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6 Eco-Friendly Gift Ideas for the Holidays

I still remember the gift my sister-in-law gave me a few years ago. One of my favorite gifts to this day remains the very thoughtful A Gift of Empowered Canadians.

A generous contribution on the occasion of a material-free Christmas has been made by Sister-in-Law. I know that it’s important for you to support projects that help the environment. This year, in your honour , I’ve made a donation to the David Suzuki Foundation. Merry Christmas, Steph, and keep up the good work with your environmental endeavours!

When holidays pop up, there never seems to be anything I need or want, and I typically request a donation be made on my behalf to an environmental cause. I find, as a society, we are often too focused on the gift-giving of material objects during whatever holiday we happen to be celebrating, and we tend to forget why we’re gathering in the first place.

I understand people want to share their love and appreciation toward others. I have put together a list of ways you can do this without the material objects.

6 Ways to Lessen Your Environmental Impact When Giving Gifts

  1. Donate to a charity. This is my favorite gift.
  2. Give a plant, small tree, or seeds. One of my friends got married and gave all the guests small trees to plant. It was one of the most beautiful party favor ideas I’ve seen.
  3. Offer your services. Take the kids off your sister’s hands for a few hours. Clean your parents’ home or make dinner for your best friend. Performing services like these for those you love can be fun and thoughtful ways to show care.
  4. Give the gift of food. Who doesn’t love homemade goodies? I think we can all agree, food as a gift is divine! Create some delicious treats or snacks and package them all up in cute, reusable tins or jars you have sitting around the house.
  5. Make something. Handmade gifts can be some of the most thoughtful, creative, and most-loved presents. Knit a scarf, crochet some mittens, put a photo album together, burn your favorite songs onto a CD. One year, one of my sisters-in-law made me a scarf, and when I was pregnant, my other sister-in-law made two stuffed cows by hand for little E. I love them both dearly. On little E’s first birthday, her aunt wrote and created an E-book called “The One Book.” We were speechless and overwhelmed by her thoughtfulness and creativity while respecting our wishes for a waste-free gift.
  6. Give tickets to a night out. A night on the town is the ideal gift for some people. In the past, we’ve given tickets to Cirque du Soleil or spa gift cards. All were big hits with the recipients!

It doesn’t take much to step outside your comfort zone and be a little creative. With the Internet at our disposal, it really doesn’t take too many keywords to find the perfect eco-friendly gift for those on your list!

If you need more inspiration, check out some of these blogs:

  1. Homemade Peppermint Sugar Scrub
  2. Homemade Kombucha
  3. DIY After-Shave
  4. Homemade Raspberry Chocolates


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Reader Interactions


  1. Small Footprints says

    Oh I love all your ideas!! It’s funny … I read through your list and thought, yes … these are Eco-friendly ideas. Then I read your statement about gifts being waste-free … wow … that kind of stopped me in my tracks. We can give a green gift but that doesn’t mean there isn’t waste involved. Coming up with a green gift and NO WASTE will indeed be tough but wow … if one can do it, how great would that be. I hope you’ll come back and talk more about waste-free, green gifts and what you finally decided on. I’m thinking that this idea may surface again, perhaps next year, as a “kicked up” challenge. 🙂

  2. Nora B. Peevy says

    I make a lot of gifts for people and use recycled items for them too. I also write stories and dedicate them sometimes.

    Great post. Reducing your footprint is important. I have recycled book projects on my blog, for anyone interested.

    Today, Robert Dunbar, author of Willy, is guest blogging on the horror genre and writing. I’m over for the Thoughtful Thursday Hop.


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