If I think back to what inspired me or in this case annoyed me enough to create The Kind Curator Co. in the first place, it was the tacky shiny Christmas bows, the plastic curly ribbon that your cat will likely try to enjoy as an evening treat, the piles of dollar store Santa wrapping paper, the bags on bags, and of course, the corporate gift baskets filled with generic, low quality sweets and stuff that you hope you can regift or pawn off at a Christmas pot luck, all wrapped up in a mound of clear, crunchy, plastic cellophane. Cute.
It was all of that, I was sick of the lack of care, thought and how it looked and so here we are. Maybe you're feeling just as passionate about wasteful gift giving as I was and that's why you're here, reading this blog post, in that case, welcome friend, thank you for reading!
I've put together some tips and even included some other amazing brands to help you with your thoughtful gift giving this holiday season.
5 Tips For Eco-Friendly Gift Giving This Holiday Season
1. Don’t panic buy, don’t over buy. Take your time
Try and simply buy what you need, buy what others need or that you know would be useful to them. The best way is to stop and first think about it, before anxiously hitting that buy button on those Black Friday sales; this is conscious gifting. Less excessive buying = less waste + more money saved? It's not about buying for the sake of buying and crossing everyone off your list, that's when we end up with a bunch of random, possible not so thoughtful or useful gifts.
2. Gift better
It’s pretty simple really. Look for gifts that add value to someone’s life (or yours). Gifts that are useful, are made with better, more sustainable materials and ingredients, small-batch, that give back in some way (eg. a charitable cause) or offer an experience such as a day trip to a Nordic Spa, a pottery, a specialty cooking class or even host them for a cozy homemade winter dinner. The options are endless really, even if physical gifts aren't the right thing for a particular person.
If we think about the 5 Love Languages, some folks would much prefer an experience that = quality time and some will prefer physical gifts that they can receive & un-open.
3. A big one (well in my opinion) is gift wrapping. Here are some tips:
Reuse and repurpose packaging - boxes, tissue paper, bags, ribbon. Keep what you can and keep using them so they have a longer life and stay out of the trash. Of course, recycle when possible. I keep a bin with gift wrap & bags that we've received over the years and reuse it when I can each year.
Reusable fabric wrapping aka FUROSHIKI - the Japanese way of wrapping gifts. I am becoming obsessed with this way of gift wrapping. First off, it looks beautiful, especially when you add a few sprigs of greenery! If you are on a budget, you can use old fabric (even sheets, pillow cases) that you have lying around. If you don’t have anything usable, you can find some pieces at places like Value Village for a few bucks and up-cycle those old, but cute AF sheets into some ga-ga gorgeous wrapping!
If you don’t really have the time to start sourcing fabric, there are some great small businesses selling beautifully designed, ready to go wraps such as Olsen + Olsen a woman owned, eco-friendly products business from Quebec and many of the zero waste stores carry them as well such as Bare Market & The Re Place in Toronto. Then if you want to add a little more festiveness, add a few delicate pieces of greenery, a pinecone and voila! You can find these items outside for FREE (yes, you can step outside for some air) pretty easily here in Canada HAH!
Cute reusable cotton bags or totes are another great & easy way to make a gift look cute + the bag itself can be an additional gift. Your Green Kitchen another woman owned business in Nakusp, BC makes screen printed organic cotton reusable bags for gifts, produce, bread, snacks & all sorts of goodies! We especially love this raccoon gift bag which you can find in our shop.
- Look for gifts that come with less packaging and/ or more eco-friendly packaging - As much as possible, look for products that come in glass, paper, recyclable or compostable packaging. Steer away from things like cellophane wrap (that clear stuff that comes on rolls), it can only go into the trash. If you do receive some, perhaps you can reuse and repurpose.
4. Shop locally made, Canadian products
We have SO many amazing Canadian businesses that are doing great things, right here on Canadian soil. Whether ordering from them online, stepping into a shop or visiting them at a holiday market - let’s get out and support those great businesses that are here. We want them to stay here don’t we? When you shop small, legit we do a happy dance or drink wine or something celebratory anyway!
5. Buy from businesses that are doing things ethically & sustainably
For example, if you are looking for some comfy, cozy joggers for bae - look for a Canadian company that is manufacturing here in Canada, paying their employees/ seamstresses a living wage, have safe working conditions for their employees and are using sustainable or even up-cycled fabrics. The fast fashion industry is a BIG one (I am looking directly at your Shein) - yes, you can find joggers for real, real cheap. But really, at what cost? Some food for thought.
Check out these great Canadian businesses in the fashion industry:
Province of Canada (Toronto made sweatsuits+), Encircled, Siena Vida (our up-cycled hair scrunchies are from here!), Muttonhead, Local Laundry, & Mimi & August with their Montreal made knit beanies just to name a few.
Check Holiday Gift Guides
To make holiday shopping easier this year, there are so many amazing Canadian bloggers and influencers that have put together wonderful gift guides - we were lucky to be featured in an all Canadian guide, .ca businesses. There's some really great businesses in it this year, check their gift guide here.
Our Carefully Packaged Curated & Custom Gift Boxes
If you think our curated, ready to ship gift boxes could be an option for some of your gift giving needs, you can find them all here. If you're looking for something a bit more personalized & customizable, be sure to check out our Build A Gift Box page. Our gift boxes will save you the time of having to look around for ideas and then figuring out the packaging, card, etc...we do it ALL for you + ship & deliver it.
We hope these ideas and tips are helpful this holiday season - if you have some ways that you are keeping things more sustainable, eco-friendly this year, we would love to hear!