holiday guide: low waste and affordable gifts November 19 2019, 0 Comments
We all know that one of the biggest stresses of the holiday season is financial. The pressure to buy gifts can sometimes outweigh everything else and the result is that we overspend, purchasing unnecessary things that may not have a purpose or meaning. Fortunately, there are ways to save time and money on gifts, while also reducing our environmental impact and stress. We’ve put together some suggestions for you here, and the best part is that these low cost / low waste gift ideas are much more thoughtful and will be far more appreciated.
There’s something special about homemade gifts. For one thing, you know that they are 100% unique, but most of all, you know that they are made with care. This year, why not try your hand at baking some goodies? The options are endless and don’t need to be complicated; an easy cookie recipe, loaf, muffins or pie will be so appreciated. And if you’re more of a savoury type, preserving or fermenting make for delicious options to go with any dish. Kimchi adds zest to any meal, as do fermented lemons or anything pickled. But if the kitchen is not your thing, fear not! A plant clipping potted in a nice container adds some much needed colour this time of year. Or, if you have the skills and are feeling crafty and creative, a painting, ceramic, knitted scarf or hat are all great and thoughtful ideas.
If you’re not up to the task but love the idea, a similar way to go is with small batch / local / consumables. These gifts won’t break the bank, they’re easy on the environment and they still have that handcrafted quality. Some of our favourites include: organic tea (Traditional Medicinals or The Algonquin Tea Co.) or coffee from your favourite shop, local honey or ethical chocolate (Giddy Yoyo or Chocosol Traders), cooking oils (La Tourangelle or Lee’s Ghee), soap or candles (Fenwick Candles or simple beeswax) and, of course, natural skincare (that’s us!).
In keeping with a lighter footprint this year, these gift ideas are reusable, sustainable and practical! Cotton makeup remover pads or washcloths are always welcome, as are stashers, beeswax wraps and reusable product bags, Mother Nature thanks you, and so will the lucky recipients. (P.S. pass it on - we should all be using these!)
Photo credit: Abeego Beeswax Wraps
Since it is almost 2020 and we are living in a digital world, try making it personal and compile a list of your favourite podcasts. This can be especially rewarding for the older generation as well as a great introduction (you can even help them download to their phone or tablet). The same can be done with music: a playlist of your favourite songs or albums and again, the options are endless (holiday theme, 90’s nostalgia, etc.) or Netflix shows and movies. If you’ve got some foodies on your list, sharing a digital recipe box with your best go-to’s will never disappoint. Do you subscribe to any mindfulness apps? Give a free year’s worth of guided meditations with Headspace or Calm, or try the more recent Am Mindfulness for a truly immersive experience.
Finally, giving the gift of experience will always be memorable and enjoyable. Treat someone to some live entertainment such as a concert, comedy show or theatre production. Or learn a new skill and opt in to a cooking class or painting workshop. Perhaps, invite your best friends out to a yoga or exercise class. And if all else fails, an IOU for dinner, coffee or cocktails will always put a smile on their face.
The best gifts aren’t extravagant or pricey; the best gifts are thoughtful and meaningful. Sometimes (most times) it really is the little things that have the biggest impact, especially during this season. So don’t forget the true meaning of this time of year and let that ease your stress. Strive for peace of mind instead. Make sure to stay tuned for our next journal post where we’ll be sharing tips on eco-friendly holiday decorations!