Gifts go beyond their material value. In most cases, they serve as an avenue for givers to convey intangible emotions like love and affection. Various cultures consider it customary to give gifts on birthdays, special holidays, weddings, and baby showers, among other occasions and life milestones.
While gifting brings joy to both givers and receivers, the practice also poses environmental risks. Take gift wrappers as an example. You might not think much of plastic covers, but surveys show that 4.6 million pounds of wrapping paper go straight to landfills every year in America.
Apart from the wasted wrapping paper, unwanted gifts also contribute to the country’s growing amount of waste. Reports suggest that Americans waste over $9.5 billion on unwanted gifts per annum—most of these either get stored indefinitely or thrown in the trash. Either way, they end up adding to household waste.
Fortunately, it’s not too late to change. You and your low-impact loved ones can minimize your holiday waste by shifting to sustainable gifts. Not only do these products support the environment, but they are also unique and practical. Trust us—your loved ones have enough off-brand sweaters.
Some of the best eco-friendly gifts include:
#1. LastRound from LastObject
Both men and women see cotton pads as a bathroom staple. You can use multi-purpose pads to remove makeup, apply toner, and spread moisturizer on your face. Apart from being versatile, cotton pads are also inexpensive. You can buy a pack at your local drugstore for less than a dollar.
Despite the ease and convenience that disposable cotton rounds offer, you might want to avoid them because of their negative impact on the environment. Research shows that producing a kilogram of cotton uses over 20,000 liters of clean water. This much water would keep a healthy adult hydrated for nearly two decades.
If you’re gifting someone who loves cosmetic and skincare products but wants to reduce their carbon footprint, try LastRound from LastObject. These reusable cotton pads make a great alternative to cotton rounds. Each pack only costs $20 and is already equivalent to 1,750+ disposable pads.
#2. Eco-Friendly Clothes from Azura Bay
The fast-paced fashion industry allows shoppers to enjoy a new line of fresh, trendy outfits almost every month. You could put on a fresh fit every day if you wanted. Many celebrities and internet personalities even purchase massive amounts of clothes regularly simply to avoid wearing the same clothes more than once.
While this consumerist lifestyle seems glamorous, it also poses several environmental risks. With people constantly buying new clothes, the country ends up with more textile waste than what the local landfills could accommodate. Reports even indicate that the global population throws away 92 million tonnes of clothes every year.
If you plan to gift clothes without increasing your carbon footprint, try Azura Bay. The brand carries a wide range of eco-friendly garments, such as shirts, yoga pants, and even underwear. All their products consist of upcycled, ethically sourced raw materials manufactured in low-energy facilities.
#3. Sustainable Jewelry from SOKO
The finest jewelry pieces consist of high-value precious stones and metals like gold, diamonds, and silver that cost thousands of dollars.
Unfortunately, mining these materials harms the ecosystem. The process requires heavy machinery that destroys natural landscapes and toxic chemicals that contaminate nearby bodies of water.
If you want to gift a special someone with sustainable, eco-friendly jewelry, check out SOKO. The brand produces luxurious pieces made with ethically sourced, recycled materials.
There is a misconception that eco-friendly jewelry consists of cheap materials that hold no value. Trust us—this could not be further from the truth. SOKO features a broad range of stunning pieces guaranteed to stay gorgeous and brilliant for years to come.
Also, SOKO does not rely on energy-wasting factories. On the contrary, all their pieces were handcrafted by local artisans in Kenya.
You cannot wholly prevent unwanted gifts. As we mentioned above, Americans waste almost $10 billion on “undesirable presents” every year. Instead of letting these unopened items go to waste, regift them to someone else.
Contrary to popular belief, society already accepts the idea of regifting. As compared to letting unwanted gifts collect dust in your attic for several years, regifting them to another individual is far more practical.
Just make sure that your recipient wants the item. Passing an unwanted gift to someone who also does not want or need it defeats the purpose of regifting.
How to Start Giving Sustainable Gifts
Practicality plays an integral role in exchanging sustainable gifts. Note that even eco-friendly products will add to waste if the recipient has no use for them. So instead of gifting random renewable items, look for sustainable alternatives to the most common products that your loved ones use every day.
Also, ditch the plastic gift wrappers. Since they contribute to the country’s growing plastic problem, opt for renewable alternatives like newspapers, woven baskets, and used fabric scraps instead. With a bit of creativity, you can turn these makeshift covers into gorgeous, trendy gift wrappers.