November 20, 2019
8 Tips for Affordable and Eco-Friendly Gift-Giving by Dark Blue Journal
Eight tips for Affordable and Eco-Friendly Christmas Gift-giving by Dark Blue JournalSource: Dark Blue Journal
Christmas is around the corner! Okay, it’s more than a month away, but I’m sure a lot of you are getting Christmas gifts ready. I’m not a fan of gift-exchanges, but I do believe that affordable and eco-friendly Christmas gift-giving can be done with a lot of love and grace, too.
Don’t get me wrong, gift-giving is wonderful and festive. It’s a great way to show someone that you’re thinking about them, but it also results in a lot of waste – both in financial and material terms.
These days, people are buying things often throughout the year. If we have a smartphone, we probably have everything we need. Most gifts we receive are something we either already have or don’t really need. They often become clutter, donation, or waste.
Yes, we’re very happy the day we receive it, but the pleasure quickly dissipates.
If we’re not careful, Christmas gift-giving can result in a lot of wasted resources. When choosing presents, please do it consciously for yourself, your loved ones, and the environment. Keep in mind the gift’s usefulness, the recipient’s preference, and the item’s carbon footprint.
Try to wrap them sustainably, too. Choose matte wrapping paper – they’re easier to recycle – or paper bags that can be reused. Try to save the wrapping paper, bags, and ribbons you receive from your gifts and reuse them next year, as well.
I can’t and won’t discourage you from gift-giving, but I will encourage you to do it sustainably. For affordable and eco-friendly Christmas gift-giving, consider these tips!
Don’t Keep Up with the Joneses – Keep it Real
Standing before a pile of gifts beneath a festive treeSource: Dark Blue Journal
Keep your budget manageable for you. Don’t do it if you can’t afford it.
It’s better to be realistic about your situation than to suffer financial hardship for the months to follow. I’m sure your friends and family won’t want you to suffer either.
Wishlists with a Budget
We usually have a group of people we do gift-exchange with. Rather than buying blind, make everyone’s wishlist has items that can be purchased within an agreed budget. Make sure the budget is manageable for all involved.
This way everyone gets something they want, so no one wastes their money!
Fairtrade nuts or chocolate, organic jams, wine, fancy snacks or biscuits, gourmet coffee or teas, food baskets, and so on. These are all great. Food will never clutter your space for long since they can be eaten.
In fact, having too much food at home is a good problem to have. We can always donate the excess to a food bank or leave it in the office for everyone to enjoy!
Spoil Them with Homemade Treats
Holiday cookies stored in a mason jar with twine wrapped around the topSource: Dark Blue Journal
Who doesn’t love to receive cookies or brownies? These simple treats are a joy to receive and not that difficult to make. Plus, it shows the amount of effort you’re willing to put in!
Check out these simple recipes:
Put them in a reusable mason jar, tie a length of twine around it, and you’ve got yourself a thoughtful, delicious gift!
Get Creative with Handmade Gifts
Think about what you like to do in your free time. For me, it’s crocheting, so I crochet small projects like my simple star tree ornament. Maybe you like to sew – that will open up an entire world of handmade gifts for you!
Or maybe you like to paint – you can do miniature painting as gifts! If you have great penmanship, consider writing quotes and framing them in DIY frames.
Wherever your interest lies, do a search on Pinterest and get creative! (But please stay away from glitter) I think it’s a great excuse to spend time doing your hobby, and it beats buying mass-produced trinkets.
You can gift experience, too! Gift movie tickets, museum tickets, theme park tickets, and so on. However, these are usually more expensive.
In the unlikely event that your friends and family are all minimalists, you can even write a note promising a walk to the park, a hike, or a trip to the mall with them, depending on where your mutual interests lie. It’s free fun and makes for great bonding time!
Plant an Idea with Eco-Friendly Products
If you prefer to buy something, you can use this opportunity to provide them with an eco-friendly gear you think they may like.
There are many good and useful gift ideas out there that will make nice, green gifts – even on a low budget.
- Bar Soaps
- Cotton drawstring bags for grocery shopping
- Beeswax wraps
- Bamboo toothbrush
- Wool dryer balls
- Cotton kitchen towels/table rags/napkins
- Reusable straws
- Reusable utensils set
Please note that some of these are affiliate links, so if you purchase an item through the link, I’ll get a small commission at no cost to you. Thanks!
This isn’t an exhaustive list, but you get the picture. When choosing a “green” gift, consider the biodegradability, ease of use and reusability (where applicable) of the gift.
Pick easy switches a person can make in their life – like using beeswax wrap over clingwrap. Or things that have multi-use.
For instance, if they didn’t like the bamboo toothbrush for their teeth, they can use it for cleaning.
Do Good Together
Rather than getting presents, consider making a donation in honor of your friend/family member. You can even pool money that would’ve been used for the presents to support an organization or help someone in need instead.
Even though this is very unconventional, it’s meaningful. But it can only work if everyone’s on board with the idea. Otherwise, you may lose some friends.
Help those in need and improve access to food and water:
Protect the environment and our animals:
- Gift A Tree through The Nature Conservancy
- Protect the rainforest with Rainforest Trust
- Protect the ocean with The Ocean Foundation
- Prevent wildlife exploitation with WildAid
- Support a local pet shelter!
As a society, we’ve consumed way too much and the consequence of it is resource depletion along with a whole lot of carbon emission. Please keep the environment in mind this holiday season and pick greener gifts!
Somewhere along the way, I feel like we’ve moved away from the spirit of the holidays and wandered into the traps of consumerism. It’s a good habit to remind ourselves not to do that every now and then.
Head on over to Dark Blue Journal for more sustainable and minimalist lifestyle tips.
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