Green Your Holiday Gift Giving with Kathy Curran

On today’s Green Gab, my guest is Kathy Curran. Kathy has been on an amazing journey to incrementally green her life, and now that the holidays are upon us, greening her gift-giving is her first order of business. Join us as we show you how to green your holiday gift-giving!

Green Your Holiday Gift-Giving with Sustainable Choices

It’s really important to understand where what you buy comes from. Most of us don’t need more stuff. Our homes are already packed to the gills with stuff we don’t need or use. So, as you buy gifts for others, it’s important to make sure that you understand where the products you are buying are coming from. If items have to travel a long way to reach you, that’s not sustainable. If the company you are buying from employs child labor, well, that’s not what you want to endorse. If the company that you are purchasing products from has a record of environmental violations, that’s also not a green choice. When it doubt, look for companies that have achieved B Corporation status. B stands for “benefit”. So they are companies that exist to benefit mankind, not just to solely turn a profit.

It’s not just what you buy, but who you are buying it from and where is it coming from that should play into our gift choices.

Local and Organic are Pretty Safe Choices

We have found some really unique gifts that allow us to make good environmental choices by shopping at local food purveyors. Staying regional with your purchases reduces the carbon footprint of your purchase. Many local food purveyors also have minimal packaging, and many of their products will be all-natural, organic, and made from sustainable crops. They also generally are not packed with the chemicals and preservatives that factory foods have.

Many green gift choices also support your local community and the business owners that serve your local community. Green gifts keep dollars working within your communities.

Give Experiences and not Stuff

We all have that person on our list who is impossible to shop for. They already have everything, don’t need anything, and yet, you still need to give them a gift. The best type of gift for people like this is to focus on giving experiences, rather than stuff.

Some of our favorite experiences to give are:

  1. Local classes of workshops pertaining to a hobby – gardening, cooking, painting, writing, pottery, etc.
  2. Tickets to a favorite play or concert
  3. Yearly family passes to the State Parks in your state or a state nearby
  4. Memberships to a museum or local attraction
  5. Online memberships to heirloom seed clubs or other clubs that support hobbyists
  6. Gift certificates for Air BnB
  7. A tour of a local attraction that they’ve never been to
  8. Give apps like Story Corp to document family history and stories

Green Your Holiday Gift Wrapping

Gift wrap and all the packaging that goes into giving gifts is a huge source of waste. The more gifts you give, the more important it is for you to make greener choices with your gift wrap. 

Some of our favorite ways to make gift wrapping greener are:

  1. Wrap in fabrics, not paper
  2. Use old maps, newspapers as gift wrap
  3. Buy recycled brown paper to as wrapping paper
  4. Save gift bags for re-use.
  5. Buy recycled wrapping paper.
  6. Recycle your wrapping paper.
  7. Use mason jars, buckets, clay pots or other items that go with a gift to “wrap” it.

Simplify, Don’t Accumulate

One of the biggest gifts we can leave our children is to simplify your life and unburden yourself of all the stuff. They won’t want most of it and it only creates more work and waste to deal with generations of the stuff that we have in our lives.

Even if you have things you want to pass down to the next generation, here’s a great way to green your holiday gift-giving and make it meaningful for your family!

The next generation doesn’t want to drag Grandma’s china to their 6 apartments in 3 cities before they get married and settle into a tiny house! So, instead of leaving a ton of stuff, we think it’s a great idea to identify one special heirloom piece – a teacup, painting, letter, etc. that you want to be meaningful to that child. Then write out the heritage of that item and why it was special to you or Grandma, or Uncle Bob, and give them the one thing they can cherish, along with the documentation of the sentimental value to your family. It’s much more likely to be cherished and displayed with care, than an 88 piece set of china that no one has room to store and will never get used.

Resources Mentioned**:

Story Corp App 


White LED Lights

Colored LED Lights

Gifts for Friends

Unique Journal with Laser-cut cover

Food Wraps – for lunches and food storage

Tablecloth – made entirely of recycled bottles

Joy Essential Oil

Metal Straws

**This post may contain affiliate links for your convenience. That means that if you make a purchase, I will receive a small commission at no extra cost to you. I only recommend products or services that I believe in or use myself.

Want more green gift ideas? Check them out here!