Bring out the cozy blankets and oversized mugs - it's everyone's favorite time of the year!
Holidays or not, giving gifts are a great way to show your loved ones that you think about them. Below we'll explore some ways that you can show your loved how much you care about them while still being conscious of the effects of over-consumerism.
Here are some tips to celebrate holidays in the most conscious way possible.
Support Small Businesses
When you support small businesses, you're impacting a small business owner who takes pride in their products and service. They typically choose their materials with care, and strive to provide the best quality of item they can possible.
When you go to a big business, you're limited just to the items they carry. Shopping on sites like Etsy, gives you a wide variety of products so you can find exactly what you're looking for. Want a non-toxic candle that smells like pine trees? You got it. Cute pj's hand made of with 100% organic cotton? No problem!
And small businesses provide job opportunities.. According to the SBA, big businesses eliminated 4 million jobs since 1990, while small businesses added 8 million. So when you shop small, you're helping make a positive impact on the economy.
Buy higher quality items
High quality items are made with better quality materials, or crafted in a way that makes them more durable.
Most of the time, this means that it might cost a little more. But when the recipient of your gift still has your item for 10, 20 years later rather than having to throw it away after just a year of use, your gift will have made a lasting impression and they will appreciate it more.
Choose products made with sustainable and natural materials
Now a days, it's easier to find gifts made from natural, and more sustainable materials. When you buy products made from natural materials, it's better for you and the environment. Natural materials are biodegradable and they're often superior to their plastic or non-natural counterparts.
For example, wearing clothing made from natural fibers like wool, organic cotton, or hemp is better for you and skin because the clothing is breathable. Glass is better to eat and drink off of so no icky chemicals get into your food and it's also biodegradable.
The best way to reduce waste is to only buy items that you know will get used. Ask your friends and family what they want, and send them your wish lists.
Amazon has a great wishlist that you can send the link to friends and family and it will get updated as people buy off your wishlist. They can even ship it directly to the recipient.
Just make sure you only add items to your wishlist that you know you would really love, appreciate, and use.
A great way to bring this up to your loved ones is saying something like, "I want to make sure that I get you something that you'll really love. Do you want to exchange wishlists?"
Shop Second Hand
These days it's easy to shop second hand with places like Poshmark, Mercari, the RealReal, ThreadUp and so many more.
If your bestie has been wanting a par of ivory wide-leg trousers, you can find something cheap brand new, or you can get a par in excellent condition from a reputable brand on something like Poshmark for a fraction of the retail price. With the latter choice, you're buying them something that will last longer and she'll appreciate that it's a high quality item!
You can also let your friends and family know that you're okay with second hand items. It starts with us to normalize shopping second hand for gifts.
An often overlooked gift option is to buy people experiences. Tickets to a show, an art museum, exhibits, the spa, or even a vacation, are all nice gestures that anyone could appreciate. Has your friend been talking about wanting to take dance classes? Why not gift it to her! A double date at a paint & wine or pottery class? Sounds like a blast!
Use Kraft paper, reusable bags, or no wrapping at all
Did you know wrapping paper that is laminated, contains glitter, plastic, or any sticky adhesives can't be recycled? You can use other options like Kraft paper, reusable bags, baskets, newspaper, or reusable fabric. You can be creative and choose items that you already have!
2022 Holiday Gift Guide
Whethere you're a busy mom in need of some gift ideas, or you generally just have a hard time picking out gifts, we could always use a gift guide!
Here's a small list of curated gifts perfect for the men, women, and kids in your life! These gifts were hand selected because of their earth friendly attributes, natural materials, or in the support of small businesses - Hooray!
*Disclosure: I only recommend products I would use myself and all opinions expressed here are our own. This post contain affiliate links that at no additional cost to you, I may earn a small commission.
Musical Llama - $50 (Ages 12 months - 7 years)
This award winning musical llama from Manhattan Toy is absolutely AMAZING! My sister bought this for my baby girl on her first birthday and she is loving it. There's things to spin, things to hit and shake and my daughter always picks it out to play with.
Why I love it: It's made from wood and water-based non toxic finish. It's super sturdy and durable, so it's made to last. And with the recommended age is from 12 months - 7 years, it can be enjoyed for many years to come!
Pikler Triangle, Ramp, and Arch - $165 (Ages 6 months - 6 years)
Etsy Shop DadChefLLC
Climbing furniture is a great way to for children to develop and refine gross motor skills and to just get the itch of climbing furniture out on designated, sturdy structures built for climbing! My daughter loves her Pikler & ramps and we've had ours since she was about 8 months.
Why I love it: This one supports a small business and it's handmade from natural plywood. This shop has raving reviews and they also have smaller sized sets for younger children and toddlers.
Toy Rental Subscription - $140 - $780 (Ages 0 - 5 years)
Tiny Earth Toys
Use code JUDYRINA10 for $10 off for first time users.
**Bonus DISCOUNT** For a limited time, you can also stack with the code HOLIDAY for a free toy when you sign up for the first time!
I have been a member of Tiny Earth Toys for at least 6 months now and I absolutely love it! You can rent age appropriate, developmental, wooden toys and exchange them out every 2 months. It's a great way to keep fresh toys for your children without having to buy and keep all new toys every time they're ready for the next stage of developmental toys!
Why I love it: There's so many reasons but here's a few. It's sustainable, you purchase less toys, you have less clutter, and you reduce your carbon footprint. You also save money on providing high quality, educational toys. Give the gift of less clutter and do good for the planet, and the children! What a win-win!
Mini Playsilks Set - $46 (All ages)
Why I love it: Playsilks are open ended toys, which means they can be used for anything your little one's can think of! It's great for imaginative play, and the versatility is great for the environment as opposed to toys that have only one use. Babies and children love the sensory experience of silks, and they're natural, biodegradable, and non-toxic.
Wooden Rotating Shape Sorter - $49 (Ages 12 months and up)
Pottery Barn Kids
Why I love it: This classic wooden toy is a great developmental toy to learn shapes, problem solving, colors, and develop motor skills. It's made from FSC-certified wood that support healthy forests and ecosystems. It's also beautiful, finished with non-toxic water-based paint.
Chunky Knit Oversized Sweater - $38+
From Etsy shop MilaandCoCA
Why I love it: These adorable chunky knitted sweaters are handmade with 100% cotton. They come in beautiful gender neutral, fall colors and are a perfect staple for a child's winter wardrobe! The pictures from the reviews are ADORABLE, and as always, Etsy offsets carbon emissions from shipping and packaging from this purchase.
A Forever Candle Starter Set - $88
Why I love it: Anyone else hate having a ton of empty glass candle jars? Well this is perfect for the eco-friendly candle lover in your life because you can save your container and keep refilling it to make brand new candles! You can even recycle different containers or mugs and turn it into your next fav candle. These candles are made from eco-friendly coconut wax blends. non-toxic fragrance, and lead-free cotton wicks.
Organic Cotton Thermal Waffle Hoodie - $50
Why I love it: A super cute, loungey hoodie that's made from breathable, organic cotton to keep you cozy? YES Please! Pact boasts 100% organic GOTS certified cotton made from a Fair Trade Certified Factory. Pact even offsets their carbon footprint throughout the entire supply chain. You can also complete the look with the matching sweatpants.
Organic EcoLash Starter Kit - $84
Why I love it: The perfect gift for the clean beauty maven in your life. They're feather-light, natural-looking lashes, 100% post consumer recycled PET and HDPE (such as waterbotttles). Colored by micas, vegan & cruelty free, and made in the USA. I have this exact kit myself, and I LOVE the way they look. They stay on for about 5 days, and I love that the lash primer, adhesive, and remover are all organic.
Non-Toxic Nail Polish Starter Kit - $35
Kapa Nui Nails
Why I love it: Did you know your nails absorb toxins from nail polish? If you've got a DIY nail polish fanatic in your life, this is definitely worth gifting. These are water-based, and completely non-toxic, body safe and planet safe.
Nordic Hand Knitted Throw Blanket - $87+
From Etsy shop ChunkyWoolStudio
Why I love it: Gifting someone something soft and cozy is always a good idea for the holidays! This beautiful knitted throw is hand knitted and made of all natural wool. It comes in multiple sizes and colors. Feel good knowing you are helping out a small business, and Etsy will even offset the carbon emissions from shipping & packaging on this item!
Raw, All Natural Lavender Chamomile Body Scrub - $35
The Body Deli
Why I love it: The Body Deli sells gourmet handcrafted personal care products, made with all-natural, organic, and raw ingredients. This exfoliating, detoxifying and nourishing body scrub is the perfect gift of self care for your loved ones.
Handmade Camel Leather Tote Bag - $187+
From Etsy shop VermutAtelier
Why I love it: For the ones in your life that appreciate simplistic, yet beautiful design. This leather tote is handmade and made with vegetable tanned leather, which if you're getting leather, vegetable tanned is the more eco-friendly option and all natural option. This tote is durable, and will last for years to come, and since it's natural, it will biodegrade.
Beard Care Kit - $32
Etsy Shop Happy Hive Creations Co
Why I love it: This kit contains everything the bearded men in your life need. Handmade in small batches from natural ingredients, this kit contains beard balm, beard wash, oil, and a wooden comb.
Organic Cotton Double Knit Waffle Sweater - $86
Why I love it: A sweater like this is a staple that any man can appreciate! It's made from 100% GOTS certified organic breathable cotton, and made in a Fair Trade certified factory. Pact also offsets all of their carbon emissions so you can feel good about giving this one to all the men in your life!
Sustainable Leather Gadget Bag - $119+
From Etsy shop CapraLeather
Why I love it: A stylish gift for the techie in your life. It's handcrafted with high quality materials. The description states that they source their leather from environmentally conscious tanneries in Colombia. High quality and sustainably sourced leather is an eco-friendly choice over faux leather because it's durable, lasts long, and biodegrades.
Handmade Bamboo Wool Crocheted Slippers - $108
From Etsy shop KingdomofWow
Why I love it: With the colder weather, everyone can use a nice cozy pair of slippers for the house. These ones are hand-crocheted from a soft blend of sustainable, all-natural wool & bamboo making them antimicrobial and antibacterial.
Beer Soaps Set All Natural Vegan - $29
From Etsy shop HomeBrewedSoaps
Why I love it: This set of handmade soaps has a unique twist - they're made with home brewed beer! Perfect for the men in your life who loves beer, these soaps are made with all natural and vegan ingredients, and housed in recycled packaging.
Handcrafted Leather Boots with Upcycled Soles - $127
From Etsy shop PortugueseTreasures
Why I love it: These cool & rugged boots are handcrafted made with leather and recycled car tires as the soles. Leather is durable and will last for years to come, and unlike faux leather, it is a natural product that will biodegrade. Etsy also offsets carbon emissions from shipping and packaging on this purchase.