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Sustainable Gift Guide

The holidays are upon us, yet this year is quite unlike any other. Times have changed, and I think that's the perfect opportunity to change up your gift-giving. In the midst of the pandemic, many people's priorities have changed. Perhaps jobs have been lost and money is spent differently. This can be a chance for you to get creative and give gifts that truly represent your feelings for someone.

This year has been challenging for small businesses, and they need our support now more than ever. Big corporations have been profiting off the pandemic, while small businesses are suffering. Amazon has raked in over $88 billion in the second quarter of 2020 alone! Let's use our money towards supporting people and companies that reflect our values. This also gives you the opportunity to explore all the unique and interesting products and services that are out there in the world.

I aim to always reflect my feelings in the gift I choose to give someone. Here are my tips for being more mindful with your gift-giving this holiday season.

1. Shop local

There's nothing better than keeping your money within the community you live in. Before globalization, this is how commerce operated! You got your clothes made at the local tailor, your bread from the local bakery, and your shoes from the neighborhood shoemaker. When you help those close to you, you open the door for abundance to flow back to you. Supporting the people and businesses in your area keeps your money within the community.

2. Repurpose something you already have

This idea is great because you don't have to completely create something from scratch. Having a base of something to work with will give you a direction to focus your search for ideas because there are so many out there! For example, I recently bought some rather plain-looking housewares from Goodwill that I will decorate and personalize.

3. Make something

Creating something new not only fuels your creative fire, but it also offers the recipient something truly unique and special. Think of something that they use every day and what could be helpful within the flow of it.

4. Gift an experience

This is probably my favorite type of gift to receive! I love experiences, adventures, and quality time with my loved ones. Currently, we may be limited as concerts and large events are not happening, but you can create an experience of your own for someone. Maybe you could plan a picnic in the park or an at-home wine tasting.

5. Donate on someone's behalf

Sometimes the best gift is none at all. This would be a great idea for the person who has everything. You can donate money to a charity or organization on that person's behalf. This is bound to make for a more meaningful and fulfilling gift exchange for both people involved.

6. Get creative with wrapping

When it comes to how you will wrap your gift, I encourage you to still think sustainably. Wrapping just seems so wasteful when there are a lot more practical and creative ways to wrap your gift. I do fully support creating a beautiful package! I encourage you to think outside the box and wrap with things you might have around the house or make the gift part of the wrapping. Giving kitchen utensils as a gift? Wrap them up in a kitchen towel. One thing I've been doing lately is using pages from my coloring book, it gives things an added little bit of personalization.

7. Don't!

Oh yes, how could I forget, probably one of my favorite things to give as gifts, food! I find that nut mixes, spice mixes, and granola are all easy and affordable items to make that nearly all people like. Food was always my go-to when giving gifts to friends' parents or family members. Everyone eats, so gifting food is sure to be something useful for them. Another idea would be to gift a delivered, homecooked meal. This would ensure that even your elderly loved ones who may be staying isolated can still feel loved and cared for.

No matter what you choose to do this year, do it with love and intention. Happy holidays!

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