Sustainable Holiday Gift Guide & Gift Wrapping 2020 Edition!

Believe it or not, 2021 is almost upon us.

2020 has been a year like no other—for better or for worse. COVID-19, economic turmoil, and the fight against systemic racism (again) has taught us how to reprioritize and focus on what is important. We as Oregonians also learned to social distance, isolate, and not to take time with loved ones for granted.

This holiday season, you may see tons of online deals from big box stores that will be hard to turn down—all intended to increase online shopping during a pandemic and recession. But we challenge you not to buy things just for the sake of buying them, to lighten your eco-footprint this holiday season, and to use your money for good.

Here are OEC’s top 6 tips for a sustainable holiday season:

  1. Ask yourself “Do I really need that?”- There is nothing wrong with saving money. But as consumerism spreads, the Earth also suffers.
  2. Shop less and spend local – many of our local businesses have been hit incredibly hard by the pandemic, so help keep the local economy going by purchasing handmade items or buying directly from small businesses, artists, and farmers.
  3. Shop sustainably – Everyone deserves safe and healthy products. Products that are made sustainably/with recycled materials and with ethical labor practices are good for people and our environment.
  4. Gift an experience – COVID-19 has limited how much we can travel, interact with people, etc. but you can still gift someone a memory or experience by giving them a gift card to a local restaurant or a yoga package, for example.
  5. Donate to a cause in someone’s honor – A great way to honor someone this holiday is by making a donation in their name to their favorite charity, advocacy organization, or animal shelter.
  6. Pot/Plant a tree instead of cutting it down- Fake Christmas trees contain toxic chemicals such as formaldehyde, while real pine trees serve a greater environmental benefit if they stay in the ground (sequestering carbon). This year, buy a potted tree and replant it after the holidays!

And lastly, hold the glitter.

Most Christmas wrapping is not recyclable, and glitter is made of many pieces of microplastic, which eventually make their way into our oceans and waterways. For gifts that do require some wrapping, using recycled and dye-free materials gives presents a beautiful rustic look. See here for more ideas on eco-friendly gift wrapping ideas.

Wishing you and yours a healthy and happy holiday season.

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