14 Eco-Savvy Ways to Gift Like an Environmentalist
Start writing a post
Lifestyle

14 Eco-Savvy Ways to Gift Like an Environmentalist

Protect the Earth, stay frugal, and never compromise on your eco-friendly gift ideas!

82
14 Eco-Savvy Ways to Gift Like an Environmentalist
Pixabay

We all want to save the world, but sometimes the problems seem too big - and we feel way too small. The good news is, there are small things anyone can do to change the world's big problems in a big way! If you feel like channeling your inner superhero and making a difference when you stop to show someone you care, here's 14 tips from an environmentalist on saying 'congratulations!' or 'get well!', spread the love, partying like it's your birthday, decking the halls, reforming the New Year with resoluations, living for a better tomorrow, or simply celebrating the holiday season!

1. Mind your wrapping! Opt for reusable baskets or fashionable reusable shopping bags! It makes the present look Extra Special, you can probably spend less on what you put inside, you spend less time wrapping things, and you won't have to repair any broken paper if something tears.

2. Stop buying fast fashion! It goes back to exploitative labor overseas where workers operate in inhumane and underpaid sweat shop conditions, expends unnecessary fuel on shipping, and worst of all? So, so much of it ends up in landfills. If you can avoid shopping at (or gifting giftcards to) places like Forever 21, you making a difference with the environment, the economy, exploited workers, and the world.

3. Reduce. Reuse. Recycle. Religiously.

4. Especially avoid buying K-Cups and bottled water. Especially from companies that fill them by depleting already fragile aquifers in drought areas like Nestle. Carrying a water bottle also encourages you to drink water, and it makes you look healthier and like you have your stuff together!

5. Thrift your clothes and avoid shopping constantly, especially if it's something you intend to use once, throw out and replace soon, or comes in unnecessary plastic packaging.

Have you noticed those "mother's bath bomb baskets" or "grill kits for dad" that are 90% confetti and foam? The products inside don't tend to be cream of the crop either -- and your folks will probably throw them in a bathroom cabinet and toss the rest in a landfill.

They're worth more than $15 Walmart junk, yet it's both thriftier and infinitely more thoughtful to spend $4 on supplies to bake their fave dessert, or replace something they desperately need. (The older you get, the more you exponentially love a well-made pair of socks, or a cosy blanket for the guest room. Trust yourself. You know your loved ones!)

If you really think they need a bath or grill package, do a DIY kit using brands that display a socially conscious climate commitment. (If you're stumped on items you know don't belong in an environmentalist household, do some homework! There's almost always a great alternative just a search away.)

6. If you have to shop for new things, try not to order online. Buying from what's at the store already, or produced locally especially, saves a ton of gas and energy used in the shipping process. Not to mention, less boxes and plastic wrap!

7. Even if you don't live in a plastic-bag-ban region, you can live like you do! It's getting easier to carry reusable bags all the time, and they comes of tons of cute designs.

8.In your gift-giving, bake cookies that can easily be consumed (or at least biodegrade), or deliberately gift things that won't be tossed out or re-gifted!

9. Farmer's markets aren't just hipster-chic, they're economically awesome, have better food, and do wonders for the environment.

10. Donate cash, not items that may not be needed or require a lot of labor-energy-or-wrapping to ship, if you give you charities this year.

11. In fact, give to a charity as a gift on behalf of someone you know is impossible to buy for, especially if they're the type to refuse presents, instantly regift, or get awkward about opening things.

12. Avoid products with microbeads and/or glitter! They might not seem like significant pollutants, but they harm animals much smaller than you, which eventually does impact you in the dominoes of greater ecosystems. Plus, they end up in the water you drink -- and researchers are finding that they're not great for your skin, either. Definitely best to skip them entirely.

13. Go vegan. If you can't, go vegetarian. If you can't, go weekday-vegetarian. If you can't, stop eating red meat, avoid poultry, and favor sustainably produced fish. Yes, you can have a super yummy holiday without using animal products! Often, skipping the turkey is also cheaper, so that's two wins (and counting)! I highly recommend watching the Leonardo Dicaprio-produced documentary Cowspiracy (2014).

14. When in doubt, think carefully about conscious consumerism! All the marketing around you is saying "buy buy buy", and it's full of disposable seasonal-specific sales that aren't expected to last the year. Defy it! You don't have to line any pockets to be an amazing gifter! Remember, happiness studies consistently put experiences above possessions. Take someone to the movies, set them up to join you in a marathon next year, enjoy a local festival, plan to see a New Years celebration, or plan an eco-friendly picnic-and-hike at a national park for days of better-weather. If you have loved ones who will appreciate your time more than the clutter, embrace their mindful lifestyle and help the world while you do it.


Remember, gift-giving occasions are enriched by relationships, excitement, and the experience of enjoying other people and festivities. It doesn't have to be dominated by consumer culture and marketing with a little analysis, self-reflection, and critical thinking. Most importantly, we always have the opportunity to make opportunities to be a hero and do the conscious thing all-year round. There's no greater gift than sustainability for generations to come.

Report this Content
This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
the beatles
Wikipedia Commons

For as long as I can remember, I have been listening to The Beatles. Every year, my mom would appropriately blast “Birthday” on anyone’s birthday. I knew all of the words to “Back In The U.S.S.R” by the time I was 5 (Even though I had no idea what or where the U.S.S.R was). I grew up with John, Paul, George, and Ringo instead Justin, JC, Joey, Chris and Lance (I had to google N*SYNC to remember their names). The highlight of my short life was Paul McCartney in concert twice. I’m not someone to “fangirl” but those days I fangirled hard. The music of The Beatles has gotten me through everything. Their songs have brought me more joy, peace, and comfort. I can listen to them in any situation and find what I need. Here are the best lyrics from The Beatles for every and any occasion.

Keep Reading...Show less
Being Invisible The Best Super Power

The best superpower ever? Being invisible of course. Imagine just being able to go from seen to unseen on a dime. Who wouldn't want to have the opportunity to be invisible? Superman and Batman have nothing on being invisible with their superhero abilities. Here are some things that you could do while being invisible, because being invisible can benefit your social life too.

Keep Reading...Show less
Featured

19 Lessons I'll Never Forget from Growing Up In a Small Town

There have been many lessons learned.

44730
houses under green sky
Photo by Alev Takil on Unsplash

Small towns certainly have their pros and cons. Many people who grow up in small towns find themselves counting the days until they get to escape their roots and plant new ones in bigger, "better" places. And that's fine. I'd be lying if I said I hadn't thought those same thoughts before too. We all have, but they say it's important to remember where you came from. When I think about where I come from, I can't help having an overwhelming feeling of gratitude for my roots. Being from a small town has taught me so many important lessons that I will carry with me for the rest of my life.

Keep Reading...Show less
​a woman sitting at a table having a coffee
nappy.co

I can't say "thank you" enough to express how grateful I am for you coming into my life. You have made such a huge impact on my life. I would not be the person I am today without you and I know that you will keep inspiring me to become an even better version of myself.

Keep Reading...Show less
Student Life

Waitlisted for a College Class? Here's What to Do!

Dealing with the inevitable realities of college life.

118350
college students waiting in a long line in the hallway
StableDiffusion

Course registration at college can be a big hassle and is almost never talked about. Classes you want to take fill up before you get a chance to register. You might change your mind about a class you want to take and must struggle to find another class to fit in the same time period. You also have to make sure no classes clash by time. Like I said, it's a big hassle.

This semester, I was waitlisted for two classes. Most people in this situation, especially first years, freak out because they don't know what to do. Here is what you should do when this happens.

Keep Reading...Show less

Subscribe to Our Newsletter

Facebook Comments