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Cut Down on Waste With These Sustainable Gift Ideas

Published on November 27, 2021

Sustainable gift ideas - gift beautifully wrapped in paper and string and decorated with leaves.

The global climate conference in Glasgow – COP26 – wrapped up recently, and several commitments were made by countries around the world to decrease emissions, halt harmful business practices, and ultimately put an end to climate change once and for all. While the bulk of the responsibility lies in the hands of policymakers and leaders, it’s also up to all of us to do our parts as climate advocates and move towards sustainable living. The holiday season is a perfect time to examine our habits and commit to low-waste, sustainable gifts.

Holiday Season Produces Tons of Waste – Literally

The holiday season is a time of year that’s notorious for producing extra waste. In fact, it’s been noted that Americans produce 25% more trash during the holiday period (Thanksgiving to New Year’s), amounting to an extra 25 million tons of garbage, or one million tons per week.

With stats like these, it’s hard to ignore the need to reduce holiday waste and buy our loved ones environmentally friendly gift options.

Here are some ideas for low-waste and sustainable gifts that will help the environment and reduce your carbon footprint this holiday season.

5 Sustainable Gift Ideas

1. Sponsor an Animal

For the animal lover in your life, WWF symbolic adoption kits are an inventive idea that will make your loved one smile. The kits come with an official adoption certificate, species card, gift bag, photo and a plushy, and you can choose from a variety of animals, from the African black-footed penguin to the zebra.

2. Parks Project Candle

With a 100% natural soy and coconut blend, Parks Project candles make thoughtful and sustainable gifts. They come in earthy, understated fragrances including lodgepole pine, granite, meadow dew and fresh chopped wood. Plus, proceeds of the candles go towards environmental causes, like the National Park Foundation’s Open OutDoors for Kids program, which creates pathways for kids to enjoy, understand and connect with nature.

3. Sage & Sill Glass Propagation Vase

Handcrafted from durable wood and glass bulbs, this propagation vase would be the perfect sustainable gift for any nature lover in your life hoping to bring the outdoors in and watch as the plants progress. With a passion for plants and timeless décor, Sage & Sill began as a small business out of Seattle, Washington with a mission to only work with the most reliable, high-quality suppliers.

4. Aroma Diffuser

This cordless, rechargeable matte black essential oil diffuser by Saje is covered in BPA-free plastic and mists for up to four hours continuously and eight hours intermittently. With the power to humidify your space and revitalize the air using 100% plant-based essential oil blends, the diffuser would be the perfect low-waste gift option for the wellness lover in your life. You could also add the brand’s festive diffuser blend, which includes deep forest, sugar plum fairy and peppermint twist to add some holiday cheer to your loved one’s home.

5. SodaStream

For any loved one who’s obsessed with sipping on soda or sparkling water throughout the day, help them cut down on waste by gifting them with a SodaStream machine. The brand has several different options to choose from, and they’ve also recently partnered with Pepsi and bubly sparking water so you can make your own flavored drinks from home without producing more waste.

Looking for more ways to have an eco-friendly Christmas? Here are fun ways to make your Christmas traditions more sustainable; eco-friendly Christmas tree ideas that will look awesome in your home; eco-friendly home products that would make great sustainable gifts; and sustainable baby products little ones will love.  

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The Author
Mackenzie Patterson is a Toronto-based writer and journalist. She enjoys long walks, iced coffee on tap, and discovering all the latest and greatest health and wellness trends.