How to find sustainable gifts for an eco-friendly holiday
Written by: Amanda-Jane Healy, Everkind.
The joy of gifts is in the giving, and choosing sustainable and eco-friendly gifts feels amazing, but when it comes to holiday celebrations it really is presence not presents that makes the day truly special.
Here at Everkind, we love all things eco-luxe, so here’s our top seven tips for helping you keep it sustainable and eco-friendly these holidays.
One: Know what you’re trying to achieve
What does sustainable even mean?
Sustainable means we're meeting our needs without compromising the ability of future generation to meet their needs. Sustainability is more than the impact on the environment, if it is not ethical or economically viable, then it's not sustainable.
As they say, little steps taken by millions of people can make a huge impact.
Did you know, that if every office worker is the UK used one less staple a day by using a reusable paper clip, 120 tonnes of steel would be saved in one year? When you take small steps you join a ripple that is making a difference.
And what about eco-friendly, what does that mean?
It means the product is a better option for the planet. Every time we swap to something that has a lighter footprint, we are making a difference for the planet. There is no such thing as ‘away’, so choosing something that won’t end up in landfill or microplastics in the ocean at the end of its life, is better for the planet.
A gift is eco-friendly when it is needed and useful; is made, sent, and used in a way doesn't harm to the environment; and at end of life can be reused, recycled, or composted.
Two: Buy with purpose
Ask yourself, “Is this gift useful?”
Choose a gift that is practical - something needed and useful for your friend or loved one. Think of ordinary items that they use every day which normally end up in landfill and find a stylish and sustainable replacement.
Three: Think about the end
Look at materials it’s made of.
Find packaging you can reuse or repurpose. Little boxes are great for keeping craft items organised. Keep the front of cards and donate for Kindy artwork, smooth our tissue and wrapping paper and store it away for next time. Avoid glitter and laminated papers because they won’t compost at end of life. Be picky with your ribbons, most are synthetic but there are cotton options.
When it comes to clothing, opt for quality natural fibres that will wear well and compost at end of life.
If it’s food or bodycare choose things packaged in natural and sustainable materials rather than plastic.
Four: Think about what it’s made from
If there's an organic option, go with that. Organic agriculture is kinder to the planet. The absence of synthetic fertilisers and pesticides in beneficial to the land, waterways, and bees.
By choosing organic you're choosing climate action and encouraging others to farm organically. Farming without synthetic fertilisers and pesticides isn't an easy path but for decades dedicated people have found a better way to farm the land.
Five: Pick light and local
When it comes to calculating the carbon footprint of gifts, weight makes a difference. The heavier the item the more CO2 is emitted in transport, and the further it has to travel the more emissions it creates. Light and local is the ideal combination.
Six: Find ethically made
Protecting the planet but oppressing people does not make for a sustainable gift. Look for companies that are committed to fair trade and social justice.
When a gift is certified organic you know the whole organic supply chain is audited annually to ensure social justice for the workers.
And when it comes to cosmetics, check for cruelty free. Better to be tested on wiling humans than little animals. Thankfully, there are many companies offering cruelty-free now.
Seven: Support people doing good in the world
Every dollar you spend is a vote for the kind of world you want for the next generation, so look for companies that have baked-in doing good to their business.
Many companies are putting purpose before profit and are on a mission to help people thrive. Get behind the cause and make a difference with your dollar!
And to sum it all up ...
We've developed an Everkind gift checklist. If it ticks all the boxes, then you're know you've got a winner.
The ultimate sustainable and eco-friendly gift checklist
Here’s the Everkind sustainable shopping checklist to help you navigate holiday gift buying.
- Will it be used many times?
- Can you reuse, recycle, or compost the packaging?
- Are the ingredients organic, all natural, and non-toxic?
- Does it have a smaller footprint by being light and local?
- Is it made by people who are caring for people and the planet?
- Does it have any third-party certifications to give you peace-of-mind?
- Finally, is it affordable? Because if you can’t afford it, then it isn’t sustainable.
Here at Everkind, we reckon our bodycare ticks all those boxes. We believe that when you care for your body nature’s way, it feels good inside and out – and that’s a beautiful thing! If you're looking to gift some eco-luxe bodycare check out the range.
Holiday shopping can be pretty stressful, so as you hit the pavement or the keyboard, make sure you take it easy out there! xx
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