The holidays can be a procrastinators nightmare. Stress no more and look no further than this list of eco and budget friendly gifts perfect for any giftee! After taking a look at the positive environmental impact, there is no way to turn these down.
An article by Commercial Waste predicts that Americans will throw away 227,000 miles of Christmas wrapping paper as well as enough Christmas cards to wrap around the world 500 times. Batteries have become another issue. In 2009 only about 2 out of every ten batteries made it to a recycling plant.
The amount of electricity used on a Christmas tree on a single day alone produces enough CO2 to fill five party sized balloons. There is also a debate around “fake” trees and “real” trees. For the person looking to be the most environmentally friendly, a “real” tree is the best option as it biodegradable and can protect from soil erosion. Fake trees can be less harmful if they are used for 5+ years.
Another issue found among first world countries is the overuse of plastic. Independent estimates that over 125,000 tons of plastic wrapping will be discarded through the Christmas season alone. Remember this is not just one person’s problem, it is the world’s.
After realizing the absolute turmoil found within our environment it can begin to feel hopeless, but even a slight change such as wrapping gifts with newspaper or turning the Christmas tree lights off when the house is vacant are all things worthwhile.
*DISCLAIMER* all of these products are suggestions and the exact link does not give every option and price! (Example: a reusable water bottle is a reusable water bottle, you don’t have to purchase one off Amazon for $30, these are OPTIONS for sustainable living)
Pricing Key: (all single items are under $100)
$= $20 or less
An easy way to better the environment with less plastic waste! Reusable water bottles are customizable and can be decorated in a variety of ways (not to mention the health benefits of actually drinking water). The linked water bottle is perfect for traveling and easily collapses into a purse or bag.
A cute way to pack a snack for the road! Use these whimsical BeesWax Wraps instead of a plastic sandwich bag. Reusable and providing long term financial cushion by not having to buy plastic baggies every trip to the store!
Reusable Makeup Remover Pads $
Think about the amount of makeup wipes and pads that are thrown away each day, these cheap and ultra soft reusable bamboo pads will clean your face and your conscience.
Mini Compost $$
Simple and tiny enough to be stored on a kitchen counter. Compost is an easy way to cut down on food waste while creating rich and fertile soil for the earth!
Engraved Watch $$$
Completely customizable, an engraved wooden watch is an item anyone would cherish. By using natural and sustainable components such as wood and leather it provides something easier for the earth to decompose versus something such as a latex or plastic watch.
Fun and made with charcoal; a natural teeth whitener! The use of plastic within toothbrushes is yet another example of unnecessary waste.
Making little changes such as checking to see where a morning cup of coffee comes from can make a big difference! By supporting ethically and sustainably sourced companies, it makes sure future generations will be provided the same luxury.
Ethically Sourced Gourmet Chocolate $-$$
Tasty and guilt- free! Ethically sourced chocolate is not only delicious but provides income for farmers practicing ethically.
PLASTIC! It is killing our earth and wildlife! Metal straws are yet another cheap and easy gift to give to an environmentally wary soul.
This company is dedicated to removing plastic waste from the world’s oceans. Ethically sourced, and for every product bought, one pound of trash is removed from the ocean.
A great statement piece for anyone wanting a little pop of color to their everyday.
Lush Cosmetics $-$$
Another great brand with a mission for luxury and environmentalism. Lush Cosmetics uses sustainable and natural ingredients in all of their products.
Dr. Bronner’s $-$$
A staple brand for any household, Dr. Bronner’s is a great multi-purpose brand. This is a great swap for a brand such as Bath&Bodyworks, still getting a great scent and luxury product but with more care and less plastic.
Eco Sweatshirt $$$
Cozy and sustainable. A unisex sweatshirt perfect for any winter day. Although more expensive, it is important to think about why we have cheaper clothes due to the “fast fashion” industry.
Although this ranges towards the top on price, this brand is dedicated to only using the best and most natural ingredients. Committed to sustainable sources and fair trade, their products are worth trying.
Even More Ways to Help the Environment:
- Donate used items
- Buy items with minimal packaging
- Bar soap instead of liquid soap
- Change light bulbs to LED
- Bring reusable bags to the grocery store
- Check out the local farmers market (when weather provides)
- Get some houseplants to purify the air naturally
- Try to buy locally
- Make sure the dishwasher/ load of clothes is actually full
- Wash clothes on cold when possible
- Rechargeable batteries instead of disposable
- Recycle BUT try to be mindful about how much is recycled.
- Use cloth napkins
- Try something new and cook from scratch!
- Take shorter showers
- Host a yard sale!
- Start biking/ walking where you can!
- Eat LESS meat if being a vegetarian seems unreasonable
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