Who doesn’t enjoy the gift of giving. However, how does one make sure that these practises do not encourage purchasing of needless products and contribute to the massive problem at hand, which is global warming?

The need for sustainable gifting has never been greater. With this in mind, an increasing number of companies are responding to calls for more ethical and transparent production processes which helps in reducing their carbon footprint even during the festive seasons.

Both producing and delivering presents results in emission of greenhouse gases that contribute to global warming. Gifting generates millions of tons of garbage, with half of it allegedly ending up in landfills. Consider multiple gifts for different occasions such as birthdays, anniversaries, Christmas, Valentine’s day and other holidays and the scale of the challenge increases dramatically. 

Here are some tips on how to be more conscious when planning your holiday gifts and make your loved ones happy without having a negative impact on the planet. 

Sustainable Gift Ideas

When thinking about what to give, firstly really consider whether you want to give a physical item, or rather something experiential, homemade or second hand. 

If you decide to go for something practical after all, look into whether the item is made out of organic, responsibly sourced, and biodegradable materials. Biodegradable materials degrade more quickly and leave no trace once they decompose. 

A Gift of a Memory

One of the most precious presents you can offer is a memorable experience. You can give them a restaurant voucher, a massage appointment, a concert ticket, or a gift card that they can redeem themselves. 

Homemade Items

Gifts from your kitchen will always be welcome and loved. Homemade edibles will showcase your sincerity - your time and effort, as well as your culinary ingenuity, are just as if not more valuable as a store-bought present.

The time you spend in the kitchen is probably comparable to the time you spend shopping for gifts at the mall or online. Try a new recipe, or pick an old favourite that you know your loved ones will appreciate and produce a batch that will make them all happy. 

You can always write the recipes out on cards with your own handwriting and add ribbon to bind them. Your cherished recipes will be treasured and live on for years.

Seeds to Plant

Very few practises are more environmentally friendly than growing your own food. From vegetables, to herbs, to flower seeds - you can make your own plant gift package. You can place these seed packages in a recyclable box and wrap them with instructions on how and when to bring them to life. 

Sustainable Essentials

You can give something essential that will last them ages - after all, another way to be more sustainable is simply by using things for longer or as long as they can last. 

A good quality basic t-shirt from an ethical brand, a reusable water flask, or even sustainable intimates (such as So.Me) if you’re buying a gift for a romantic partner can be a great idea. 

Sustainable Gift Wrapping

Another way to care for our environment by using waste-reducing, tree-protecting, and eco-friendly gift wrapping items. It is important to keep in mind that a material cannot be recycled if it is metallic, glittery, textured, or has a wax layer. 

Thinking of spicing up your wrapping practises? Newspapers are fully recyclable, making them way more cost-effective and eco friendly than traditional wrapping paper. 

Sustainable Shipping

There are also ways to reduce your carbon footprint whilst sending your gifts. 

Firstly, consider shipping your gift in corrugated cardboard which is likely the easiest and cheapest material to ship with, as well as being eco-friendly, biodegradable and fully recyclable. You can also look into green logistic options, as quite a few companies out there are offering carbon offsetting. 

You should also be very mindful of returns as this is a massive issue and creates a lot of extra emissions. One way to combat this is asking the recipient about what their gift preference or size is ahead of time. If you are the receiver and your gift does not fit - perhaps consider sharing it with someone else around you rather than sending it back.

Still looking for your next best sustainable gift? Visit the So.Me Shop and see what we have in store (for your ease of mind, don’t forget that we also offer Gift Cards).
January 25, 2022 — Olena Sychenko