Every Christmas we spend a lot of money on gifts. Although it’s an incredible part of the holiday, picking out, preparing a gift and giving it to your loved ones as you see the smiles appear on their faces. Christmas is supposedly a time of joy, celebration and love—but who else is stressing over picking out the perfect sustainable gift for your significant other, dad, mother-in-law or just anybody that you care about?
One thing aside, not many people are aware that although the true spirit of the holiday is to spread love and celebrate the things and people that are in our lives, our culture has made this time of the year a frenzy of distress and consumption (shared in this article by Chitra Ramaswamy on The Guardian). But you don’t have to buy the newest Xbox for all of your nephews to show that you’re a caring and thoughtful aunt. You don’t have to buy your wife those Christian Louboutin heels to let her know you love her. And you don’t even have to get your techie son an iPhone X to give him joy. (Frankly, nobody needs an iPhone X.)
Today, Christmas has become a commercialized holiday, where the media and corporations promote materialism and overconsumption, whereas advertising tells us what we need and want instead of letting us decide for ourselves. Despite the fact that we all want to give the ones we love gifts, it’s important to actually think about the things we are purchasing. The key to a great gift is the thought one puts into it, to show how much you care about someone and the effort you’d put in to see a smile on his or her face. If you want to practice conscious gift-giving but don’t have a huge budget, here are some sustainable guides to help you out this holiday season!
For Your Mother
I’ve learned that it doesn’t cost a ton to please your parents and make them happy—it’s all about the effort. There are so many things that just end up being tossed aside, or thrown away and it’s kind of a bummer for the environment. But this list of eco-friendly gifts are thoughtful enough that moms will actually be happy to get them – and – they are also made up of upcycled materials, natural ingredients, or healthy ideas for the home – which is happier for both mom and mother nature!
For Your Father
Your dad may be a tad less sentimental on the surface, but he, too, doesn’t need expensive gifts to be truly happy. Choosing a gift that is eco friendly is not only thoughtful for dad, but it is thoughtful for the planet too. When considering your gift options this year, choose a gift that is kind to the planet so it continues to give long after the holiday is over. If you aren’t sure where to begin, here’s a guide for gift ideas to get you started.
For Your Friends
It can be harder to think of a meaningful gift for a friend, but if you know him or her well enough, this can actually pretty easy! Finding the perfect sustainable gift can be slightly tricky, especially given the many layers of making a purchase. Not only is it important to consider the background of the company, ranging from the way their workers are treated to how they source their materials, but how useful and eco-friendly the purchase itself is can require a hefty amount of research to determine. To get you started with some awesome ideas, here’s a guide for gift ideas for your friends.
For Younger Siblings
Good news: younger siblings generally haven’t learned to be snobby or materialistic yet, so all you have to do is come up with something that will bring them joy! This guide provides some original and interesting ideas that are all about zero-waste!