The holidays are around the corner. For a lot of people who celebrate this time of year, exchanging gifts is an important part of festivities. If you don’t celebrate, then perhaps you’re looking for the perfect gift idea for friends and family who do.
The gifts we buy say a lot about who we are and the values we hold as consumers. At the end of the day, whether you’re buying for yourself or someone else, you’re still the one who is reaching into your pocket and making a purchase. If you ask me, every purchase is a vote cast for the kind of world we want. The companies and brands we support matter even when it comes to gifts. So in light of the holiday season, we’ve got a gift guide to help you with your ethical and eco-friendly shopping.
1. Materialism is Overrated
Ever thought of giving someone the gift of experience? The first step to living a sustainable life is by saying no to consumption and consumerism. The life choices you make can be reflected in the gifts you give too. What about a ticket to a show for your loved one? How about a yearly subscription to Netflix? Sign up for a new class? The possibilities are endless. So why not make new memories or learn new skills rather than collecting objects?
2. Gifts Made with Love
Using your talent and creativity is a great way of ensuring your gifts are sustainable. When you make your gifts you can be in charge of what goes into them and how they’re packaged. Plus, who doesn’t love something made with love and care? Maybe you’ve got the perfect recipe for jam or biscuits? Or perhaps you’ve got knitting skills? Making gifts is also a great way of getting the family together.
3. Buy Natural and Organic
Good gifts are healthy gifts. Read the labels and think about the ingredients that are used in what you buy. There are loads of options when it comes to organic and natural gift ideas. Think about cosmetics, soaps, candles or incense. Your family and the planet will thank you.
We’ve already talked about how wasteful shopping and consumption can be.Buying second-hand is one of the best ways of ensuring our shopping is zero-waste, ethical and eco-friendly. Walking through second-hand shops can be so much fun! Whether you’re an avid reader or vintage lover, there’s something for everyone.
4. Support Ethical Brands
By supporting ethical brands you’re standing up for the ethics and values you believe in. As customers, we have the right to know everything about how a garment is produced to the resources that go into making it. Ethical brands also tend to offer quality that’s made to last rather than promoting fast and cheap fashion.
5. Keep it Really Green
One of my favorite gift ideas (to give and to receive) are plants. Aside from sticking to your sustainability goals, you’re also giving your loved ones a gift that has life – one that can hopefully serve as a reminder of the beauty of nature and the importance of protecting it.
Next time you’re looking for a gift idea, ask yourself whether it’s in line with your values and the wellbeing of the planet. Happy shopping!