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Jumpstart to Sustainable Holiday Shopping

Americans spend over 1 trillion dollars on holiday shopping. The Environmental Protection Agency reports a 25 percent increase of waste from Thanksgiving to Christmas. It’s our responsibility to reduce the environmental impact through shopping sustainable. Inspire yourself with earth-friendly gift suggestions, so you won’t end up with last minute, gimmicky trinkets. 

Charitable Giving

Donate in someone’s honor to organizations like T1International, which is currently working to make insulin available to everyone around the globe. Add charity memorabilia, like a t-shirt, to the gift. 

The Sierra Club Foundation focuses on conservation and preserving the planet through grassroots campaigns and advocacy. A donation in someone’s name is the perfect way to say you care about them, and what they believe in.

Repurposed Giving

Scrap pieces of wood can be made into works of art with a Piranha FX, an ultimate wood “repurposer” that can carve, etch or engrave items that would have otherwise made their way to the landfill. A spare wood block can become a precious keepsake; add handmade detail with a Klingspor’s Pyrography/Wood Burning tool. Multiple tips allow for a variation of textures, and it’s simple enough for anyone to use. Smaller burning kits, like the Weller 15-Piece from Highland Woodworking are exceptional for beginners.

Photo courtesy Bedrock Tree Farm

Bedrock Tree Farm transforms needles from their sheared Christmas trees into natural candles that fill the room with a scent of fresh cut firs. Once the candle is gone, the jars, with their airtight tops, can serve another purpose.

Beauty and Fashion

Patyka’s Huile Absolue Skin Booster Serum was originally created by a Hungarian pharmacist in the 1920s. The serum is 100% natural and comprised of organic essential oils, like Rose Hip and St. John’s Wort. A little dab goes a long way, treating everything from wrinkles to cuts. 

Pedag shoe liners are actually vegan, and can bring back to life a favorite pair of boots or sneakers. Zederna offers all-natural cedar and cotton soles, which are remarkably comfy and antibacterial. Not only do they smell amazing, they can cure common foot issues like athlete’s foot.

Relaxation

Snuggle-Pedic pillows are made with excess Biogreen foam from mattress production. Each hypoallergenic, customizable pillow provides optimal neck support and is vacuum packed for eco-friendly shipping.

Photo courtesy Avocado Green Mattress

Every handmade Avocado Green Mattress is crafted with organic materials that are naturally fire retardant. Specially designed springs reduce back pain and support spinal health.

Beantown sheets naturally resist bacteria; after using for a few weeks, they can be composted with zero toxic residue. Have a kid living in a dorm, or perhaps you don’t trust hotel sheets? Here’s the answer. 

Hook and Loom’s eye catching rugs are ethically hand woven in India, from all-natural materials free of chemicals and artificial dyes. The earthy colors are stunning.

Gardening

Plant Addicts is an online company that stocks rare plants you just can’t find anywhere else. Add a personalized touch to your favorite gardener’s landscape.

Payne Mountain Farms sells heirloom seeds like Mullein and Chickweed, which have countless benefits for the environment and our health. Payne Mountain also creates herbal jewelry, ointments and other goodies from the garden.

Adventure

Photo by Erick Wofford

Native Eyewear green reflex lenses provide advanced sun polarization. Vision is crisp through the special design which boasts an eco-friendly construction.

The NAU Introvert Jacket is the perfect rain coat or winter shell with its water resistant, organic cotton construction. Another great feature—it can be tossed in the washing machine. 

POW gloves are not only ridiculously durable, proceeds from certain styles go toward breast cancer awareness.

Photo by Karyn Wofford

Ice bug is an independent company inspired by the Bark Beetle, which can move in all directions on ice. The Metro 2 boot is the newest, with fun colors and exceptional gripping capability on dangerously icy surfaces. 

Wellness

Natural teas from Teami kill sugar cravings, detox the system and nourish the body. Their on-the-go cups are nice for infusing, making it easier to incorporate tea drinking every day. 

Tea tastes better and stays hotter in a cast iron tea kettle. Primula’s Japanese inspired kettle with hammered detail is not only useful, but gorgeous.

Ecolution’s Bakins can replace toxic cookie sheets; they’re free from harmful chemicals like BPA, PFOA, and PTFE. Cookies come out better too.

Little Ones

Ecogear bags are chlorine free and designed to reduce pollution. With sustainable, traceable materials, an adorable line of kid’s packs are available along with streamline selections.

Either kid or adults can use non-toxic Natural Earth Paint. Perfectly hued for fun projects or serious art, packaging is recycled and compostable as well.

Photo courtesy Royal Carribean

Purposeful Trips

Not only does gifting a trip reduce holiday waste, it can raise money for those in need. Royal Caribbean’s Cruises for Charity allows groups to book and raise money for their cause. Through The Ocean Fund, the company has granted over 11 million dollars to marine conversion, in addition to their outpouring of hospitality to hurricane victims.

Foodie

The Exotic Bean’s Coffee is organic, fair trade, sustainable, and shade grown, meaning it develops within the rainforest, rather than on a plantation that has destroyed natural habitats. Pure methods result in a clean, flavorful taste, evident in the chocolate and citrus noted Thailand Peaberry blend.

Umland’s Pure Dry vacuum dries Gouda, Cheddar and Pepper Jack cheeses into crunchy morsels of Kosher, low carb, all-natural goodness. The packs are great stocking stuffers.

Photo by Karyn Wofford

Kwoka Caramels go back to the way caramels were meant to be, with a natural Scandinavian recipe. Flavors like pistachio and sea salt add a twist to the tradition. 

Make a new holiday meal tradition with smoked fish instead of turkey or ham. Compile a tasting of sustainably caught delicacies like oak smoked filets from Springs Smoked Salmon, sustainably caught variations form Alaska Gold Brand,  and Northern Waters Smokehaus’ mouthwatering trio of dill, Cajun, pepper and coriander smoked salmon. It’s the most beautiful pescatarian centerpiece. Browne Trading’s boxed, Scotch-cured salmon with all-natural ingredients makes for a beautiful gift to round out your list. Happy shopping!


Karyn Wofford is a type 1 diabetic, EMT and Certified Wellness Specialist. For years she has educated herself on wellness and natural, wholesome living. Karyn’s goal is to help people be the healthiest they can be while living fun, happy lives.

Published on Nov 9, 2017

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