recycling schemes. So when you buy from an independent maker or small business, you can be proud of your gifts.

Buy Less and Buy Better

The commercialisation of the holiday season has made us feel that "more is better." More food, more drink, more presents. We're encouraged to spend without restraint. The result is the average British adult will spend £548 on holiday gifts, with many of them ending up in landfill.

The consequences of this overconsumption causes an immense amount of waste that is incredibly harmful to our planet. 1 billion cards end up in the bin, 124 thousand tonnes of plastic packaging gets thrown out, 83 square kilometres of wrapping paper is binned, 6 million trees are discarded, and £42 million of unwanted presents are thrown away.

The pressure also causes us unnecessary guilt, stress, and debt too, which can be avoided. A change in mindset is needed. Buying fewer but better-quality gifts reduces the chances of gifting something unwanted, and saves money too.

Simplifying Christmas isn't always easy though, especially if the people around you love everything about the holiday season—including the over-consumption. This is how to talk to people about changing traditions.

How to Be an Eco-Friendly Gift Giver

Gift Consumable Gifts

One of the best options for eco-friendly gifting is a consumable one. These gifts are often the simplest yet the most loved because they're picked with intention and made with love. These gifts are incredibly personal as they've been chosen with the recipient in mind, making them more meaningful and heartfelt.

There are so many consumable gift ideas to choose from, from food and drink to skin and handicrafts. Even if you leave it until the last minute, homemade gifts are a great option. Many of them are quick and easy to make, yet still eco-friendly and low waste.

These are the type of gifts you can leave until the last minute, but I don't recommend it! For a slow simple holiday season, start gift shopping early. If you're looking for gift ideas, try these zero waste gifts and thrifted gifts ideas. My shopping guides will help with finding sustainable brands and independent makers. Don't forget: you can also opt-out of gifting altogether, especially those gifts you feel obligated to buy....

Use Eco-Friendly Gift Wrapping

Once you've placed your order or handmade your gifts, you're ready to wrap them. Whether you chose gift wrapping at checkout or are wrapping them at home; make sure you use plastic-free and eco-friendly gift wrapping options.

Eco-friendly gift wrapping is easy, if you give it a little thought and avoid store-bought gift wrap. The best low waste option is to reuse whatever supplies you already have at home. If you need to buy, opt for recyclable wrapping and paper tape. Decorate it yourself to give it a personal touch. Here's how to tie a bow around a gift.

If you're ordering online, most small businesses will provide an option for eco-friendly gift wrapping. So if you're not great at wrapping gifts or you don't have the time, you can ask for it to be wrapped and your order will arrive ready to gift.

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