Not to sound like a Scrooge, but chances are that most of the people on your holiday list do not need any more junk. Instead of adding to the probable clutter, why not gift your loved ones something a little more functional? This may require some do-it-yourself effort on your side, but it’s minimal. Plus, people will love the personal touch!
Choosing this route will help eliminate excess waste created during the holidays as well—and maybe save you a little mula along the way.
According to Sundale Research, Americans spend more than $7 billion on wrapping paper each year (and that’s just in the US). Not only does this seem like a huge waste of money, but it’s also a huge waste of actual waste! What happens after that perfectly wrapped package gets torn open? Once the inside treasure is revealed, the outer shell gets tossed and forgotten! Not this year. Because in 2017 and beyond, you’re going green! Well, at least we are—and we hope you’ll join us!
If anything, it’ll be a fun challenge to see if you can conquer a waste-free holiday! Here are three helpful tips to get you started:
It’s Incredible if it’s Edible
Everyone’s got to eat, right? How about gifting something thoughtful and delicious. Making a large batch of granola or trail mix is a great way to cross off multiple people on your list at once. This is ideal for coworkers, your BFFs or any other group made up of multiple people. A quick Pinterest search will yield thousands of granola recipes. Or, you can make our simple spiced chia seed granola—yum!
Focus on Function with DIY
While DIY projects are fun, not everyone allows themselves the time to make it happen. Fair enough. Instead, share items that will help the recipient and the planet in the long run. This could be anything from portable bamboo utensils, an insulated water bottle, glass straws (just say no to plastic, guys) and so on.
This way, they can start toting around these items to lessen their waste on a daily basis. And if you DO have the time to create something homemade, you can always opt for a combo gift! This could be something like a set of compostable bamboo toothbrushes with a jar of DIY toothpaste (2 Tbsp. organic coconut oil + 1 Tbsp. baking soda + 20 drops peppermint essential oil).
Push Back on Packaging
In addition to saving money on the initial wrapping paper, imagine how much you can save when gifting items that don’t require packaging at all. This means eschewing any presents that come in a plastic, or non-recyclable casing of any kind.
A great tip is to cover gifts with newspaper or the brown paper often found in delivered packages. Tie a hemp bow around the paper and wedge in a flower from the yard for a pop of color! You can also write a special note right there on the paper, eliminating the need for a card.
Of course, packaging isn’t always easy to avoid—especially when it comes to toys. So when necessary, look for items cased in eco-friendly packaging made from post-consumer materials and plant-based inks.