Ideas for Sustainable Gift Giving: may your days be merry… and green

Every year my lists grow…

Christmas card mailing lists, gift giving lists, and it’s a joy! It means we are making new friends wherever we go!

But it can be a struggle to stay creative with each and every gift for each and every person, and you certainly don’t want to just give everyone the same pair of slippers.

Of course it is my goal to find things that are creative, sustainable, as useful as possible, and thoroughly valued by the receiver. Our dollars are also hard earned and few, and the last thing I want is for them to just disappear into the void of millions. This year we will be running our gift ideas through some extra thoughtful criteria: 1) it serves a purpose, 2) doesn’t contribute to waste, 3) comes from a company or market that values health and the environment. 

The real buzz killer of my holiday spirit is walking into mainstream stores where all I hear is grumpy consumers, beeping cash registers, and tired worn out associates. I don’t want it. I don’t want to be around it! So I’m spreading the love to my local hard working businesses as much as I can, buying gifts that say I care about so much more than just the gift giving process… giving gifts that say I care about the people who made them as much as the people receiving them.

Who’s on my Christmas list? Here’s an excerpt…

  • Spouse
  • Kids
  • Parents
  • Grandparents
  • Siblings
  • Aunts, uncles, cousins
  • Preschool & Sunday School Teachers
  • Packaged Cookies for the FedEx man when he delivers our gifts we ordered
  • Secret santas at work
  • Close friends
  • The kid’s close friends
  • Mentors

Did I miss anyone?? I probably did and there’s still time to add them!

What do I have in mind? 

Our dollars are hard earned and few, so we want them to go to people and places that are making the world a better place.

Here are some ideas I’ve had for both wallet and planet friendly gifts this year… (attn friends: potential spoiler alert.)

  • Herbs in a can
  • Reusable drinkware 
  • Coffee & tea or wine (always a hit for me anyways!)
  • Environmentally friendly/waste free food storage like plastic wrap alternatives
  • Subscriptions/event tickets (with babysitting “coupon”!)
  • A night out to a cooking class or painting class
  • Gift cards to sustainable online shops
  • Hand made art
  • Food or wares made locally 
  • Best selling books (for the avid reader of course!) or credit on audible
  • Kids activity subscriptions or memberships to play areas
  • Essential oils and diffusers (for the oilers in your life!)

The list seriously goes on. There are so many unique ways to give thoughtfully and sustainably. 

I saw these adorable herbs in a can at Whole Foods, and you can bet I’ll grab one for myself as well as one or two for a friend! Any foodies on your list? This is a great option. I just recently used up most of my spice cupboard and instead of restocking all my dry spices, I’m replacing many of them by using many more fresh herbs – easy and woah, hello flavor!


I already get many of my staple groceries from an online market called Thrive Market on a regular basis. I just love doing this, getting a box from Thrive is like Christmas all year around because I’m getting great deals that allow me to maintain our food values more affordably. Thrive lets me shop by value which is also so helpful to me, all I have to do is click on the tab to shop Vegan values and I’m all set to order with confidence. I also love that Thrive lets me know the values of each brand they represent in their catalog as well, so in a way, they’ve already done much of the homework for me.

Thrive Market has products that are consistently 25-50% off prices you’ll see at health food stores or even Amazon. I consistently go to their site to find my favorite products. Plus, for every membership purchased Thrive Market gives one away to a qualifying family, and that’s something I can get excited about. Their mission is making healthy living more affordable and accessible, and I’m all on board with that! I was lucky enough to be a beta tester for these guys when they first started out, I’ve been hooked on them since, and they’ve just exploded with success! And for good reason! It’s been exciting to see.

Thrive is enabling me to easily stick to my gift giving values this year with lists like these, list of stocking stuffers under $10!

On the Thrive Blog there is also this very helpful post: A Modern Thanksgiving with Something for Everyone (Gluten Free Eaters Included!) if you’re in a pinch for creating a recipe for your family members with certain values. Rest assured, I will be the one at our family’s Thanksgiving celebration this year bringing the vegan options, and I’m SUPER excited about it.

Thrive has gone the extra mile in also creating beautiful bundles for the foodie in your life, the yogi, the tea lover, the morning person, boxes full of all the cookie baking ingredients you’ll need for that baking day with your kids (say what!!??), boxes bursting with organic body care products, and even a gift box for YOUR TODDLER! And they’re at awesome prices, I think! And then your gift is completely ready to go, no more fuss! I’m thrilled. Find these pre-made holiday bundles HERE!!

How do you plan to gift give this year? What ways are you creatively stepping out and making a difference this year?
Share this post with the rest of us who are ready to start holiday shopping this weekend!

FYI: Yes, I am an affiliate for Thrive Market! And I am proud of it! I agree with everything that they stand for, I can stand behind their prices, and I’m thankful for how they’ve made my life easier. Check them out!

Also, Saturday the 26th, the day after the Black Friday mayhem is Small Business Saturday. Get out there and see what you can do to support your community that day.


2 thoughts on “Ideas for Sustainable Gift Giving: may your days be merry… and green

  1. Fantastic ideas! Gift giving doesn’t have to mean more stuff! Experiences are often much more appreciated and thoughtful 🙂 Great list!
    xx Stephanie


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