The holiday season is upon us — there’s only 12 shopping days left until Christmas! Are you still searching for the perfect gift for a loved one? Look no further! We’ve put together our top 3 considerations for mindful gift giving this holiday season.
Consider the Health Impact
Much of what’s given as gifts during the holidays include sugary treats, personal care products, and items made of plastic. But, we think it’s important that we’re considering the health of the person we’re giving to.
We want to be careful how much sugar we’re consuming this time of year, because sugar depresses our immune system. Not great during cold and flu season! If you do want to gift a sweet treat for someone this holiday season, try making it yourself, so you can control the amount of sugar used and possibly include some higher quality ingredients. Could we suggest these Spiced Coconut Macaroons?
Personal care products, like baskets of lotions and bubble baths are another common gift this time of year. Unfortunately, many of the most common personal care products have nasty chemicals lurking inside their beautifully designed bottles. You can read more about those dangers here, here, and here.
Instead, look for natural personal care items like those from The Eco Well or Barefoot Naturals. Another popular gift this year is Essential Oils, we love the blends and diffusers from NOW Solutions.
Lastly, consider the toxic components that might be hiding in the plastic gifts we may be purchasing. This is a time to consider quality over quantity. Maybe you’re buying for a little one this Christmas, rather than purchasing heaps of plastic toys, it’s possible to find lovely locally made wooden dolls, trucks, and other toys. Quality products last longer, and can be cherished for years to come!
Consider the Environmental Impact
Have you ever noticed the number of garbage bags on the curb the week after Christmas. I always find it staggering.
There’s a few things we can keep in mind when trying to reduce our ecological footprint this holiday season:
- How far did this item travel to get to me?
- Does this product contain substances that are harmful to the environment?
- Does this product have excessive packaging?
We can also make different choices when it comes to wrapping our gifts. Rather than using a plasticized paper that will be torn, then crumpled up, and ultimately end up in a landfill — we can look for more sustainable options.
- Reuse old news paper or brown paper bags (you can draw on these or decorate them too!)
- Choose re-usable gift bags or boxes (I have some gift boxes from 20 years ago that I’m still using!)
- Use fabric like scarves or blankets to conceal the gift you’re giving.
Getting a little creative can go a long way!
Consider the Impact on Your Local Economy
Sure, it’s simple to find nearly everything you need at a Walmart, or with a few clicks on Amazon — but, what if we stop for a moment, and bring awareness to who and what we’re supporting with that purchase.
If we’re mindfully gift giving it seems an almost obvious choice to choose local, even hand-made, items when possible. By supporting locally owned businesses you’re “voting with your dollars” and telling the world that you want to ensure that local businesses stay around for years to come. By spending our hard-earned money locally, we give back to our community by creating jobs and supporting those around us, all while getting a gift unique to your area. That’s a win-win!
Do What You Can
Now we know that this may be a lot of information to take in, and none of us are expected to do everything mentioned above “perfectly”. By simply bringing some attention and awareness to our gift giving this season, there’s bound to be a few simple changes we can all incorporate that will have a lasting, positive impact on our collective health, the environment and our local economy!
Join us for a Photo Challenge!
Photos of trees in living rooms that are absolutely packed with gifts have begun making their appearance on social media already this year. To counteract some of the automatic consumption that can be associated with the season, we’ve put together a 5-Day Mindful Gift Giving Photo Challenge happening over on Facebook or Instagram starting on Thursday, December 14th. Be sure to take part for your chance to win an awesome eco-friendly, locally-made gift basket full of soaps, lotions, and lip balm from The Eco Well.
What mindful gifts do you have planned for this year? Let us know in the comments below.