Your Green Gift Giving Guide
The season of gifts and festive gatherings are upon us. The days grow colder and shorter and so begins our holiday gift search for friends, family, colleagues and clients. If you’re like me, you’ve been working on phasing as much plastic out of your day-to-day as reasonably possible – it’s not an easy feat! This year I have discussed eco-friendly and more sustainable gift ideas with friends and family several times as it seems to be a hot topic and came up with a few to share here.
These bags are made of silicon, which is safer for both humans and earth alike. I like them because they’re colorful, easy to clean and extremely easy to use instead of plastic sandwich bags. I use them for snacks to-go and in the freezer. Find them at stores around town and Stasherbags.com
No more plastic bags needed at the grocery store! Bag your produce in these reusable bags made from cotton or mesh usually. I keep mine with my reusable grocery bags in the car so I always have them when I need them. They’re machine washable too.
TRAVEL STRAWS & UTENSILS
How many lunches or snacks out have you needed silverware for and felt terrible about the single use fork you needed to use? That was me too. Until I found this sweet bamboo silverware set called To-Go Ware in a recycled bag to store them! Fork, spoon, knife and chopsticks included. I added a stainless steel straw to my set too. I keep this in my purse and just wash the set when I get home – so simple! I found sets at New Leaf, Staff of Life and the Patagonia Outlet.
STAINLESS STEEL WATER BOTTLES
I seriously thought this one had caught on, but I still see friends and family using and buying plastic water bottles all the time. This is such an easy fix too – there are masculine and super feminine stainless steel water bottles pretty much everywhere nowadays as well as handy fill stations. Be kind the the planet and remember your water bottle everyday.
I must admit, I’m obsessed with mason jar food storage so I created my very own wall this year! I fill these as they empty at the bulk food bins found at most grocery stores around town. Many stores allow you to weigh your jar when you come in the store then just fill and weigh it after, they deduct the original weight – so easy!
RECYCLED FABRICS & MATERIALS
Look for these up-and-coming products! Patagonia has a whole line of products made from all recycled materials that I’m in love with. These are their Recycled Black Hole Bags made mostly from plastic water bottles which were bound for landfills. I also found some fantastic “athleisure” pants at Athleta this year which were made from nearly all recycled materials!
They support our local community and businesses and also didn’t produce extra carbon emissions by traveling from the other side of the world to get to you, pretty cool.
RECYCLED or BIODEGRADABLE WRAPPING PAPER
Save your ribbons, boxes, bows and holiday bags each year and reuse them over and over again – I’ve been doing it for years and it really cuts down on how much we toss out each year. This year I’m swapping to recycled wrapping paper and paper that can be recycled or is biodegradable as well, such as butcher kraft paper found at craft stores and Ace Hardware.
Happy Green Gift Giving!
Jacqueline Van Metre