I can hardly believe it but December is here, and while I used to be the person who had my gifting planned and executed well in advance, I’ve spent more of my time chasing my toddler around the house, store or park than I care to admit.
So, before we blink and it’s suddenly December 23rd, let’s grab a cuppa and chat about a few sustainable gifting ideas for your favourite ethical tea lover (even if that tea-lover is you).
With growing conversation surrounding sustainability and zero waste, consumers like you and I are becoming increasingly aware of the impact we have on our planet. Finding alternatives and making small changes as we’re able to allows us to build more sustainable habits and reduce our personal footprints. Holidays can pose a unique predicament as we’re accustom to gifting, and the waste that inevitably accompanies it. But there are ways we can help to change some of that narrative, both by being intentional with our gifting choices and being mindful of how they’ll impact both the environment and the recipient.
The majority of holiday goods we see surface this time of year are extremely wasteful. From unnecessary plastic packaging that’s then wrapped in cellophane to meters of holiday wrap that’s promptly thrown in the garbage. Not to mention that the social pressures and expectations of gifting lead many of us to make impulsive purchases simply for the sake of having a gift. We’re all guilty of that one!
This year, I challenge you to finish off your holiday shopping by making thoughtful, intentional and mindful purchases or opt for the gift of an experience instead. I’ve accumulated a few of my favourite ways to enjoy a less wasteful holiday season, so let’s jump right in!
#1. A Thrifted Set Of Ceramic Containers To House Your Loose Leaf Tea
If you read our post on the best (and worst) storage options for your tea, then you know ceramic is our favourite, most trusted choice of storage. Sure, there are lots of choices as far as ceramic canisters go, but consider gifting a thrifted or vintage set instead. Not only is this a more sustainable choice, but these are often unique, one-of-a-kind finds that you’ll get for a steal. Lucky for us, there are a plethora of options when it comes to second hand: from charity shops to yard sales to curated thrift shops to vintage re-sellers on Instagram. There are even websites like Kijiji and Facebook Marketplace that help to connect you with people right here in your community. You’ll want to wash and air out your finds before gifting, but why not choose a few beautiful loose leaf teas to gift alongside your thrifted canisters? It’s a beautiful, functional gift option that can be treasured forever. My recommendation is our Winter Trio, perfect for getting into the holiday spirit.
Pro Tip! Check out your local thrifting hashtag to find Vintage re-sellers in your area on Instagram! Examples include #halifaxthrift or #torontovintage. You'll want to make sure you're browsing through the most recent posts, though.
#2. Make Your Pals Some Homemade Skincare!
If you haven’t checked out our DIY scrub post in partnership with Scrub Inspired, that's one you'll want to bookmark! The first rule to being a more ethical, conscious consumer is using what you already have, and I’m willing to bet you have some tea hanging around, ready to be made into a beautiful gift! Loose leaf teas like Turmeric Tonic and Calming Chamomile are wonderful not only for a cup of tea, but for your skin as well. Make a body scrub, tub tea or even a face mask, DIY some cute hand-drawn labels and voila! Even better, plan a date with your best pals and gift an experience to pair along with it.
For the bath tea, you’ll need:
-A mason jar (or similar)
-2 cups of Epsom salts, sea salts or Himalayan salts
-1/4 cup loose leaf tea, such as calming chamomile
-5 drops lavender essential oil (optional)
-Sticker paper or label paper and a few pens or markers
-Reusable lightweight cotton produce bag
Mix all of the ingredients together, pour into your mason jar and get crafty by creating custom labels for your gift! I used some extra twine I had in my storage and tied it loosely around the jars so that it could easily be untied without cutting (and thus reused). Finally, instead of using a gift bag, I used a reusable cotton produce bag, which can then be used for steeping the tub tea, sans mess and for produce at the grocery store or market.
#3. Wrap Your Gifts With Newspaper!
Instead of buying gift wrap, consider opting for newspaper sheets, which offer a unique gift wrapping supply that is both economically savvy and less wasteful. There are a number of ways you can jazz up your newspaper to make it more festive, including gathering stray twigs and pine branches, pine cones or acorns and tying them to your gift with twine. You can even hand dye your twine using your tea!
#4. Make Your Own Gift Tags From Paper Scraps Or Wooden Tags
If you’re like me and you take great pride in wrapping and packaging your well-thought-out-gifts, you might want to consider making your own gift tags. It’s tempting to grab a pack of gift tags that are ready to write on- especially considering how busy the holidays get, but switching to DIY tags could be a great opportunity to add something special to your gift. Whether you’re using paper scraps to collage a gift tag or spend a night decorating a few reusable wooden gift tags, the time and care you put into your gift will be evident. You can even go so far as to dyeing your tags with tea for an added touch.
#5. Who Said Cookies Were Just For Santa?
Who doesn’t like receiving homemade goodies over the holidays? If you’re a foodie and you enjoy baking, why not whip up a batch of our Duchess Of Earl Chocolate Chip Cookies? Instead of wrapping them in plastic, try picking up a small glass container and line with a linen cloth. Both can be reused, and your cookies will stay fresh longer, ensuring maximum happiness for the recipient. Just don’t forget to make extras for you!
No matter which holiday you celebrate, part of celebrating mindfully means checking in with yourself to make sure you’re taking care of your mind, body and soul. Challenge the notion that you need to purchase gifts for people, gift intentionally and be gentle with yourself.