- Look for gifts that are ‘experience gifts’ or gift certificates rather than products. Reduce the product impact altogether and give someone an experience. Consider movie, theater or restaurant gift certificates. Or for more fancy options, plan a holiday tea, spa packages or weekend getaways. These are easier to wrap too!
- Consider purchasing products that are durable, not over packaged, energy efficient, made with recycled materials or recyclable. All of these are standard criteria for choosing more sustainable made products.
- Purchase green gifts from green-minded companies. There are a host of Internet based companies that already have done the selecting for you on green and sustainable products. They have an array of different types of gifts for all ages. Here are some recommendations; Organic Bug, Buy Green, Eco Choices and ReuseIt.
- Donate unwanted gifts to charity. We all receive gifts that we don’t need or don’t want. Instead of hiding them in your closet or garage, consider donating them to local charities that can use them. Go to eco-officiency’s recycling and donation page to learn more about where to donate these items.
- With battery operated gifts, consider choosing rechargeable ones. If you do purchase toys or products that do have batteries, consider also purchasing rechargeable batteries to reduce the waste impact.
- Be mindful of wrapping gifts in re-useable bags or recyclable wrapping paper. Wrapping waste is a huge contributor to our landfill waste. Much of it can’t be recycled or composted. Be mindful of the packaging and wrapping you purchase. Come sustainable wrapping choices are re-useable bags, re-used wrapping paper, comics from the Sunday paper, or paper bags decorated with stickers. According to Eco-Chick.com, if every American family wrapped just three presents in reused materials, it would save enough paper to cover 45,000 football fields.
As a helpful reminder, download eco-officiency’s conscious consumer pocket guide that has the 10 questions listed to help make a sustainable purchase.