Sustainable Gift Giving

We’ve all struggled to figure out what would be a good gift for loved one for a dear friend, and we’ve all made the mistake of buying a gift that ends up in a closet or re-gifted because it wasn’t wanted or wasn’t useful.

One way to make sure that your gift is useful and sustainable is to check out this list of items that you might want to consider giving this Christmas. Not only are these ideas practical and sustainable, they’re also very inexpensive and some of them are even free!

Reusable Water Bottles – these can not only be useful but they can be stylish and clever art on the bottles can be matched to a person’s likes to make the bottle the perfect gift. We’ve all seen empty plastic water bottles littering the sides of roads, parks, and even public places – one of these bottles will help reduce this litter, and if you buy an insulated bottle it will keep the cold beverage cold making for happier hydration!

Delightful Dinners – Surely, you know at least one coworker, friend, or family member who would be delighted to receive a home cooked meal she or he can pop in the oven or microwave or just eat after coming home from a hectic day of work, shopping, or volunteering. Give yourself extra credit for providing everything in reusable containers.

Labor of Love – giving the gift or your labor. Installing a low-flow showerhead, squirting caulking around drafty window frames, or spreading wood chips in the garden are all things that someone might appreciate you doing.

If you are mechanically inclined or tech savvy, friends or family members struggling to assemble a gift for someone else or trying to set up a social media account will appreciate you coming to the rescue.

You can give a gift like this with flair by using a computer to make up a fancy gift-certificate or even make your own with good-old-fashioned paper and pen!

Vintage Treasures – If you listen carefully to our friends and loved ones you might hear them mention something they really need – like a new coat, or a some kitchen item, or maybe a larger piece of luggage. Why not support your local church, Veterans, or non-profit by listening to your friend and getting them a vintage item that fits their needs. Most folks these days love receiving and re-using second-hand items. A fancy hand-made card and a re-used gift bag and your just a few minutes away from supporting a worthy charity, re-using a second-hand item, and giving a practical gift that’s truly useful.

Warm Up their Heart and More — During the winter, it seems like no matter how high you crank the heat the house never warms up to where you can walk around in a t-shirt. So help your loved ones warm up with gifts like scarves, sweaters, fingerless mittens, shawls, and slippers. Consider those those small blankets that are around 50” x 70” that you can wrap around your shoulders, tuck over your lap, or even cover yourself up with to take a nap. Not only will they be happy to be warm, they’ll save on heating costs.

Seed Packets – Winter is here now, Spring isn’t far away and this gift will have them thinking about warmer times – seeds! Did you know you can buy seed packets at the dollar store? You can even get little pots and maybe a bit of potting soil. Whether you buy them flowers, or fruits or vegetables this a gift that will be fun and useful for almost anyone.

Potted Herbs Plants —  Most people appreciate receiving live plants as a gift, but you can take this gift idea a step further by choosing a plant they can put to practical use several times a week. Providing a beautiful and useful gift really shows you took the time to think it out.

Rosemary bushes can grow quite large and make a more useful housewarming present than the traditional fichus. They also smell fantastic whenever you brush against them. Thai basil and sage are two other kitchen plants that can step up to the dinner plate on a regular basis.


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