The holiday season can be as overwhelming as it is stressful. If you want to make things simpler, easier, and greener, one of the ways you can do that is through sustainable gifting.
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. Over 21 million Brits will receive at least one unwanted gift over the holiday season. What's even worse is that 1 in 10 of us will knowingly buy a terrible gift to give to someone else.
That's almost £5 billion wasted, resulting in many of them going to landfill. Very few unwanted gifts are resold or donated. So whatever you plan on gifting someone, make sure it's something they want and will use.
There are several ways to tackle sustainable gifting. Not everyone is going to be on board with every suggestion you make. But there should be a solution everyone's happy with. The easiest and simplest way to avoid unwanted gifts is to exchange wishlists.
It highlights specific items you know they want (and they know you want) without ruining the surprise completely. Wishlists help avoid last minute purchases and disappointed faces too.
Support Small Businesses
The reasons to buy handmade are countless. When you shop from a small business, you're buying one of a kind gifts that have been handmade with love. You know exactly who made the product and where. You can support small businesses in lots of different ways.
But the one that makes the biggest difference is buying from them, instead of the big brands and chain supermarkets. You're going to get a better service and receive a more meaningful gift, rather than something mass-manufactured.
By shopping with small businesses and buying from independent makers, you're also supporting more eco-friendly practices. Small businesses prioritise sustainable practices, such as avoiding waste via repair and recycling schemes, which helps reduce their carbon footprint.
Small businesses also typically use plastic-free packaging and carbon neutral delivery. So when you buy from small businesses, you can be proud of your purchases.
Buy Less and Buy Better
The commercialisation of the holiday season has taught up to feel "more is better." More food, more drink, more presents. The average British adult will spend £548 on holiday gifts, with many of them ending up in landfill.
The consequences of this overconsumption is incredibly harmful to our planet. But also causes us unnecessary guilt, stress, and debt from the pressure of it all. A change in mindset is needed.
Quality over quantity is always the best option. Buying fewer but better-quality gifts reduces the chances of gifting something unwanted, and saves money too.
Simplifying Christmas can be difficult, especially if the people around you love everything about the holiday season—including the over-consumption. The first step is talking to your loved ones about changing holiday traditions.
Gift Consumable Gifts
A fail-safe gift is a consumable one. These gifts are often the easiest to pick yet the most loved by the recipient, especially if you've made them yourself. The reason being that they are a personal gift, picked with intention and thought.
There are numerous consumable gift ideas, from food and drink to skin care and handicrafts. One of the best things about homemade gifts are that they tend to be eco-friendly and low waste too. Even if you've left it until the last minute to pick one.
If you're in need of more gift ideas, try these zero waste gifts and thrifted gifts ideas. These shopping guides have lots of sustainable brands to shop with.
Use Eco-Friendly Gift Wrapping
When you've finally made your purchases or handmade your gifts, it's time to wrap them. Whether you wrap it yourself or add gift wrapping to your online order; make sure it's plastic-free and eco-friendly, ideally with carbon neutral delivery.
If wrapping the gifts yourself, keep it minimal. Use recyclable or reusable wrapping, and paper tape. Better yet, reuse and repurpose whatever supplies you already have at home. Eco-friendly gift wrap is easy, with a little thought. This is how to tie a perfect gift bow.
Small businesses often provide an option for eco-friendly gift wrapping to ensure your order arrives safe and plastic-free. So if you're not great at wrapping gifts or you don't have time to, look for independent shops who can do it for you.