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Dec 08

Sustainable Holiday Series: Shopping for Gifts

Posted on December 8, 2022 at 8:30 AM by Kaitlynn McCumiskey

Shopping for gifts finalThis holiday shopping season is overshadowed by supply chain disruptions, labor shortages, and rising costs. Our sustainable shopping guide below can help you navigate these issues as well as be a conscious consumer. This holiday season shop with patience and understanding as small businesses navigate unique challenges.

  • Shop for gifts at the thrift store instead. Thrift stores are a great place to find unique gifts at great prices. Check online retailers of secondhand goods as well.
  • Consider giving gifts of time, experience, classes, or membership instead of buying the latest gadgets. Give experience gifts like concert tickets, theater tickets, sporting event tickets, movie passes, bowling passes, or a restaurant gift card. Check out local and online classes for cooking, painting/drawing, dance, yoga, swimming, or homebrewing/wine making. Membership to the zoo, art museum, science museum, children’s museum, State Parks, National Parks, or theme park all make great gifts. Gifts of time could include babysitting, yard work, house cleaning, a car wash, or an oil change.
  • Shop local! Shop at nearby farmers markets, craft fairs, plant nurseries, and locally owned stores. Shopping for gifts at the thrift store and giving gifts of time or experience also have an added bonus of supporting local businesses as well!
  • Reusable water bottles, beeswax wraps, food storage containers, wool dryer balls, cloth napkins and other alternatives to plastic bags and other single use disposable items, all make great gifts.
  • Puzzles, games, books, and magazine subscriptions make great sustainable gifts for kids and adults. These gifts encourage less screen time and can bring a family together.
  • Make your own gifts: edible gifts such as breads, cookies, dried fruits, nut mixes, canned goods, jams/jellies, or herbed vinegars make fantastic gifts. Knit a scarf, crochet a hat or mittens, paint a watercolor, or design your own jewelry. Make a calendar using family photos or children’s artwork.

According to the Environmental Protection Agency containers and packaging accounted for 23% of total landfilled material in 2017. Most of the gift ideas listed above have so many benefits, including reducing packaging waste. Stay tuned for more sustainable holiday ideas for gift wrapping next week!