We are already in the thick of November and the holidays are fast approaching. In the season of over-indulgences, it's easy to get lost in the chaos. It's also super satisfying to bring your usual mindfulness into the season. Remember that the most eco-friendly purchases are the ones you never buy. Believe me, I love gifts as much or more than anyone, but I can't think of anything I even remotely must have in this moment so....how do you give a token of love while being eco-friendly? Read on, but first, take a look at these ideas: https://earth911.com/living-well-being/eco-friendly-holiday-gifts/
Made with Love
Last year our friends, Ariana and Dave, gave us a huge mason jar of hot chocolate mix and some other baked goodies. The hot chocolate was wrapped up in a tea towel, which I use all the time and think of them everytime I do. Friends and family appreciate treats made with love from your kitchen, but also keep in mind tools to assist the zero waste movement. One of my favorites is the Vegetable Storage Bags from vegibag. My grown kids are getting these in their stockings this year (shhhh). They keep lettuce so crisp and even give wilted greens a new lease on life overnight. You just hold the cloth bags under cold water then wring them out, add washed veggies and pop in the crisper drawer. Magic.
Gold and Silver and Glitter, Oh No!
When wrapping gifts, consider using tea towels like Ariana or newspaper, fabric swatches, old maps, etc. Most ribbon and wrapping papers end up in the trash and wrapping paper is often dyed, laminated and/or contains non-paper additives such as gold and silver designs, glitter, and plastics which cannot be recycled. Be creative and try grocery bags, cloth bags, repurposed jars and tins decorated with cloth ribbon bits, cinnamon sticks and evergreen sprigs. Here are some great ideas: https://theartofsimple.net/eco-friendly-and-green-gift-wrapping-ideas-for-this-holiday-season/
The best gift of all is the gift of time and attention.
Before the holidays, invite a friend or friends with kids to bring their felt, fabric, card, paper, and ribbon scraps for creating handmade cards. Check Pinterest for great ideas and also take a look at these: https://www.buzzfeed.com/rachelwmiller/christmas-cards-you-can-diy-in-under-an-hour.
Place handmade coupons under the tree!
Give a coupon for a homemade dinner with friends or a day of your undivided attention to a loved one. Plan a special hike for the nature lovers on your list or spend an afternoon teaching a child to bake or knit or sew or plant an herb garden. You all have a lifetime of wisdom. What do you wish someone would have taken the time to teach you? What do you still want to learn? Call a friend and trade gifts of knowledge and skills and become more connected in the process.