Looking for a way to save the planet AND gift your loved ones with a pressie they'll love? We've got the answers with these eco-friendly gift ideas…
It doesn’t matter if you’re celebrating the season to be jolly, bub’s first birthday or your teen‘s graduation – finding the right present is an all-important business, especially if you want to see a smile or get a hug or two. But with all this global warming and damage we’re doing to our planet, going shopping and being indulgent can feel a bit cringy. Why not get the best of both worlds and take the sustainable road while gift shopping? This way, you’ll be able to show that special someone how much you care AND save the earth by being eco-friendly and sustainable. Yup, it’s possible! Here are our top tips for sustainable gift-giving…
Eco-friendly gift ideas
1. Shop local
If you must buy a gift, shop local. This way, you’ll minimise your carbon footprint by cutting out all the fuel needed to ship the gift of your dreams. There are heaps of great local artisans that produce one-of-a-kind handicrafts sure to make someone happy. Also, you’ll be helping small businesses out, which is always a good thing. Another bonus? Many small businesses work with charities and non-profit organisations so you’ll be helping someone who needs it too! Check out our list of Christmas markets and bazaars – these places are teeming with all-natural, eco-friendly products that range from handmade jewellery to fragrances, bags, vegan soaps and much more.
2. Give experiences, not things
This probably isn’t the first time you’ve heard this. Think about it – how many times have you received a present you didn’t actually want? And what happens when you get an unwanted gift? It goes straight to your pile of ‘stuff’ that you don’t need, which is definitely not eco-friendly. People will always remember the time you’ve made them laugh, or took them to do their most favourite things – not what you’ve given them. The best experience gift ideas? A trip to their favourite restaurant, a nice hike with a picnic after, a spa day with your best friend… figure out what your friend likes then roll with it!
3. Donate to a charity
We don’t doubt that busting your budget can be painful. Instead of spending money on a gift that someone may or may not appreciate (it’s always a 50/50 chance!), why not make a charitable donation in your child/spouse/friend’s name to help those who need it the most? Check out our article on charitable gifts and take your pick from these non-profit organisations in Singapore.
4. Get down to business and ask your loved one what they really want!
We get it, gifts are supposed to be a surprise. But as we mentioned above, when you’re surprising someone with a gift, you’re taking a chance. And take it from us, there are lots of picky people out there! Instead of beating around the bush and doing major sleuthing work (which could be more tiring than it’s worth), why not ask the person, straight up, what they (or their kids) want? And if they tell you, “nothing”, or , “it’s up to you”, be firm and tell them that you want to gift them something they REALLY want. If that doesn’t work, use the whole ‘being sustainable and eco-friendly’ thing and not wanting to ‘kill Mother Earth’ bit – that’ll do the trick.
5. Be mindful of how you wrap presents
Did you know that wrapping paper is one of the biggest causes of waste, especially during the holiday season? And lots of wrapping paper, especially the sparkly and glossier ones, contain lots of non-recyclable elements. Why not skip the wrapping paper altogether and use the paper bag your present came in? If you’re looking for something more presentable, try the furoshiki method of gift wrapping (using cloth) or use recycled gift wrapper. You can also get more creative by using what you already have at home, like old paper bags or even newspapers or magazines. Snazz it up with some jute string or straw and you’ve got yourself a cool-looking pressie!
6. Do a gift exchange during the holidays
Instead of buying gifts for every single person in your family during the holidays, why not try doing a secret Santa instead? This way, you’re not only spending less but buying a great gift that you’ve put a lot of time and effort into selecting. Think of all the resources you’re using when you buy lots of gifts – it’ll make you rethink your shopping choices for sure!
7. Choose gifts that are sustainably minded
Have a think about what you purchase, and choose a greener option whenever you can. We love local company Zerrin for their curated collection of eco-conscious fashion and jewellery, and you’re bound to find something she’ll love on their website!
You can also look for items made of recycled materials. Time to update the E-Reader? Look no further than the Rakuten Kobo. Not only is it a perfect size for travelling (great for a holiday!), the screen is backlit and adjusts for night time reading so it’s easier on the eyes. There are also some fab accessories to go with it, including attractive cases made of recycled ocean plastics! Check it out online.
Looking out for Mother Earth, being sustainable and making our loved ones happy has never been so easy.