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Healthy Tips

Holiday Gift Guide: Giving with Purpose

‘Tis the season to think of others and exchanging gifts is a tradition many celebrate throughout the holidays.

We pulled together some inspiration and guidance for thoughtful giving in the spirit of good health and environmental consciousness!

Support Local Businesses

Small business owner with face mask hanging open sign for her store.

Small businesses suffered a blow this year with limited hours, lockdowns and a decline of in-store sales. As we ramp up to the busiest shopping period of the year, consider taking your wish list to stores in your community.

Here, you’ll often find unique, locally made items that make the perfect gift! Many stores often feature holiday sales and offer gift cards, so friends and family can enjoy browsing for a special something.

While items may cost a few dollars more than on big box websites, you will be supporting local livelihoods, reducing shipping emissions and investing in the economic health of your community.  

Give the Gift of Health

Investing in our health has never been more important. You can encourage others to do so by gifting natural health products that help nourish the body, relieve stress, create an at-home spa experience, keep them healthy throughout winter or that support healthy New Year resolutions.   

Look to exciting, trending natural health products for inspiration, that range from bamboo bandages and body care just for teens to nut cheeses and adaptogenic gummies – great stocking stuffers that you can feel extra good about giving. 

Give Zero-Waste Themed Gifts

Sustainable living is on everyone’s mind – and there are plenty of practical items out there to support a “green” lifestyle!

Personalized eco friendly, zero waste gift box for the holidays.

Metal straws, silicone baking sheets, beeswax wraps, thermal coffee mugs and stylish packable reusable bags make great secret Santa gifts. You can also assemble customized zero-waste kits including reusable cloth masks, cloth napkins, bamboo utensils, water bottles and items that help avoid single-use items when on the go.

Add a personal touch to giving by whipping up some seasonal treats or packaging up some DIY household products scented with essential oils in mason jars that can easily be repurposed around the home.

Give an Experience

Although many of the activities and events we looked forward to have not been possible this year, there is still an opportunity to plan and look forward to something in the future. Think outside of the gift box and encourage adventure or self-care with an experience. Whether it’s an IOU to your partner for a spa day or a weekend yoga retreat with your siblings, this is a unique way to show someone you care – and create memories that last for years.

During this time when we are all doing our part to keep our distance and stay safe, while knowing the winter months could be long, having something to look forward to when our “new normal” resumes will help during the long winter days ahead.

Give to the Greater Good

A box of food donations for the food bank

2020 has presented us with many challenges, but also the opportunity to reflect on the more important things in life. Consider allocating some of your holiday shopping budget for social or environmental charitable donations. There are many ways to give, whether it be to a local food bank, a cause close to your heart, or through a larger organization.

Some charitable gift ideas include:

  • World Wildlife Fund (WWF) offers 7 meaningful and eco-friendly gifts from WWF-Canada that can change the world.
  • The David Suzuki Foundation offers a variety of virtual gifts that help preserve nature from protecting waterways to supporting pollinators.
  • A charity we love is Community Food Centres Canada, which gives low-income communities access to high-quality healthy food, and opportunities to cook and learn skills that build lasting change to their health.

Green Your Wrapping!

Found all the perfect gifts? Time for wrapping!

Gift wrap can add up quickly, and many store-bought, seasonally decorated rolls of wrapping paper can’t be efficiently recycled because of metallic paints or glitter, and dyes that are difficult to filter out, which means they end up in landfills. Instead, try:

  • Reusable wrapping. Gift wrap made from fabric can be used again and again! There are many gift bag patterns and “no sew” tutorials available online, but it can be as easy as cutting a piece of fabric to fit the gift and securing with twine or ribbon.
  • Repurpose packing materials. Online shopping has spiked this year, and when ordering gifts, save packing materials to reuse as wrapping paper or for securing shipped gifts to loved ones. Brown bags or paper can be reused and hand decorated (also a great activity for kids).
  • Use paper tape: Did you know that plastic tape used in most gift wrapping isn’t recyclable? Opt for paper tape instead which is recyclable and compostable.

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