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Happy Holidays: Sustainable and Ethical Gift Ideas Pt 1

ethical gifts

Along with choosing the perfect present this year for the holidays, why not also consider sustainable and ethical gifts that won’t add to the landfill? According to the EPA, Americans create an extra one million tons of extra waste during this time of year, with unnecessary amounts of envelopes, cards, packaging, and unwanted gifts. This year, do your part in keeping the holidays green by purchasing eco-friendly presents.  Here’s the first 5 Ideas on our list of sustainable and ethical gifts, stay tuned for more!

Plantable Holiday Cards

Want to wish your loved ones happy holidays without the waste of paper Christmas cards? This year, give them a card that won’t be destined for the trash or become part of household clutter. Plantable holiday cards are as festive as regular cards, but are made from recycled paper implanted with seeds that can grow into anything from herbs to flowers when planted in soil!  It’s not just a card, it’s a present too, and the cost is comparable to regular non-seeded cards.

ethical gifts

Eco-Friendly Board Games

Tis the season for family fun! Eco-friendly board games are an entertaining way to spend time with friends and family, and what better way to play than with a game that is also responsibly made. Games such as Earthopoly are made from 100% recycled paper and plastic. Even the ink is made from soybeans!

ethical gift

Environmentally Conscious Crafts

As kids, there was nothing we loved more than receiving an interactive gift that was both fun and creative. Now the gift of crafts is also environmentally friendly. The “Recycled Bottle Light” kit gives step-by-step instructions on how to turn empty plastic bottles into a personalized light source. The “Lava Lip Gloss Making Kit” provides all the ingredients needed to make colourful lip glosses that contain all-natural ingredients. Other craft activities include creating robotic bugs out of soda cans, and decorating your own reusable shopping bags.

ethical gift

Elephant Poo

There’s a whole new eco-friendly paper source on the market that has people talking. Elephant dung paper products are produced by collecting elephant waste, which contains fibres that have been naturally pulped by the animal’s digestion system. The fibrous pulp is thoroughly boiled with margosa leaves to decontaminate it and remove any scent. Then 25% recycled paper is added to build up the pulp before spreading it to dry. Much of the color and texture of the paper comes straight from the digestive system of the elephant making each hand-made (or rather elephant-made) sheet one-of-a-kind.  Some common poo-products are journals, picture frames and even Christmas ornaments.

ethical gifts

Best of Both Worlds

We’re all for helping the less fortunate but not everyone appreciates “receiving” a donation made in their name. So why not give the gift that keeps on giving as well as something tangible – a Face Watch. The Face Watch is a fashionable gadget that not only looks good but also supports a cause. This is how it works; there are six different colors of watch, each paired with a different charity. For example, when you buy just one black watch, The American Cancer Society will support and educate the families of eight cancer victims. For every fourteen bright pink watches sold, The National Breast Cancer Society will supply a woman in need with a mammogram.

ethical gifts

by Bonnie Edwards & Amy Ross

This series on living fantastic for the holiday season is a collaboration between Greenster and the students of the Langara Publishing Program, who as a team produce Pacific Rim Magazine. Enjoy! 

Photo Credit: Amori Lynn
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