How to Shop Smart and Save the Planet This Holiday Season
Shop Sustainably This Holiday Season and Give the Best Gift – A Greener Future for All
As the holiday season kicks into full gear, it’s understandable to feel a little overwhelmed when trying to choose the perfect gift for your loved ones. When trying to shop sustainably, it can become even more challenging. But look no further! One Planet Life’s 2022 Holiday Gift Guide is here to help you find the perfect gifts for your friends and family that also align with your sustainability goals.
Just in time for the holidays, One Planet Life launched its very own online store to help our community easily make joyful changes to live more sustainably. We offer a wide selection of reusable totes, travel utensils, water bottles, and more. Check out our e-store for gifts that your friends and family will love – and help the planet by cutting the amount of single-use plastics that end up in landfills.
But OPL isn’t the only place you can shop with the health of the planet in mind. Did you know that there is a special certification companies can qualify for that measures their impact?
Certified B Corporations participate in a thorough assessment to determine if their business practices meet high standards of verified performance, accountability, and transparency on factors such as fair treatment of workers, customer service, and community and environmental impact.
The following B-Corps have caught our attention for going above and beyond to not only create products in a sustainable way but give back in other ways that add up when it comes to treating our environment with care:
Patagonia Works became one of California’s first B-Corporations in 2012. The outdoor apparel and gear company has been a leader in ethical business practices for decades. In September, founder Yvon Chouinard and his family announced they would transfer all ownership to two new entities: Patagonia Purpose Trust and the Holdfast Collective. This move establishes that every dollar not reinvested back into Patagonia will be distributed as dividends to protect the planet. Projections estimate an annual dividend of roughly $100 million. That will go a long way to fighting climate change!
“It will help ensure that there is never deviation from the intent of the founder and to facilitate what the company continues to do best: demonstrate as a for-profit business that capitalism can work for the planet,” a press release from the company explained.
Organic Basics is a B-Corp that takes responsible fashion to the next level. Each garment, constructed from sustainable materials, carries an Impact Index that helps you better understand how the items you buy and wear contribute to your environmental footprint. This information is part of a larger effort, the Impact Report, that takes a holistic look at the company’s impact across several categories. Additionally, the company is a 1% for the Planet member, partnering with environmental groups and grassroots activists and donating the equivalent of 1% of sales to positive environmental efforts.
“As a fashion brand, we have a massive responsibility to consider the environmental impact of our choices,” the company website reads. “Everything we do uses precious resources like water and energy and creates carbon emissions along the value chain.”
Looking for gifts other than apparel? Grove Collaborative earned its B-Corp status in 2014 and has been growing its reach ever since. Known for its subscription boxes of home and personal care products that are better for the planet, Grove Collaborative focuses on curating products that “go easy on the Earth, prioritize sustainable packaging materials, and carbon offset every shipment that goes out the door.” The company has also implemented a five-year plan to move from its current status of 100% plastic neutral to 100% plastic-free by 2025.
This year, Grove Collaborative has made it easy for eco-conscious holiday shoppers, featuring an array of eco-friendly brands and products for the beauty guru, chef, gardener – and even the pet-lover – in your life.
Interested in learning more about B-Corporations? Read our article to dive deeper.
Thrifting is Trendy and Sustainable
Buying secondhand makes a significant impact, as “fast fashion” is filling up landfills at record rates. The fashion industry is responsible for 10% of all CO2 emissions globally and is expected to surge to more than 50% by 2030. Help offset these troubling statistics by shopping secondhand. Patagonia offers its own marketplace to buy and trade gently-used Patagonia clothing and recrafted clothing on its Worn Wear site.
Shop for name-brand clothing and accessories on sites like Thread-Up or Poshmark for the fashionista in your family – giving the gift of on-trend items without the negative impact.
Are you involved in an annual Secret Santa? Switch up the rules and see who can find the most outrageous gifts under $10.
The catch? You can only shop at your local thrift store! This year, my family decided to do a secret Santa book exchange with one caveat – we had to find a book at a thrift store. My husband and I plan to make a date night of scouring Goodwill stores and used bookstores to find some fun books for our designated gift receiver.
If you plan to gift books this year and don’t have much luck locally, check out Better World Books. The company, funded through literacy grants, donates a book to match each one purchased. They also help keep books out of landfills by selling secondhand and have reached 87,000 tons of carbon offsets through carbon-balanced shipping. Books are great gifts that keep on giving!
You never know what you’ll find at your local thrift or antique store, which makes holiday shopping even more fun. You may just stumble upon a unique item that triggers a cherished family memory, making a positive, thoughtful impact that your loved one – and the planet – will appreciate!
A Homemade Touch for the Holidays
The best gifts come from the heart. Throughout the pandemic, a lot of people picked up new skills and hobbies. Now that you’ve had some time to hone your craft, devote your December weekends to making homemade gifts this year!
Knit or crochet a cozy scarf, recycle fabric to make something completely new, or break out your paint set and brushes to make homemade tree ornaments.
Everyone likes edible presents. Bake fresh bread from scratch, pull together a meal gift basket, try your hand at making holiday candies, or even plant some starter kitchen herbs for a loved one this year.
Check out our most recent recipe for Fruit Shrubs, a delicious vinegar-based syrup known as “drinking vinegars” that are a perfect gift for the cocktail or mocktail enthusiast.
Canning is another option for edible presents. Homemade canned goods are easy to travel with and last a long time. There are so many ways to spruce up the presentation, utilizing fabric for the lids or even using foraged items, like pine cones, to tie around the jars. Jams, jellies, soups, and sauces are just a few of the many possibilities. Read our recent post to learn how to whip up a delicious Pepper Jam to include in your gift baskets!
Skip the Stuff, Support a Non-Profit
With a rocky economy on many people’s minds these days, a lot of families are scaling back on the number of items they buy this year. Plastic knick-knacks that collect dust, general gifts that end up in a landfill or donation bin a month later, or the thousandth coffee mug that won’t fit in the coffee addict’s cupboard – all these scenarios are avoidable.
Instead, skip the physical gifts and make a donation to your friend or family member’s favorite non-profit. For that person on your list that seems to have everything, this is a great opportunity not only to show that you’ve taken notice of causes they care about but also to make an impact for those less fortunate this holiday season.
OPL has curated a list of environmentally-focused non-profits to help you find the perfect organization that supports specific goals for a healthier planet.
Support Your Community by Shopping Local
For every dollar spent in a local store, as much as $3.50 goes into the local economy. Skip the big box stores and shop locally this year.
By supporting local artisans and small businesses, you are helping your neighbors and community thrive. Some of my favorite items to pick up each year include honey from our favorite local apiary, Buzz Worthy Apiary in Hagerstown, Md., homemade chocolates from the candy store in our community, and small-batch roasted coffee beans from my go-to coffee shop.
Read more about another local favorite apiary, Bedillion Honey Bee Farm, located in Hickory, PA.
Take some time to explore small shops in your hometown, and you’re sure to find some new favorites to share with others!
This time of year is known for generating tons of unnecessary waste. By making sustainable choices that support eco-conscious and local offerings, you can do your part to make this holiday season less harmful to the environment and more fulfilling and maybe establish new holiday traditions in the process.
Written by Carley Kimball
Freelance Journalist and OPL Content Contributor
“I’ve always tried to implement planet-friendly practices in my life but didn’t quite realize just how much of an impact individuals can make until I was introduced to One Planet Life. I’m so excited to be able to utilize my professional skills to contribute valuable information and positive personal experiences to help make the world a better place.”