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The holidays can be a very wasteful time, but they don't have to be. Our planet is crying out for us to wake-up and change our wasteful ways. So, I've searched high and low for beautiful and practical holiday gifts that have small carbon footprints. These 20 green gift ideas are all sustainable and adorable at the same time.
1) Experience - This tops the list. Giving the gift of an activity or experience may take a bit more thought, but it will certainly be appreciated and the planet will thank you too!
2) Recycled Glass Wine Tumblers - I have given these as gifts and I have them myself. They are so simple and practical and tell the story of sustainability to everyone who uses them.
3) Himalayan Salt Lamp - With all the toxins and impurities inside our homes, I love to counter balance that with natural elements. From what I hear, like plants, Himalayan salt lamps can detox our indoor space. I particularly like this company because sustainability is at the core of their mission.
4) Reclaimed Wood Shelves - I love the look of rustic and weathered wood, but unfortunately many companies are using virgin wood and just treating it to give it a weathered look. That not only feels inauthentic to me, it completely misses the point. Reclaimed wood is so much more than a trend. This season, seek out and support companies that are actually salvaging old resources to create beautiful, new products.
5) Solar Twinkle Lights - There is so much I love about these twinkle lights. I waited to put lights up in my yard until I found some quality solar lights at an affordable price. These lights charge all day and come on automatically at night. They are now my favorite feature of my backyard and make me want to spend more time outdoors in the evening.
6) Bamboo Speaker - If you know someone that is in the market for a portable, travel speaker, check this out. This speaker has amazing reviews about its sound quality and its made from a fast growing, renewable source.
7) Solar Charger - Years ago, this was just a dream, well, now its a reality. This has 3 ports and claims to charge your devices in 45 min.
7) Recycled Rubber Tire Wallet - Rubber rather than leather?! Awesome. What a great swap of materials and it serves the same purpose.
8) Cork Wallet - Another alternative to leather, this vegan wallet is made from cork, which is a renewable resource.
8) Reclaimed Pallet Wine Rack - I love the many creative uses for pallets. This is so simple and yet, so very cool.
10) Eco Rubber Dopp Kit - I can hardly believe this is made from upcycled rubber! What a perfect material for a dopp kit, and its so expensive looking. I'm so impressed.
11) Melted Wine Bottle Cheese Tray - What a beautiful gift for the green friend in your life.
12) Grey Goose Rocks - I love how simple and practice these are.
14) Coffee Mug or Water Bottle - Do you have a friend that still uses disposable cups and water bottles? Give them the gift of an amazing commuter mug, and it could save tons of waste from the landfill.
16) Plant/Tree- When in doubt, give the gift of oxygen! It used to be that my favorite gift to give or receive was a potted orchid, but now I just planet my first sapling and I'm mesmerized by it! I don't know who wouldn't like to receive a plant or a tree.
17) Recycled Skateboard iPhone Case - This looks like a work of art! I love that it is made from old skateboards. I can't wait for my next phone case to be a reclaimed or recycled material.
18) Wine Bottle Candle - This candle checks all the right boxes for me. It is made with soy wax, it is scented with 100% essential oils and it is in an upcycled wine bottle container. What a great gift!
19) Upcycled DIY- Zero waste has truly sparked my creativity. I was never a crafter, because it felt so indulgent and wasteful and I just didn't see the point. But now, I find that using old materials to make something new is a zero guilt hobby that really inspires and challenges me. Whatever your craft or project, see if you can use materials you already have rather than buying all new virgin materials.
20) Second Hand Gifts - Yes, you heard it here! We need to take the stigma out of buying and giving second hand gifts. My sister-in-law and I proudly give each other's children second hand clothing. Whether you hand down clothes or go to a second hand store, there is NO shame in second hand gifts. Perhaps we have been programmed by society to think that a gift needs to be new, but I really think that needs to change. And if you are not ready to give second hand gifts, for fear of what others will think, you can at least tell your loved ones that you are open to receiving second hand gifts.
This season, I challenge you to get creative and think outside the wasteful box. Re-use, re-purpose and heck, even re-gift! Happy Holidays!
About Kelly Green Consultant: Hi! I'm Kelly Buskirk. I currently live in Austin, TX, but I first got involved in sustainability when I was living on the island of Kauai, and a landfill was proposed by neighborhood. I made the conscious shift to live a zero waste lifestyle and transform the business I was managing from great, to green! My intention is to tread lightly on the planet, by reducing toxins and waste in my life and help others do the same in their life and business. Join me on my Zero Waste + Green Living quest!