It’s the season of giving, and there’s nothing more fun than picking out the perfect present for the ones you love.
That being said, while we’re all busy opening packages and tossing tissue paper in the air, we’re often absent-mindedly contributing to the amount of waste that ends up in our landfills. A few presents for one family might not seem too bad—but multiply it by the millions of homes just across the USA, and the amount of waste adds up quickly.
We’ll be the first to admit that we’re not perfect when it comes to living 100% eco-friendly lives. But there are some tips and tricks we can share that make a difference!
If you’re looking for more eco-friendly gift wrap and gift giving options, here’s what we recommend…
Eco-Friendly Gift Giving Tip #1: Carefully Plan Out Your Gifts
This time of year is BUSY!
Add in full work schedules, holiday parties, traveling, and kids, it can actually be downright chaos! Sound familiar?
Before you know it you’re going to visit your best friend or your family and you remember you haven’t purchased a gift yet. Because of poor planning, you’re forced to grab whatever you can find off the shelf so you don’t show up empty-handed.
Little do you know that your Aunt Debbie already has 6 pairs of those fluffy socks you picked up, little Jessica is no longer into dolls, and the last thing Uncle Bob needs is another tie.
Unfortunately, their gifts may be used once or twice, then end up in the trash.
The solution: Plan out your gifts earlier this year.
Ensuring that someone gets a gift that they will want/use is as simple as picking up the phone and asking a person what they would enjoy/what they need.
We’re not giving this piece of advice to be gift snobs. We believe we should accept all gifts with gratitude. But, if you’re worried about your present ending up in a “discard” pile, it’s always better to plan ahead and ask them than to simply grab something off the shelf!
Eco-Friendly Gift Giving Tip #2: Gift People with Services Instead of Things
Do you ever look around your home and fret about how much “stuff” you have lying around?
Many of us are very fortunate and can go out and purchase goods whenever we need them. This makes it hard when people ask what you’d like for the holiday season.
What do you get someone who has everything? We think it’s fun to provide people with services or experiences!
To cut down on waste, try gifting those in your life with some following ideas this year…
- Give gift cards to restaurants, salons, or movie tickets.
- Offer service-based gifts such as providing babysitting or cleaning services.
- Gift an experience, such as visiting a museum or going skydiving.
- Purchase subscription services such as meal delivery services or a year of Netflix access.
Eco-Friendly Gift Giving Tip #3: Eliminate Waste with Eco-Friendly Packaging Options.
Last but not least, we want to touch on the silent waste culprit that many of us don’t think about—gift wrapping waste!
Every year millions of American’s fill trash bags full of wrapping paper, bows, and ribbons from open gifts. It seems silly to spend so much money on wrapping paper and ribbons, only to tear them to shreds and send them off to the garbage dump.
The good news...you have options when it comes to choosing a more sustainable way to wrap gifts.
First, we recommend choosing packaging options that can be reused. For example, opt for gift bags instead of wrapping paper. After a package is opened, a gift bag can easily be folded and put away for later use.
To be honest, people really enjoy getting bags that can be reused as it saves them time and money in the future!
Second, if you really enjoy the esthetic of paper-wrapped gifts, opt for gift wrap made from recycled materials. There are many ec0-friendly companies that produce recycled wrapping paper products.
When you’re done opening gifts, be sure to collect the used wrapping paper and place in your recycling bin instead of a trash can!
Finally, you can always avoid wrapping paper, ribbons, and bows all together. Instead of using paper products, wrap your gift in a reusable dish towel, t-shirt, or a soft blanket.
You may have to get a little creative, but wrapping your gift inside of another gift (like a dish towel) is not only fun, but allows you to avoid wasting wrapping materials all together.
We hope you have a wonderful holiday season and remember that the best gift of all is spending time with those you love!
-Pure Modern Living