How to Do Your Holiday Shopping More Sustainably This Year?

How to Do Your Holiday Shopping More Sustainably This Year?

We all like the idea of shopping more sustainably. It just feels like the right thing to do for ourselves, our kids, and our grandkids. But how does one shop more sustainably during the holiday season when must-buy items and shiny new things seem to appear at every turn? Let’s look at some ideas to make your holiday shopping more sustainable this year.

Buy Fewer Gifts of Better Quality

This is a win for everyone. Instead of buying lots of cutesy stocking stuffers for everyone or going for those gag gifts that are a hoot (for about 10 minutes), take that money and buy fewer items of better quality.

Think investment wardrobe pieces. Wouldn’t she love to receive her first cashmere sweater in a classic color and style that she can wear for years to come? If he loves the great outdoors, maybe a new coat that will keep him warm and dry no matter the weather would be a great gift. Did they just move into their first apartment or buy their first house? What about a new set of bedsheets or a new down comforter?

Buy Them What They Need

Who says practical holiday gifts must be boring? Have you ever received a cute pair of flannel pajamas when you needed new sleepwear? What about a new pair of slippers just as winter is in full force? These may be simple, but they can also be among the most thoughtful (and appreciated) gifts they receive this year.

If you have petite, tall, or plus-sized loved ones on your gift list, you know how important the right fit is in clothing. Give them the gift of something they will love to wear that will truly flatter their frames. Everyone deserves stylish clothes that fit.

Need-to-have gifts aren’t limited to sleepwear or clothing either. Perhaps they are collecting Christmas decorations for their home and would like to have nice ones that they can pull out year after year and enjoy.

Ask Them What They Want

Perhaps you were raised in a home where asking someone what they wanted for a gift was considered inappropriate. After all, weren’t we supposed to figure out the perfect gift all on our own? Maybe this is the ideal, but it rarely plays out perfectly in real life. Unless you know someone extremely well (and they are easy to buy for), this rarely works.

Add in factors like they live far away, they may have changed sizes since you last saw them, they are teenagers whose taste seems to change daily, or they just have different taste in gifts than you do, and you have a recipe for a polite smile when they open a gift that will rarely if ever get used.

With online wish lists for gifts, we now have an easy way to bypass this. You don’t have to get them exactly what they ask for (surprises are still fun!) but knowing what they would like, what sizes they wear, their favorite colors, and hopefully what they already have will help you to pick out a lovely gift that they will enjoy and use.

Recycle Gift Bags, Tissue Paper, and Bows

This is another area that may feel inappropriate to some of us. After all, shouldn’t all gifts come in shiny new wrapping? With a bit of intention, they can look that way yet still be sustainable. Opt for gift bags that can be reused (just don’t write anything on the bag itself) or recycled when everyone is completely done using it. Traditional wrapping paper can’t be recycled. Because of the plastic coating that is used to make it look shiny, it is no longer “paper” in a recyclable sense. Tissue paper, on the other hand, can be scooped up, flattened out, and look just as nice next year. The same goes for most gift bows. Just put them away carefully and then attach them with tape next year for a beautiful package.

Enjoy Decorating with Your Favorites Year After Year

There may be shiny new holiday decorations in stores every year, but for a beautiful home and traditions, opt to collect better quality decorations and use them year after year. It will be more fun pulling them out and decking the halls as part of your holiday traditions. And don’t forget to preserve those adorable handmade items from kids and grandkids. They may not be magazine-cover perfect, but they could be your most cherished decorations—and the kids will love seeing them again each year (and feel loved because you kept them).

Making your holiday shopping more sustainable this year is about being intentional. Choose to give better holiday gifts that they will love to have and use for years to come. Ask them what they would like. Reuse and recycle with style. You might just find that being more sustainable makes this holiday season the best yet.

Related Articles