Greener Holiday Shopping Tips

Our member blogger today is Sam of Rustic Craft Design

For this blog article, being right on the cusp of the holiday shopping season…i figured i’d write some tips on how to green our holiday shopping….with some green gift suggestions =)

Eco-friendly gift wrapping ideas

—Wrapping your gifts with Brown Paper bags from the grocery store: FREE
I bring my own bags to the grocery store…but every few times I forget to put them back in my car—or forget to bring them in the store all-together! =O
In these instances you should use paper bags! Not only because they are more easily recycled…but because you can reuse them as gift wrap! How gorgeous does all your gifts look when they are all wrapped in reused brown paper bags with different ribbon embellishments? LOVE!!! Simply cut off the bottom reinforced panel, turn inside out and wrap! I’ve been doing this for years. Looks awesome.
NOTE: Have you ever gotten packages from with ridiculous amounts of brown paper scunched up in a huge package?? That stuff works EXCELLENT for wrapping as well!
I embellish the gifts with simple raffia or jute ribbon that is also recycleable/ biodegradable =) Check out this blog post for some great ideas and pictures!…

—Wrapping your gifts in Chinese food takeout menus: FREE
My husband is a chinese food addict…saving all these menus allows you the freedom to one day wrap all your gifts in the menus! SUPER CUTE!
This blog post entitled “gift wrap with what you got” uses a chinese food takeout menu wrap =) I might suggest saving some fortune cookies and using those as embellishments!!!

—Wrapping your gifts in Reusable shopping bags: $6.99
You can easily spend $2-3 or even more on cute little throwaway gift bags…why not spend a little bit more and make the bag part of the gift! Who can’t use more reusable shopping bags??! These Chico shopping bags by ecobags are Made of a strong, washable nylon and holds as much as 20 pounds. Made in China with fair wage and fair labor.

—Reusable Wine bottle cozy with reusable gift tag: $22
This fabulously handmade, wine bottle wrap “is a very eco-friendly gift as it can be given over and over and over again, throughout the years. Just replace with a new bottle of wine and your own personal gift tag.” by Sylvie at AlbinaRose and tag by Greg from WodBoneandStone

Eco-friendly gift ideas for anyone:

—Stainless Steel Reusable Water Bottle: $18.95 for the 18oz with sport cap
I love this reusable water bottle with the sport cap for using at the gym! It comes in a multitude of bright colors, and the sport cap works so well!
Stainless Steel Insulated Hot & Cold Beverage Bottle: $28.95 for the 12oz. Bottle with 2 cap combo
This amazing bottle works double duty as a super insulating beverage holder with their standard screw cap. When you add their Café Cap (for an additional $4) it converts your Insulated bottle into a splashproof to-go mug!
Insulates hot beverages up to 6 hrs
Insulates cold beverages up to 24 hrs
Lifetime Warranty

—Stainless Steel Kids Sippy Cup / Water bottle combo:
I keep one of these in cabinet and one in my diaper bag at all times— just in case! This bottle has a lifetime warranty, comes in many colors and comes with an awesome sippy cup lid— that has worked very well for the 2 years my daughter has been using them! We just recently switched out of the sippy lid onto a screw top lid or, as we call it, her new “big girl cup”. =)

—Preserve Toothbrush Subscription: $15 for 4 brushes/ one year subscription
The Preserve toothbrush, made in Massachusetts, is made with a 100% recycled #5 plastic handle and new nylon bristles. They are shaped simply and perfectly—I have been buying this toothbrush for myself and family/friends for years! The subscription can be set to automatically send your gift recipient a new toothbrush every 3 months ( as recommended by dentists!). After use, the brushes can be mailed back to the company after use to be recycled!

—Preserve Kids Toothrush Subscription: $15 for 4 brushes/ one year subscription
You can also get a toothbrush subcription for kids age 2-8! These toothbrushes so so cute, with different animal themes, and a portion of the proceeds benefits the World Wildlife Fund. As with the Adult toothbrush, the brushes can be mailed back to the company after use to be recycled!

—BirdProject Soap: $24
Each black, bird shaped soap contains a white, ceramic bird, handmade by moi from Louisiana Clay, which remains as a keepsake once the outer soap has washed away. The soaps are made with natural, locally sourced ingredients: biodiesel glycerin, fair trade olive oil, aloe, activated black charcoal, and a light cypress scent – reminiscent of Louisianan bayous. 50% of profits go to environmental cleanup and care for affected animals of the BP Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill Disaster. They are made by Emily Manger Davis of Sweet Olive Soap

Eco-friendly gift ideas that don’t involve more “Stuff”:

—A Gift certificate for a housecleaner / maid: $125
What a lovely gift! Get a gift certificate for 2 hours of maid service…ahh how nice would that be? Bonus points for contracting with a company that provides ‘green’ cleaning supplies and practices!

—Tickets to a Movie, Concert, Comedy Club, Sports Event
The memories are priceless =)

—Gift certificate to a learning event / Class
Ever want to learn how to cook, sew, bake, decorate cakes, play guitar, blow glass, work with wood, fly an airplane?? I bet everyone else has wanted to do something like this too. Get a gift certificate or buy a class seat in their name!

General Eco-friendly Holiday shopping tips

—Plan out what you are going to buy for people ahead of time—this limits that chances of overspending on throwaway stuff with flashy marketing that catches your eyes while out shopping at the stores =)
—Shop at Etsy! …duh… 😉 and for bonus points search locally =)
—Buy gifts that have been certified by independent third parties                                            —Buying electronics? Buy Energy Star:
—Coffee? Chocolates? Buy Fair Trade:
—Food? Clothes? Buy Organic:

*********Other Resources:*************

Green America’s Holiday Green Gift Guide:


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