Giving More Sustainable Eco Friendly Gifts

Annual celebrations like Christmas and birthdays, have traditionally been a time for giving and receiving gifts and presents. Streamlining and minimising your gift giving to your closest family members and friends gives you the freedom to make less decisions and spend less money. Most importantly, you can give more meaningful and thoughtful presents. You’ll feel enormous satisfaction when creating, making and giving more sustainable eco friendly gifts, knowing you’re heading towards a low waste celebration.

More sustainable gifts include giving your gift of time, giving gifts that take up no permanent storage space, giving second hand presents and giving gifts that are brand new, yet very eco friendly.

Some links in this post are partnership links. This means that when you click through and make a purchase, I may receive a commission.

The well known Christmas character, The Grinch had a massive realisation about gift giving at Christmas – “What if Christmas, he thought, doesn’t come from a store? What if Christmas, perhaps, means a little bit more?”. Dr Seuss brings the message of love, togetherness, kindness and immaterialness of Christmas through the book How The Grinch Stole Christmas. The message in the book rings true as one of the most sustainable and eco friendly presents for Christmas gift giving, but is also relevant to birthdays. The intangible gifts of kindness, experiences and giving your gift of time are truly the most sustainable and memorable gifts.

Your gift of time can be truly one of the most magnificent gifts – the present of presence. My Granny was always elated when I gifted her my time by taking her out to lunch, followed by a visit to the local public garden of her choice. This is what she loved most – being with family, enjoying good food and being surrounded by nature.

Consumable gifts are things that will be used up and take up no permanent storage space. Giving a consumable gift shows you care without filling the house up with stuff. I love giving food based consumables, as I have the pleasure of making the gift and then seeing the receivers’ face as they open the gift.

Baking melt in your mouth pecan shortbread, homemade sausage rolls, sangria, and sticky date pudding (Recipe found in my well loved cook book by Stephanie Alexander) are my foodie gifts for our family Christmas gatherings. As for creating and giving consumable gifts, I handroll my own natural, petroleum-free beeswax candles. I also love this selection of beeswax candles available from Biome, which smell delightfully bee-utiful too!

More exceptional examples of consumable, sustainable, and eco friendly gifts include:

There’s nothing wrong with giving second hand gifts or re-gifting, as long as you know for sure that the person you’re giving to needs the gift and will appreciate it. My extended family understands my values and gets it when I gift them a second hand book that I know they’ll enjoy and haven’t yet read.

Most of my second hand gifts are generally new, never been used items with tags or packaging. I can buy meaningful gifts that are unknowingly purchased as second hand items. Spending less and using what’s already in circulation is an ideal eco-friendly present.

Michael from Upswitch brings bright ideas to life with curious second hand items by re-imagining them into lamps, lighting and homewares. Click here to browse and be enchanted by Upswitch’s creative lamps using second hand items.

Here’s a hot tip for giving a second hand gift – use the term vintage or retro, as it’s more enticing than the phrases “used” or “second hand”!

Click here to my online shop, French for Tuesday, which may have your unique retro vintage piece or handmade item. Etsy Australia may also have what you’re looking for with vintage goods. Click here to browse an extensive range of Australian businesses that sell second hand, vintage goods on Etsy.

Buying new gifts can be sustainable, but there are some worthy considerations before purchasing – Is the item durable? Is it reusable? Is it locally made to your area or to Australia? Is it made from sustainable, eco friendly materials? Does it have minimal packaging? Even though many gifts have a sustainable element to them, always keep in mind the person who’s receiving the gift. If your eco friendly gift is not truly needed then it becomes clutter, stuff and a waste of resources.

Here are some clever ideas when thinking about what to buy as a new, sustainable, eco friendly gift. Consider purchasing:

There are some wonderful creative Australian folk selling their goods on Etsy. Click here to Australian businesses such as Jeanscycle, The Woodsman Australia, MeekzContJewellery, and Mods on Pods. They create and sell either handmade, upcycled or recycled gifts. Alternatively, search Etsy for either Australian Made or Upcycled to browse different ideas.

The most popular and sustainably practical gifts include reusable shopping and produce bags, glass mason jars for food storage, wheat bags and insulated drinking glasses. Click here for more sustainable friendly toxin free, subscription gift boxes and zero waste gifts.

Whether you choose to give the gift of time, purchase consumable or second hand gifts, or buy a sustainably new product, being thoughtful about the person receiving the gift is the most sustainable gift idea. Are you wondering what to buy for Christmas or birthdays? These gift options are particularly suitable for your zero waste folks, but also very fitting for your family and friends who may not be on the same zero waste journey.

Inspiration for giving more sustainable gift ideas came from the books Zero Waste Home and Slow. Click here to purchase Zero Waste Home from here and here and Slow for you to enjoy first, then regift to your friends and family!

Some links in this post are partnership links. This means that when you click through and make a purchase, I may receive a commission.

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