Tiny Box Company: Feel Good About Green Gifting

We've all heard about the gift of giving... But what if that gift comes with a cost - and not the financial kind? Today I'm excited to feature another guest writer today on The ecoLogical, and she will be talking all things gifts, gift wrap, and how to ensure a greener way of giving. Please welcome Hannah Natalello, and be sure to leave her a comment to let her know what you think about eco friendly gifting!

Everyone loves receiving gifts, especially when it’s something that has been thoughtfully chosen and lovingly wrapped especially for us. There’s just something about unveiling a present which makes the whole experience even more exciting, whether we’re the gift-giver or receiver. Unfortunately, our love for exchanging gifts can come with heavy environmental costs. This poses a bit of a dilemma for people who want to live a greener lifestyle.

Each year we send millions of tons of packaging and unwanted gifts to the landfill. Once they get there, they break down slowly and release toxins, microplastics, and greenhouse gases like methane into the environment. As eco-conscious people this is something we want to minimise as much as possible, and this can be done by choosing your gifts and wrapping materials carefully.

Choose Eco-Friendly Gifts

When it comes to a product’s green credentials, you need to consider its entire lifespan. Essentially this means thinking about what it is made from, where the materials come from and how they are sourced, and also how it can be disposed of when it comes to the end of its life.

Some of the worst culprits are products that are made from virgin materials - materials like brand new plastics and metals which haven’t come from recycled sources. This is because they take a lot of energy to source (they’re usually mined from the ground), and then they need to be transported before being turned into the products we buy.

Certain materials like glass and metal can be recycled forever, so it’s a good idea to keep an eye out for gifts which use these materials. Think along the lines of stainless steel or tempered glass travel mugs instead of plastic ones, clothes and accessories made with natural or recycled fibres, and cosmetics which come in glass jars rather than plastic pots and tubes.

Alternatively, you can try finding gifts which are biodegradable and can be composted at the end of their lifespan. These can be made from materials like cotton, hemp, bamboo fibres, wood or paper, and even some plastics are biodegradable. If this is the case it will usually say somewhere on the packaging that the item can be popped into the compost along with food and garden waste.

To make sure your gift is as green and ethical as possible you might want to look for products which are organic, cruelty free and fairly traded too. Even if you’re on the fence about the health benefits to choosing and using organic products, you can feel good that your gift has a minimal impact on our planet and has not been tested on animals.

Always Wrap Responsibly

Once you have picked the perfect green gift, you will need to find some beautiful, ethical gift box or wrapping options to add that finishing touch. Unfortunately, a lot of wrapping paper can’t be recycled because it contains plastic as well as paper. This is usually applied as a thin coating which makes the paper more durable and gives it a sheen, or a layer of glitter which is made from tiny shards of plastic. If you just use wrapping paper then try and look for natural, non-toxic and recyclable papers.

More brands these days are waking up to the demand for ethical goods. For example, Tiny Box Company was founded on the idea that beautiful presentation shouldn’t cost the Earth. Each of their gift presentation options has been specially sourced to make sure it is made from recycled, sustainable and recyclable materials. In choosing high quality, responsible gift packaging you are making a smart choice for our environment and will be helping to reduce the amount of dangerous waste which is dumped in landfills every year.

(The ecoLogical note: did you know that Tiny Box Company is the gift box provider of choice for many subscription services??)

Tips For A Greener Lifestyle

We’ve all heard the old mantra ‘reduce, reuse, recycle’ and it’s good advice to live by. It can also be super helpful when you are choosing gifts for friends and loved ones. Here are some simple tips you can follow in your journey to green living and gift-giving.

  • Focus on quality over quantity. It’s much better to have a few carefully chosen products that work well than lots of products that are just ‘meh’.

  • Find new uses for old products and packaging. Glass jars and bottles can be cleaned and used for mixing your own products, unwanted clothing can be donated or upcycled into something else. Don’t be afraid to get creative! 

  • Choose ethical, sustainable and cruelty free products. There are plenty of perfect gifts on the market which are organic, fair trade, sustainably sourced and are not tested on animals. Look out for ‘Leaping Bunny’, certified organic and fair trade products, and try to avoid palm oil and other nasties where you can. 

  • When all else fails, recycle, recycle recycle! Glass and metal can be recycled as many times as they find their way into the recycling plant. Paper can be recycled around 5-7 times as the fibres get shorter each time which makes it harder to process. Plastic can only be recycled a couple of times before it degrades, so this is something best avoided as much as possible. 

(The ecoLogical note: you can find loads of eco friendly gift ideas here on the blog! A good starting point may be my comprehensive gift guide that is suitable for all occasions, not just Christmas!)

Hannah Natalello is an avid writer, hand crafter, and reader of sci-fi. Living near the Peak District National Park, she loves exploring the English countryside and is passionate about environmentalism, embroidery and good coffee. Find her on Twitter.

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