#1Thing: Your Eco-Friendly Gift Giving Guide

December 11, 2018

By Lori Melton

The holiday season can be a hectic, busy time. Sometimes, finding the perfect gifts for people on your holiday shopping list can compound the stress – especially if you’re eco-conscious and trying to reduce the amount of waste the season brings. If you’re stumped on where to start, this eco-friendly gift-giving guide offers some "green" gift ideas that should help you check off names on your list and hopefully, help the environment.

Upcycled Gifts

From candleholders made out of mason jars to sweaters transformed into slippers or mittens, there are all kinds of upcycled gift ideas that can help reduce both your holiday shopping bill and reduce waste. Is there a book lover on your list? Consider crafting these floating shelves made from old books. Use books you have on hand or their favorite titles if you can find them at a used bookshop. Make a cool gift for sports lovers by framing their favorite team/player’s jersey for them to hang on the wall. Or, turn sports jerseys or t-shirts into team-themed toss pillows. Sometimes, all it takes is looking around your house for items to repurpose. If you’re craft-savvy, the possibilities are endless.

Eco-Friendly Retailers

If you’re not crafty and would rather find an eco-friendly gift that’s ready to go, there are many companies that make and/or sell green products. For instance, Rocky Mountain Soap Company makes a natural, toxin-free line of soap and other skincare products. LA Relaxed sells comfy clothing made from sustainable materials. Their jumpsuit was even included in Oprah’s Favorite Things 2018 list. Find eco-friendly toys and games for the kids on your list from Pure Play Kids. Office Depot carries a line of eco-friendly recycled stationery. Uncommon Goods carries a large variety of unique, unusual gifts including many upcycled, recycled or eco-friendly options.

Green Gift Baskets

Gift baskets are fun to stock and give. When thinking about the “basket” itself, you can repurpose one of your own wicker baskets or make a fun gift box out of an empty cookie tin, craft tote, recycled wood, or anything you can use to store your gift items. Make a yummy snack basket by filling it with healthy or organic foods like fruits like apples, oranges and pears, your favorite brands of organic snacks, salsa, jams and dark chocolate. Or, create an aromatic basket with an array of eco-friendly soaps, lotions and candles.

Shadow Box or Scrapbook

Mounting meaningful mementos in a shadow box made from recycled wood or a scrapbook made out of recycled paper makes a one-of-kind, heartfelt gift a friend or loved one can cherish. You can arrange special photos, ticket stubs to a special event, a jersey, a record album, a special ornament, award or award certificate, a personal, handwritten letter or poem and so much more in this project.

Embellishing the box or scrapbook with old fabric scraps, old buttons, guitar picks, or anything that’s decorative and enhances the meaning of the collection is a better eco-friendly alternative to buying ready-made scrapbooking supplies.