The holiday season is upon us.
This time of the year is great for celebrating with friends and family, enjoying unforgettable meals, and catching up with rest by relaxing on your favorite couch. It’s also the time when we get gifts for our loved ones to show them how much they mean to us.
It’s not all roses though. According to Stanford University, Americans throw away 25 percent more trash during the holiday season. Things like ribbons, wrapping paper, and Christmas cards often end up in landfills. Per Stanford, if every family wrapped three presents in reusable materials, the country could collectively save 45,000 football fields worth of paper.
In the age of climate change, we can and should all do our part to help reduce our impact on the environment. While you probably don’t want to avoid getting your loved ones presents altogether—we’re not sure that’s the smartest move—you can buy gifts that are friendly to the environment.
With that in mind, we’ve teamed up with our friends at Original Grain, makers of elegant and sustainable wooden watches, to come up with a quick list of six eco-friendly gift ideas you may want to consider this holiday season.
1. Rent the Runway gift card
Far too many people fall into the same trap. Maybe a wedding, gala, or some other fancy event is coming up. Everyone wants to look their best, so oftentimes people end up buying outfits and only wearing them once or twice.
Instead of taking that wasteful approach, encourage the folks in your life to try a new approach to looking stylish by getting them gift cards to Rent the Runway.
Simply put, Rent the Runway is a service that lets women rent outfits based on their style, size, and budget preferences. The company has several different plans—something for everyone, really.
Encourage your friends and loved ones to say goodbye to jamming outfits they wear once or twice in the back of their closets and hello to a more sustainable way of dressing themselves.
2. Reusable tote bag
Every year, shoppers around the world use somewhere in the ballpark of 500 billion single-use plastic bags. Many of these bags end up in the ocean, harming aquatic life and the overall health of our planet.
Reusable tote bags are a no-brainer eco-friendly gift to give this holiday season. Not only do such bags have a positive impact on the environment, but they also help your friends get ahead of looming regulations.
For example, Connecticut is planning to ban single-use plastic bags in 2021. The sooner you get your friends in the habit of using tote bags, the better.
3. Original Grain watch
Although all Original Grain watches are beautiful and made from reclaimed wood, we recommend their limited edition New Belgium Chrono watch for the sustainable traveler in your life. This watch is handcrafted with French Oak foeder barrel wood and only 500 exist in the world. No two Original Grain watches are the same, so in a world full of monotonous items, a one-of-kind accessory like this is sure to please.
Not only are the watches themselves elegant and eco-friendly, but Original Grain also plants a tree for every watch that’s sold.
So, in addition to giving your friends and loved ones a sustainable chic timepiece, you’re also adding to nature. What’s not to love?
4. Metal straws
A recent study found that 500 million plastic straws are used every day and that 8.3 billion plastic straws have washed up on beaches around the world.
Like single-use plastic bags, plastic straws cause a lot of damage to the environment.
The good news is that new solutions—like wooden and metal straws—have emerged in recent years. A quick search on Amazon gives you a wide variety of metal straws to choose from at a price point that won’t break the bank.
Get the fine folks in your life a package of metal straws. It’s a novelty of sorts and shows you’re committed to doing what you can to improve the environment.
5. S’well water bottle
Single-use plastic bags. Single-use plastic straws. Single-use plastic water bottles. Sensing a trend here?
S’well bottles are designed to keep water cold for up to 24 hours. At the same time, they can keep liquids hot for up to 12 hours.
Encourage your friends to stop using throwaway containers by giving them the gift of a S’well bottle this holiday season.
6. Bamboo toothbrushes
While you might not be too keen on getting your friends toothbrushes this holiday season, consider this: A plastic toothbrush takes 400 years to decompose.
Bamboo toothbrushes, on the other hand, are biodegradable.
Once again, Amazon has you covered here. A quick search reveals a wide selection to choose from—all of which should fit into most budgets.
The bottom line?
Historically, the holiday season has been full of waste. We even buy things with the intention of throwing them out (we’re looking at you, wrapping paper!).
Make a difference this holiday season by buying sustainable gifts for your loved ones—and let them know that’s what you’re doing.
Who knows? Maybe they’ll pay it forward, too, turning around and doing the same for their friends.
Here’s to a happy and sustainable holiday season!