I’m Dreaming of a Green Christmas: Eco-Friendly Gift Ideas to Consider This Holiday

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December is here and the holiday season is now in full swing. But before you hang your stockings by the chimney with care (presumably by the fireplace, which over one-third of homes have), you’ll want to get your gifting squared away.

If you or a loved one will be making an effort to lead a greener and cleaner lifestyle in 2021, the holiday season presents (pun intended) the perfect opportunity for sustainable gift-giving. Here are just a few eco-friendly ideas that will be sure to satisfy every recipient on your list this year.

Zero-Waste Personal Care Products

From vegan makeup to environmentally friendly beard care products, there are tons of ways to reduce your impact while looking your best. But if you really want to take toiletry and other personal care items to the next level, you might want to explore some zero-waste options. There are a number of brands that make zero-waste cosmetics, hair care products, and other personal items your friends and family will love — all without creating any extra waste. As a bonus, consider wrapping your gifts in recycled paper or biodegradable materials this year to further reduce unnecessary waste.

Sustainable CBD

It might surprise you to learn that CBD isn’t just trendy; it’s also pretty eco-friendly. As far as crops go, hemp tends to be one of the most sustainable, as it’s hardy, can easily be grown on a smaller scale, and requires significantly less water than many other plants. While that doesn’t inherently mean that every CBD product on the market will automatically be eco-friendly, it does increase the chance that you can find something sustainable to fit your recipient. Keep in mind while shopping that CBD isolate is refined to remove all other cannabinoids, terpenes, and hemp plant components (rendering the final product around 99% CBD). This can often make for a better quality product. But you can also find sustainable CBD items like infused coffees, balms, oils, creams, scrubs, rubs, serums, and supplements. If you know your recipient suffers from anxiety or physical discomfort, this can be a great gift that has benefits for both themselves and the world.

Reusable Storage and Kitchen Items

If you’re trying to find a present for someone who loves to cook or who wants to make smaller sustainable changes, why not give them a gift that keeps on giving? Reusable food storage items like bowl covers and sandwich bags will allow them to cut down on waste (eliminating plastic wrap and single-use bags) in a way that’s truly thoughtful. A kitchen compost bin can also make a great gift for those who want to cut down on food waste. Reusable produce bags may be a welcome alternative to plastic ones you might otherwise find at the grocery store, while reusable straws and water bottles can help your friend or relative cut down on other single-use plastics. Although these gifts may be on the basic side, they can make great stocking stuffers — and they can easily be personalized to fit your recipient’s personal style.

Fair Trade Foods

Even if your recipient isn’t gung-ho over going green, you can show them what a difference that sustainability can make by gifting them a Fair Trade food product. One Nielsen report from 2018 found that 81% of global consumers felt strongly that companies should protect the environment. And with Fair Trade-certified items, you can feel confident that your purchase will support good deeds for both the environment and the people who made the product. The Fair Trade Certified website says that this seal shows that a given product “was made according to rigorous social, environmental, and economic standards.” Essentially, it means that those who make these goods are able to work safely and are paid fairly. What’s more, these goods support their local communities and are made in a way that protects the environment. While Fair Trade clothing is common, you can also find a number of food products (including coffee, fresh produce, chocolate, flowers, tea, honey, sugar, and more) that meet these standards. These make awesome gifts for foodies or anyone in your life who deserves a special treat.

Although many of us are eager to cut down on our environmental impact, that can feel like a challenge during a holiday shopping rush. If you seek out truly eco-friendly shops and independent artists, you’ll likely be able to find a number of sustainable gifts to wrap under the tree this year.

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