Give Greener

Gifts wrapped in brown paper

The holiday season is here and it’s one of my favorite times of the year.  I love the festiveness, time with friends and family, and the warmth of the season.  We put so much effort into the giving part of the holidays, it’s easy to forget how wasteful gift giving can be. From the types of gifts to the packaging, there are plenty of opportunities to give greener gifts.  As you start to think about what to give your friends and loved ones,  consider these ideas for meaningful gifts that are sure to bring joy without harming the Earth.

The Wrapping

Did you know that most wrapping paper isn’t recyclable?  In 2020, we spent $12.6 million on gift wrap that was destined for the landfill from the time it was made.  Nearly six football fields worth of wrapping paper wound up in our landfills last year.  Get creative with these reusable and recyclable gift wrap ideas.

  • Turn kraft paper bags into gift wrap
  • Invest in Rapt reusable gift wrap
  • Use a beautiful fabric you may have left over from a craft or sewing project
  • Give gifts in reusable containers like tins, tote bags or mason jars
  • Opt for compostable twine or a reusable fabric ribbon
  • Use paper tape
  • Gather fallen leaves, pine sprigs, acorns and pine cones to decorate packages

Gift Ideas

Great gifts don’t have to be costly, they don’t even have to be bought in a store. Handmade gifts can be low waste and thoughtful. 

  • Bake cookies and package them in a reusable tin
  • Make spiced nuts and package in mason jars
  • Give a plant, planted an antique vessel
  • Mount a stag horn fern on a salvaged piece of wood 
  • Frame a photograph of a cherished memory
  • Make a homemade hot chocolate mix complete with marshmallows

Shop Small

Choosing meaningful gifts for the people we love is a large part of the joy the holiday season brings.  We can give thoughtful items without harming the planet by shopping from makers who take care in making their products and considering how they will be disposed of at the end of their life.  Here are some great shops that support eco-friendly practices you’ll feel good for supporting and giving their amazing products as gifts. 

  • Find sustainable makers and small businesses to shop from on Love Local
  • Shop your local holiday maker’s markets
  • Gift local food with a local farm CSA box
  • Donate to a cause your gift recipient is passionate about in their name

From all of us at Love Local, happy holidays!

Author Details

Jen Culler Liepis

Jen is the founder of Love Local.