How to Shop for Sustainable Gifts This Holiday Season
How to Shop for Sustainable Gifts This Holiday Season
Let’s face it, getting out of buying presents for our loved ones probably isn’t an option. And what’s a holiday season without the gift of giving, anyway? But what if you live (and choose to support) an eco-friendly and environmentally sustainable lifestyle?
Whether you’re buying for three people or thirty, being an eco-conscious consumer certainly makes gift-giving a little more challenging. Not only do you want to consume less, but you probably also want to choose gifting options that don’t harm our environment or create a negative social impact.
But where on earth do you even start?
While you can absolutely choose to consume less, there is also the option of consuming smarter. Now, more than ever, we have tons of eco-friendly choices when it comes to gift buying. So why not take advantage of it?
To make gift-giving easy for you this year, we explain How to Shop for Sustainable Gifts This Holiday Season so you can reduce your environmental impact and make eco-friendly decisions with your presents - starting today!
1. Opt for eco-friendly materials
If you’re looking to buy your loved ones’ clothes, blankets, shoes, bags, hats, furniture, or any other type of related item - consider the fabric used to make these products!
For example, non-organize cotton is grown using harmful pesticides and chemicals that are exposed to the soil they grow from and to you with the end product. Yuck!
Fabrics made from organic cotton, hemp, linen, wool, and bamboo can be great alternatives to harmful fabrics like polyester, non-organic cotton, and nylon (to name a few). Just make sure these eco materials are sustainably sourced!
Here are some of our favorite ethical and eco-friendly clothing brands:
We get it. Some presents just look cuter wrapped up! But that doesn’t mean you have to buy those store-bought Christmas paper rolls. Most of those paper rolls contain petroleum ink, which is very toxic for the environment AND ends up in landfills. Not to mention that same toxic ink leeches into your home environment, too.
There are so many eco-friendly options when it comes to wrapping paper. You can choose wrapping paper made from recycled paper or non-tree materials like bamboo, abaca, or hemp. You can even recycle last year’s wrapping paper (if it’s not too shredded from the unwrapping process), old newspapers, or old paper grocery bags, also.
You can even buy wrapping paper that uses sustainable ink (usually from a soy-based product which leaves less agricultural residue than many other crop varieties).
Here are some fun (but still eco-friendly) wrapping paper companies that keep sustainability top of mind:
2. Opt for eco-friendly ingredients
Did you know those delicious Christmas cookies you buy for friends or those honey-baked hams you buy for work colleagues all impact the environment? That’s why it’s essential to educate yourself around how and where your food is grown and sourced - AND how they ship these products.
For example, if you want to buy snacks or goodies, make sure they are palm-oil free. While palm-oil itself isn’t harmful, the planting and cultivation of palm-oil for global demand and consumption have caused devastating deforestation, wildlife habitat loss, and extreme water usage. You can learn more about the harmful effects of palm oil here.
If you’re buying meat for the holidays, always choose 100% grass-fed, grass-finished, organic, wild, and non-hormonal meat. According to the World Resource Institute, producing meat “requires a great deal of land and water resources, and ruminants such as cows and sheep are responsible for half of all greenhouse gas emissions associated with agriculture.”
Make sure you shop around for your holiday foods and gifts and support companies that prioritize ethical farming and ranching or that strive to reduce harmful ingredients or eliminate food waste with their business model.
Always choose local-sourced, organic, non-GMO, fresh, whole foods whenever you shop! Or try making your own healthy and sustainable treats instead!
Consider these gift ideas for those food-lovers in your life:
3. Shop eco-friendly companies
If you want to buy something new for your friends and family this holiday season, support companies that are certified B-Crop, members of 1% for the Planet, or participate in improving our planet through some other initiative - whether it’s with their profits or products.
There is an eco-friendly option for almost every type of gift out there! Sure, it might be a little more expensive, but it’s probably high-quality and less harmful to the planet - which is what we all want, right?
Many great companies sell eco-friendly and environmentally sustainable home goods—everything from beeswax candles and silicone snack bags to fair-trade wool blankets to bamboo cutting boards. Choose more sustainable options when you next shop online! We promise there is something out there for everyone—even your grumpy Aunt Marge.
Here are some great options for home goods:
- Home textiles, beddings: https://www.bollandbranch.com/
If you want to impress your significant other or close friends with jewelry or self-care products - you still can! And you can do it by choosing to buy from companies that put the environment and people first.
Here are some great companies committed to putting the planet first:
- Jewelry: https://becomeunlocked.com/
- Beauty & Skincare Masterlist: https://www.sustainablejungle.com/best-of-sustainable-beauty/best-ethical-sustainable-beauty-brands/
If you are looking to buy eco-friendly and sustainable pet gifts, have a look at our subscription box or products! Pure Earth Pets donates a portion of our proceeds to a selected charity each month. Every box is fully biodegradable and printed with soy ink to reduce waste, usually associated with subscription boxes.
Plus, we source our items from pet companies like Cycle Dog, Spunky Pup, and West Paw that are committed to sustainability.
Baby & Kids Gifts
We always want the best for our children, right? Then it’s time to start buying from brands that want the best for them too. That means purchasing non-toxic toys, blankets, clothes, pacifiers, and anything your baby or child needs.
Here are some of our favorite eco-friendly baby & kids brands:
Hopefully, this guide will help you show your loved one you care this holiday season while still doing your part for the planet. Just remember to do your research and choose materials and companies that positively affect the environment.
Remember, as the consumer - the power is in your hands! So let’s use that power for the good of the planet this holiday season (and every season going forward)!