While the holidays are known for being the season of giving, they can easily turn into a season of waste and excess. Giving sustainable gifts is an easy way to combat the damaging environmental effects of the holiday season. Between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Day, the amount of trash produced in the United States increases by an estimated 25%—about one million extra tons of garbage each week!
This year, be more eco-conscious by gifting thoughtfully. Our sustainable gift guide will help you avoid unnecessary purchases and reduce your environmental impact.
Here’s our favorite sustainable gifts to give this holiday season.
1. Armoire Membership
On the first day of Christmas my true love gave to me… a subscription to Armoire monthly! Clothing rental is the easiest way to reduce your fashion footprint without sacrificing style. With a variety of plans to choose from, there’s an Armoire membership option for every budget!
2. Fair-Trade Footwear
Every Boss Lady knows that no outfit is complete without a great pair of shoes. Not only is fair-trade footwear produced using sustainable practices, it’s often higher quality and longer lasting too! A pair ethically made boots from Nisolo is guaranteed to please.
3. Artisan Bowls & Baskets
Support an independent artist by gifting a handmade wooden bowl or woven basket. It’s important to double check that the item you are purchasing is fair-trade certified, as many large retailers misleadingly use the word artisan on mass-produced goods. Purchasing fair-trade products supports the livelihood of craft-makers in underdeveloped communities and helps to preserve their long-standing cultural traditions.
Click here to learn more about how to find fair-trade clothing companies.
4. Handmade Soaps
Instead of stuffing your stockings with mass-produced products, opt for products that are handmade in small batches. Check your neighborhood farmer’s market for locally-made products or support a Seattle-based soap company that’s local to us like Seattle Sundries or Emily’s Handmade Soaps. If you’re feeling reeeeeally adventurous, try making your own!
5. Gift Certificates to Local Happenings
Instead of gifting something that requires wrapping paper, gift an experience instead! Fun excursions or activities are the perfect alternative to traditional physical gifts. Might we suggest a Paint & Sip, where you can drink wine while painting your very own masterpiece. I mean, who doesn’t love a good excuse to drink a few glasses of wine on a weeknight!
6. Concert Tickets
Concert tickets are another easy experience to gift. Whether you’re gifting a VIP experience or general admission, your giftee will be amazed at how well you know their taste in music. Plus, it’s a real win-win if you gift yourself the accompanying ticket!
7. Organic Wine Club Subscription
What Boss Lady wouldn’t love a box of wine to their door every month?! With a wine subscription club, you’ll be supporting environmentally-friendly wineries too! Check with local wineries to see if they offer monthly shipments, or try a well-known wine club like Plonk.
8. Natural Skincare
Instead of stuffing your stocking with mass-market beauty products that use harmful chemicals and/or animal testing, give the gift of natural skincare. Support Armoire member (and ultimate Boss Lady) Kari Gran, by stuffing stockings with her beauty products and skin care. The Lip Whip and Cleansing Oil are office favorites here at Armoire.
9. Reusable Drinkware
Reusable water bottles, coffee mugs and straws are the perfect last minute gifts for anyone on your list! The damaging environmental effects of single-use plastics are undeniable, so it’s more important than ever to make the switch. These sustainable gifts are also a great option if you’ll be sending your gifts in the mail, as they are small, lightweight and won’t break in transit.
Check out these reusable options from a Seattle favorite, MiiR.
10. Digital Subscriptions
Online magazines and newspapers are quickly replacing their wasteful paper predecessors. Not only do digital subscriptions save paper, they make it easier to read the latest headlines on the go. While every Boss Lady wishes she had time to relax with a cup of coffee and the morning paper each morning, phone-friendly news is far more convenient for a busy schedule.
The New York Times is our pick for an easy morning read!
11. Ethically-Made Accessories
This holiday season, gift thoughtfully-made accessories like Krochet Kids beanies that support women in developing nations or a handwoven purse from Ancán. Accessories are always a great option if you are unsure of your gift recipient’s clothing size or tastes.
12. A Zero Waste Starter Kit
A zero waste starter kit is a great sustainable option for gift exchanges and Secret Santas, as they can be gifted to just about anyone. These kits often include reusable food wraps, cutlery and drink ware that your recipient can use year-round! Package-Free Shop is a great place to start if you’re new to plastic-free products.