10 Sustainable Gift Ideas That Should Be On Everyone’s Radar
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10 Sustainable Gift Ideas That Should Be On Everyone’s Radar

Spreading joy and sustainability one gift at a time.

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10 Sustainable Gift Ideas That Should Be On Everyone’s Radar
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Did you know that Americans generate 25% more waste from Thanksgiving to New Year’s Day than on average? As if we don’t throw out enough already. For a country that’s made so many strides in other areas, sustainability is certainly an area we could improve on.

That’s where you and I come in. Many holiday gifts that people receive each year are just stuff that we like for a season or a year, and then throw out or store in the closet to be forgotten about till a few years later when we’re moving or reshuffling the house. So, in an attempt to think sustainably AND enjoy the gifts we get and receive, here are 10 sustainable gift ideas that should be on everyone’s radar.

1. Mason Jars

One super cute idea that you could do is write all the things you love about someone on little slips of recycled paper and put them in the mason jar. Then, the person can utilize the mason jar again however they may like. Mason jars are not only very aesthetically-pleasing, but they are also great for living a zero-waste lifestyle.

Sustainability tip: Instead of using plastic bags to hold your dried fruits or nuts, bring your mason jar to the market for these goodies! Many markets will just tear their weight and you can feel good about not using another plastic bag.



2. Concert Tickets

Concert tickets create nights to remember and there’s nothing like the high of singing (or in most cases, screaming) along to the lyrics of your favorite artists live in concert.


3. A Vacation

SPRING BREAK, LET’S GO. Start saving up so you can check off those bucket list items with your college besties. From Yosemite and Las Vegas to New Orleans and the Appalachian Mountains, the potential for road trip adventures just in the U.S. are endless. Sure to be one for the books.

Sustainability tip: Take public transportation whenever possible to decrease your CO2 footprint!


4. Favorite Foods

Everyone loves food and eating especially during the holiday season. Cook a nice meal for your loved ones or bake their favorite recipe. Nothing like a full stomach to win someone over.

Sustainability tip: Purchase local foods and if using the oven, put all the food in together so you don’t waste heat!


5. Dogs and Cats

Probably not the most practical gift, however, are there really any downsides to adopting a dog or cat from your local animal shelter, giving them a home, and having more love in the house? Nope. Memories for a lifetime.

Sustainability tip: Create your own pet toys using goods or materials that you may already have at home instead of buying new items at the store.


6. Practical Items

Toilet paper, cleaning supplies, gas money. I mean, not as exciting, but hey at least they’re useful, and you won’t have to worry about them being chucked in the corner never to be seen again.

Sustainability tip: Shop responsibly and be sure to look for that fair trade label!

7. Seeds and Plants

What better way to be sustainable than giving someone the gift of a fruit or vegetable so that they can provide themselves with food grown right in their backyard! Just make sure it’s the appropriate climate so the plant doesn’t die. That’d be a tragedy.


8. Donations

Support your loved one’s favorite charities and know that your money is being given to a good cause. From disaster relief to saving endangered species to cancer research, every dollar makes a difference.


9. Patagonia Worn Wear

Yet another reason I’m in love with Patagonia. We live in a culture of always buying something new to replace any broken or old items and throwing it away when we’ve outgrown it. Patagonia’s Worn Wear program gives you the opportunity to shop or sell used but perfectly wearable Patagonia clothing or fix your old and broken Patagonia favorites. Saving money and minimizing our environmental impact, you can’t go wrong!

Sustainability tip: Repair and reuse without Patagonia too! Offer to fix your loved one’s broken bike or sew that hole in the sweater they love. Most of the time, we buy new things because we don’t have the time to fix items we already have. But you can give the gift of repair and save them the time and money.

A Patagonia jacket turned backpack, made possible by Patagonia Worn Wear.

10. Your Company

In a world of constant go, go, go with family members and friends all on different schedules, sometimes what we really want is just time with our loved ones. So be sure to make time for your loved ones and be present in the moment over the next few weeks. Your company is one special gift that no material thing or money can ever replace.


Finally, instead of using recycled wrapping paper, think about going the extra eco-friendly step and wrapping your gifts in newspaper or magazines. And if someone does happen to give you wrapping paper, save the gift wrap and tissue paper to be used next time.

Hopefully, you found some ideas for yourself and your loved ones. Together, we can spread joy and also minimize the amount of waste we produce this year. Here’s to a happy holiday season and a happy planet.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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