With the holiday season right around the corner, eco-conscious revelers find themselves in a familiar conundrum: how to celebrate sustainably without being a grinch. In a society where jolliness and generosity often translate into massive consumption, finding a way to stuff a large stocking with a small carbon footprint can feel overwhelming. But fear not, we’ve got a few easy tips to keep you on Mother Nature’s nice list.
Gifts that keep on giving
The best gifts spread joy and sustainability. Giving friends and family items that reduce waste and harmful microplastics are a win for everyone, including the planet.
UppWell offers a variety of products that are ethically and sustainably sourced. Racking your brain for someone who’s hard to buy for? Let us help.
- For cocktail lovers, our reusable straws offer a stylish, stainless steel alternative to plastic. They also make a great stocking stuffer! Consider purchasing a few extra so you have a quick and easy gift for your friend, colleague or teacher.
- For home chefs, our salt and pepper grinder set, made from sustainable wood, are an elegant addition to any kitchen.
- For anyone spending more time at home, indoor plants are a vital way to improve air quality and overall health. Our indoor plant stand, also made from sustainable wood, will help create a sophisticated indoor oasis.
- For contouring experts, our reusable makeup remover pads are a must have. Not only do they reduce waste, they’re softer on skin than disposable alternatives.
Don’t forget that UppWell’s partnership with Eden Reforestation results in a new tree being planted with every purchase.
If you’re still in need of green gift ideas, shrink your carbon footprint by giving presents that don’t require manufacturing. Experiences like (paperless) concert tickets and restaurant gift certificates are good alternatives to physical objects, however this holiday season is a little more complicated because the COVID-19 pandemic has disrupted many of those industries. Digital subscriptions to magazines and newspapers in lieu of the printed products are a great choice, as they also help reduce paper waste. A charitable donation on behalf of another individual is also a wonderful choice in keeping with the true spirit of the season.
Think twice about wrapping and packaging
At UppWell, we understand the importance of sustainable packaging, which is why we package using zero plastic materials. But this is not the case for most companies, especially online retailers. Sustainability doesn’t just end with the product; how that gift is covered, secured and bagged matters too.
Few things are as diametrically opposed to sustainability as wrapping paper. After the holidays have come and gone, hundreds of thousands of tonnes of wrapping paper end up in landfills every year. Please think twice before contributing to this wholly unnecessary waste.
Get creative to avoid perpetuating this harmful cycle. The most obvious option is to reuse past gift bags and wrapping paper whenever possible. Wrapping items using fabrics, called Furoshiki in Japanese culture, is a great alternative to traditional wrapping paper that could also function as a conversation starter about sustainability. If you feel that you simply must participate in the wrapping paper industrial complex, there are several companies online that offer festive designs using eco-friendly ink and recycled paper.
Many of the tips used for eating sustainably apply to your Christmas tree too: if possible buy from a local farm that doesn’t use pesticides. Another option is purchasing a potted tree with an intact root system that can be replanted after the holidays. For those that want to take a more unconventional approach, consider using an indoor plant that can thrive year-round as an alternative to a traditional Christmas tree.
Disposing of your tree correctly so it is composted rather than tossed in a landfill is an important step when the holidays are over. Systems vary from city to city, but most have programs that send used Christmas trees through a chipper and utilize the wood chips for the parks department.
Decorations from the heart
When it comes to decorating your house and tree, going homemade and natural is always better than store-bought and plastic. Arresting ornaments can be fashioned from flowers, fruit, pinecones, and branches. Repurposing items like cookie cutters, toys and old jewelry to dress your tree will give your décor a more personal touch. Crafting these unique designs with your loved ones imbues them with meaning and creates memories that can’t be bought from a store.
Prioritizing a sustainable holiday season is essential to ensuring that generations to come will be able to continue these traditions.