Plastic Free Holiday Gifts

Photograph by Tala Parker

Photograph by Tala Parker

The Unites States waste production increases 25% during the holiday season and 50% of the paper consumed each year in the US is used to wrap and decorate consumer products. This holiday season, decrease your waste by consciously gifting. Here are some tips.

Ask what people want / discuss opting out of gift giving

We all have a lot of stuff and often receiving more during the holiday season is overwhelming. Ask your friends and family specifically if/what they want to avoid gifting them items that will sit unused in their home.

make your own cards / gifts

Creating your own holiday cards is a much more personal experience that will leave your friends and family feeling loved and appreciated. Because you put your own time and effort into the card it will be more special and memorable. You don’t beed to be particularly artistic or have lots of supplies either–stick to a simple design and your cards will look great! Alternatively, making a small gift can be a great zero waste option. I’ve baked goods for my family and created earrings and necklaces for friends in the past.

Reuse / Regift

We have an unfortunate stigma surrounding regifting but it’s actually a very environmentally friendly option. If you receive a gift that doesn’t suit you or have something lying around the house you know someone else will appreciate more, regift it!

Support ethical and zero waste companies

There are many ethical companies that ship their products in plastic free boxes. Some of my favorite shops include Package Free Shop or Everlane. Alternatively, buy small plastic free items from local small businesses.

Gift experiences

Gifted experiences can be some of the best gifts. Consider offering to take your friends/family out to dinner or to an event you’ll know they’ll like. Or, offer to volunteer with them at their local charity.

Happy holidays!