Gifting Sustainably: How you can make a difference this winter


Art by Stella Fetherston

Madison Dowell, Staff Writer

As the holiday season comes in full swing, now is a perfect time to start thinking about how you can help your community and environment with your gifting. Not by giving your cousin metal straws, although that’s still a good gift, but by changing how you gift.

A big waste is wrapping, specifically wrapping paper, as it is single-use and not always recyclable, but there are many alternatives. Compostable wrapping paper is a perfect choice so you can keep fun designs while being environmentally conscious. You could also use newspapers (like the very one you’re reading) or gift bags that will no doubt be saved and reused by someone or their mom because it’s just such a nice bag. You could also use something as simple as a grocery bag. Don’t ever feel pressured to have your wrapping be extravagant when it’s really the present that matters.

Another way to change up your gifting? Where you get it. Giving a friend a sweater is nice, but not when it’s from Shein. Buying from local or small businesses ensures that you’re giving without a guilty conscience, and it’s something more unique and thoughtful. There’s also the option of thrifting, so even if you’re buying something that’s not super eco-friendly, you’re still reusing it. 

Another way to contribute is to reconsider what you’re gifting. Trade out the Starbucks gift card for a reusable cup. Maybe look around your home for a spare blanket that you know your aunt will like. Not to mention, there’s always the option of making a gift rather than buying one, and it’s always heartwarming to receive something made by a loved one. There’s always the option to go out and do something rather than give something physical. Memories can be just as treasured as a physical gift.

We hope you’ve gotten some ideas for how you can better our environment with your holiday shopping for this year and anytime in the future. While individual effort might not bring the biggest change, if our community as a collective works hard to stop the spread of destruction on our planet, then we may see results faster and permanently. This year, we at The Wolf encourage everyone to think about their community and land as we put our footprint on the world.