We all know how wasteful the holidays, birthdays, and any other celebratory events that require gifts can be. We get tons of items we don’t usually need, wrapped in disposable gift paper, ribbons, and bows that end up filling a few extra trash bags that you wouldn’t typically have for trash day.
From Thanksgiving to New Year’s Day, household waste increases by more than 25%. Added food waste, shopping bags, packaging, wrapping paper, bows and ribbons all add up to an additional 1 million tons a week to our landfills (Source: EPA).
To lessen our impact when the next gift-giving opportunity arises we have to change our usual strategy when it comes to what we give. A few ideas are below:
- Bulk candy in a jar.
- Freshly picked flowers in a reusable vase
- Some homemade baked goods
- Homemade soap, lotions, or sugar scrubs
- Homemade candles
- Secondhand items
- Experiences like dance lessons, yoga classes, etc
- Coupons for your services like house cleaning or computer tune-ups (I work in IT so the computer questions come in A LOT)
- And so many more in this post: 101 Zero Waste Gift Ideas
We also can’t forget the wrapping! A lot of the times I don’t use wrapping but there are reusable alternatives to gift wrap such as reusable cloth gift bags you can DIY pretty easy or just get creative. My husband wrapped all of my gifts in towels this year. It was pretty funny and definitely memorable!