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While countries have different gift-giving traditions, they all revolve around one thing: camaraderie. Local and international holidays often involve gifts. People use gifts to convey messages and express emotions in ways that words cannot. As the adage goes, action speaks louder than words.
Unfortunately, gift-giving traditions have also become pretty wasteful. Modern-day gifting involves extravagant packaging and expensive gifts, which ultimately end up as waste. Statistics show that daily landfill waste increases by 25% over the holidays.
Considering the negative impact of wasteful gift-giving, why don’t people gift sustainably? Sadly, our consumerist-driven society dubs eco-friendly gifts as cheap.
People associate price with value, but that shouldn’t be the case. We understand that you want to make your loved ones happy, but gift-giving traditions don’t have to compromise the planet’s health.
Keep reading if you need sustainable gift ideas. We rounded up the most practical, useful, and eco-friendly gifts that your friends, family, and significant other would surely appreciate.
1. Beauty and Skincare Pack
While cosmetic products rank among the most popular holiday gifts, they also send over 120 billion plastic packaging units to landfills per annum.
Moreover, most of these are fancy, intricate packaging. Small added features like thick cases, twistable caps, and insulated lining increase the amount of fossil fuel needed for manufacturing.
However, beauty routines don’t have to compromise the environment. Help your loved ones switch to sustainable cosmetic products by gifting them:
Reusable Cotton Pads
While cotton pads play a crucial role in any beauty routine, they’re not very eco-friendly. Farming and manufacturing cotton wastes clean water. Just two pounds of natural cotton requires 5,700+ gallons of clean water.
If you want your loved ones to use something more eco-friendly, try LastRound organic cotton rounds. One pack consists of seven washable rounds. Since users can reuse each pad 250 times, one pack would replace at least 1,750 disposable rounds.
Try something different with Plant Makeup. As the name suggests, the brand carries a diverse collection of vegan, all-natural, plant-based makeup and cosmetic products. They have everything from lipsticks to eyeliners.
2. Sustainable Fancy Jewelry
Most people avoid sustainable jewelry because they think it looks cheap, but high-fashion brands like Agmes will change their image.
Agmes combines sustainability with beauty. Their ethically sourced pieces of jewelry convey the architectural beauty of their founders’ hometowns: New York.
These versatile pieces suit several occasions. Pairing their pendant necklace with a flowy blouse gives off a summery vibe, and wearing their brilliant earrings with cocktail dresses evokes class and respect.
3. Comfy Stay-at-Home Care Package
Create the perfect stay-at-home care package for your homebody loved ones. Gift sustainable alternatives to daily essentials, such as:
- Blankets: Swap the heavy cotton blankets for the organic options at Coyuchi. The brand carries an array of sustainable blankets made with all-natural materials and manufactured through ethical means.
- Socks: Allbirds features various sustainable footwear, from sneakers to socks.
- Water Bottles: Get your loved ones to stop relying on bottled water. Refillable water bottles like Hydroflask can keep 21 oz. of liquid cool for up to 24 hours.
4. Stylish, Sustainable Clothing
Fast fashion trends trick consumers into buying things they don’t need. Society sees luxury goods and brand-new trends as status symbols, which consumerist-driven individuals feel pressured to purchase.
Sadly, these trends waste perfectly good clothes. Statistics show that textile waste spiked by 100% in the past decade, totaling nearly 20 million tons per annum.
Encourage your loved ones to break free from these trends with sustainable clothing from Organic Basics. The brand carries organic, ethically sourced clothing. Not only do they consist of all-natural, cruelty-free raw materials, but the manufacturing process revolves around eco-conscious practices.
5. Eco-Friendly Bath Pack
Hot, relaxing baths serve as the cornerstone of any self-care regimen. Submerging the body in the tub alleviates stress, eases muscle fatigue, and calms the mind.
While bathing yields several physical and mental benefits, the activity also leaves a significant environmental impact. Most bathroom products even consist of single-use plastic waste.
If you want your loved ones to enjoy a warm, soothing bath without worrying about their carbon footprint, gift them sustainable bath products like:
- Shampoo Bars: America sends over 550 million plastic shampoo bottles to landfills every year, most of which cannot be recycled. For more sustainable hair products, try the Round Shampoo Bar from Package Free. Choose from five vegan, cruelty-free variants suited for various hair-washing needs.
- Epsom Salt: Epsom salt is a must-have for bath lovers. They help relieve minor muscle aches, reduce inflammation, and moisturize the skin. If you want an eco-friendly brand, try Pure Organic Ingredients. They pack their organic, all-natural Epsom salt in 100% sustainable, recycled packaging that decomposes faster than its plastic counterparts.
- Bodywash Bar: Most body wash brands come in non-recyclable plastic tubes and glossy cardboard packaging. Moreover, these tubes are impossible to squeeze dry. You’ll almost always leave a few pumps of cream inside the packaging. Opt for body wash bars instead. Ethique carries an array of vegan, all-natural body wash bars wrapped in sustainable, recycled packaging.
Give Sustainable Gifts That Will Make Your Loved Ones Smile
These items just include some of the most practical sustainable gift ideas. Feel free to explore other options! If you find yourself stuck, think outside the box and explore various alternatives to the gifts you commonly give your loved ones.
To further reduce your contribution to the growing holiday waste problem, observe sustainable practices when receiving gifts. Reuse your gift wrappers, recycle cardboard boxes, and avoid hoarding unwanted gifts.
You can even consider regifting the ones that you don’t want or need. While regifting is traditionally frowned upon, the practice is much more practical than leaving your unwanted presents to collect dust in your storage room. Overall, strive for zero-waste gift-giving habits.