Healthy Holidays

Eco-friendly Gifts For This Holiday Season

For many people, the holidays are all about celebrating relationships with friends and family. For others, they’re a time for giving and receiving gifts. But do we really need all of that stuff? And how much of it might end up in a garbage dump one day, thereby hurting our environment?

If this is how you think about the holidays, you may be looking for “greener” or environmentally-friendly gifts for your friends and family. Here’s a brief list of some items that will make people happy and won’t have a hugely negative impact on Mother Nature…

1. All-Natural Lip Balm

Some gifts are great because they play such an instrumental role in helping us get through the long and cold winter season. On that list: all-natural lip balm, which can help keep our lips nice and moist at a time when the air can be incredibly dry.

There are a number of all-natural lip balm products that do a great job of warding off painful cracked lips without having a negative impact on the environment. They also tend to be cheap, easy to find, and a pleasure to use. They might not qualify as a major gift, but they make for a great stocking stuffer.

lip balm

2. Soapberry Nuts

One of the most popular gifts during the holidays: soap. But not all soap is made in a way that’s safe for the environment. So, what’s one to do if they love soap but don’t want to harm Mother Nature?

The answer may be soapberry nuts, which are literally the nuts that fall from soapberry trees. Unlike many manufactured soap products, soapberry nuts are completely biodegradable. They also do a great job of cleaning your clothes. On top of that: soapberry nuts are cheap, costing less—in most cases—than more mainstream soap products.

soapberry nuts

3. Seeds for Planting

In most parts of the United States, the winter holiday season is not exactly the best time to plant seeds. But for people who love plants and adore gardening, spring is never that far away. And that makes seeds an excellent gift during the holidays.

Seed packages are available year round and can help remind people that spring will come and with it, a return to gardening. That could make a packet of seeds a nice pick-me-up for people who love the warmer weather and struggle to make it through the long and often dark days of winter. On top of that, seed packages are usually quite affordable and generally healthy for the environment.

seedlings

4. Healthy Herbs

Great chefs know that you can completely change the taste of a dish by simply adding one or two different types of fresh herbs. Rosemary, basil, lavender, and thyme—these are just some of the herbs that, when fresh, can have a dramatically positive impact on the flavor of a meal.

That’s why potted herbs make such an excellent eco-friendly gift during the holiday season. They’re especially great for people who love cooking but hate how difficult it can be to find fresh ingredients during the long and cold winter months.

lavander herbs

5. Cheers to Wine

Who doesn’t love receiving a nice bottle of wine during the holiday season? Even enviro-friendly people can feel good about giving and receiving a bottle of red, white, or rose because wine is a mostly natural product and wine bottles can be easily recycled.

There’s also the advantage of returning your bottles for a discount on your next purchase. Obviously, you’ll want to be careful about who you’re giving an alcoholic beverage to—consider age, history of substance abuse, and drinking preferences, of course. 

wine christmas

6. Drying Rack for Green Laundry

Sure, it may not be the most exciting gift in the world, but when we’re gifting for functionality, who doesn’t need a drying rack? There are two good reasons to appreciate this gift: for one, it saves electricity by helping you dry your clothes—and everyone has clothes to dry—without using a dryer.

And let’s face it: dryers use a lot of electricity. And not using a dryer isn’t just good for the environment, it’s also good for your wallet. Second, a drying rack can actually help maintain your clothes. No one ever had their jeans shrunk by using a drying rack, and you can’t say that about a dryer.

christmas socks

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