This time of year can be so joyful and exciting, but it can also be pretty wasteful, too. Sorry to be a downer here (and I'm also guilty of it, too), but think about the sheer number of boxes, gift wrap, and more that gets thrown away. The reality is, yes, we will probably rack up a lot more waste this season, we can also make a conscious decision to be as sustainable as we can.
For gift wrap, what about using Kraft paper, old newspapers (comics, not the scary, real-world news), and cloth ribbons instead of plastic bows? Try something new with gifting this year, and give experiential gifts to your family and friends. Take your mom out to see a play, or your best friend to their favorite restaurant.
And if you want to give physical gifts this year, think about some sustainable, environmentally friendly goods. Luckily, there are so many great options out there these days that it's easy to shop. Take a look at some of our favorites below.
The crispest winter days call for the coziest throw blankets. This one is made of recycled cotton.
This natural beauty trio is cruelty-free and doesn't contain sulfates, phthalates, parabens, petrochemicals, mineral oil, silicone, and talc. The body polish, face mist, and lip conditioner are all infused with rose and coconut—the ultimate self-care kit.
Made of 100% bamboo, these tumblers are ideal for travel. It comes with a strainer and infuser so they can have their tea or fruit-infused water while on the go. Better yet, it keeps beverages cold for up to 24 hours and warm for 12 hours.
An essential addition to any activewear wardrobe, these high-rise compression leggings are supportive and comfortable, but they're also made with polyester constructed from 25 discarded water bottles. That's pretty cool.
Say goodbye to paper and plastic shopping bags. They'll be the chicest one at the grocery store with this French market tote.
Share some sustainable inspiration with this book. It has plenty of ideas on how to change your home and lifestyle habits, and reduce your carbon footprint.
A few years ago, a straw might have been a weird gift to give, but now, with many cities banning plastic straws, it's a totally socially acceptable (and even welcome) present. This one folds up and fits into a keychain case for easy portability.
At just $8, this makes a great stocking stuffer. And since it's so affordable, you can get your friend a couple (because we all know one makeup bag isn't enough). It's made of 100% hemp fiber.
Sometimes, the hard part about bringing a water bottle or tumbler with you is that if you don't have a sizeable bag or place to stash it (like a car), you have to hold it as you go about your day. I don't know about you, but for me that always ups my chances of forgetting it somewhere. These collapsible cups can easily fit into your already-packed everyday bag. They're microwave-friendly, too.
Your friend who's getting the new iPhone this season needs a new case. So stay one step ahead and gift them this case, which is made from recycled plastic bottles. Plus, 5% of the profits go to organizations like the Coral Reef Alliance, The Seabin Foundation, WILDCOAST, CarbonFund.org, and Sea Save Foundation.
P.F. Candle Co.'s products are made with soy wax, and the amber jars are great to reuse as catchalls when the wax is long gone. This gift set comes with scents like amber and moss, teakwood and tobacco, and golden coast.
Get their garden started with this herb kit—it fits in perfectly in small spaces, too. Each set comes with mint, cilantro, basil, and parsley plants, and a glass container for each. Did we mention that they're also self-watering?
Who needs plastic containers or zip bags, when you've got this stackable, brass-finished metal piece? They'll actually want to bring their lunch to work.
Simple yet elegant, this set is made from 100% recycled glass. Even better: The Swaziland factory where these goods are made also recycles glass, paper, fuel, and water, and they lead environmental education programs for children.
Upgrade their bedding and be eco-friendly at the same time with a Buffy down alternative comforter. It's made of eucalyptus fabric. Buffy says each one keeps 50 bottles out of landfills and protects 12 geese.