It’s the most wonderful time of the year. Lots of yummy food, time with loved ones, and a justifiable reason to listen to Mariah Carey’s “All I Want for Christmas is You” on repeat. All that’s left is your holiday shopping, which sounds simple, but can be tough if you’re on the lookout for low-carbon gifts.
Wondering what to give your family this year that they don’t already have? Don’t you wish you could wrap the planet up in a bow and give it to a friend… without actually creating all that ribbon waste? Here are our team’s top 5 ideas for sustainable gifting.
1. Give a healthy planet
Use Joro’s new gifts feature to preserve forests in honor of a loved one
Photo Credit: Cool Effect
Instead of buying more things that contribute to our carbon footprints and generate waste, consider giving the gift of a healthy planet. Carbon offsets are a meaningful and unique way to show your love for your family and love for planet at the same time.
If carbon offsets don’t feel appealing, you can also donate to a charity on behalf of your loved ones. We personally love the idea of giving to nonprofits that support civil engagement with climate action, such as 350.org, Sunrise Movement, and Extinction Rebellion.
2. Give an experience
Give a memorable experience that doesn’t create unnecessary waste
From writing to fitness to guitar to cooking classes, there’s something for everyone in your life to try – and you join them for quality time!
Gift a fitness class to the workout buffs in your life. Gift a vegetarian cooking class to friends or family – for anyone trying to cut down on meat, a cooking class could be the motivation they need to start cooking more plant-forward meals.
3. Give products that improve a person’s carbon footprint
Give smart tools that make it easier to live lighter in 2020
If you’re looking for a larger gift, Smart Thermostats make it possible to adjust your energy use when you are out of your home to save energy and costs. Win!
For a smaller gift, consider the OG carbon saver: plants. Plants add green to an otherwise bleak season and can help clean the air in your stuffy home. If you’re gifting to someone who is a new plant parent, check out the New York Time’s list of plants that are hard to kill “for the inept.”
Consider a Gift Certificate to a vegetarian restaurant or restaurant with mouthwatering vegetarian options. Clover Food Lab is a great option for the friend curious about food innovation and Thai and Indian restaurants create stellar vegetarian dishes.
Help your loved ones out with food waste by gifting a compost subscription. Composting food waste has approximately the same carbon impact as going meat free once a week.
Giving gifts that reduce waste can be a breath of fresh air. For the water bottle or coffee cup offender in your life, consider gifting reusable water bottles and coffee tumblers. Level up your zero waste gift with beeswax wrap, travel tupperware, or bamboo cutlery.
Check to see if the products you gift are certified safe for the planet. A few certifications to look for are Certified Organic, Fair Trade, and Rainforest alliance.
Look for certified organic if you’re gifting a food related experience. Plant-forward cooking classes are exciting. Organic plant-forward classes are yummy and exciting.
The Fair Trade seal means the community and environment benefit from the product you gift. It’s more fun to tell the story of your artisan crafted gifts when you can share how the gift empowers the creators.
Similar to Fair Trade, the Rainforest Alliance seal empowers communities and ensures your gift does not contribute to rainforest deforestation. Trust us, the aroma of your loved one’s favorite South American coffee smells better when they know it supports rainforest protection.
6. Give gifts that drive awareness
For the bookworms in your life, consider gifting one of the many high-quality climate books that have come out in the last year or so. To name just a few of our favorites:
Gift second hand. It’s never been more popular to purchase second hand. See what you can find at your local Buffalo Exchange or check items on TheRealReal and ThredUp. Up your game by checking out Facebook Marketplace. Our team has seen more than one “Used- Like New” InstaPot for under $50!