If you’re looking for local and eco-friendly gifts this holiday season, I have some great ideas to get you thinking. This is not an exhaustive list, but everyone should be able to find something they love here.
Buying used items from a local source reduces waste and saves the environment from the impact of transporting goods.
Records and books are a great way to let someone know you love them and respect their taste in music and literature. Used book and record stores are a great way to browse a large variety of items that you didn’t even know were right under your nose. You might even walk away with a few gems for yourself!
One of my favorite gifts my husband ever gave me was a rare and out-of-circulation movie that I loved from years past. I was thrilled that he went to the trouble of remembering one of my most cherished films and hunted it down at thrift stores.
My husband and I recently had some quality dates searching through stacks of used books to find some vintage novels that we wanted to read. What a thrill it was to find one of the titles on our list!
We’ve been able to create great memories with our children by letting them hear music on old LP’s. The sound quality has no comparison and many old titles cannot be found digitally or in any other format. Is there someone you know that would love a collectible piece of vinyl to take them on a walk down memory lane?
Don’t let those movies, books, and records go into the landfill. Buy used collectibles. These are truly eco-friendly gifts for anyone on your list!
Save money and the environment by turning your old jewelry into a new one-of-a-kind piece. Local jeweler’s can often use your gold, platinum, and gemstones to create an all-new work of wearable art.
One unforgettable jewelry piece I’ve seen was a ring my friend had made. Both of her parents were deceased and she was given their wedding rings. She had them recycled by a talented, local jeweler into a ring that used all of the gold and jewels from her parent’s rings. It was a cherished piece.
Recycling jewelry is eco-friendly because it removes the environmental and social impact of mining for precious metals and jewels. The reclaimed metals are refined so they have the same quality as their original uses.
If you don’t have jewelry to recycle, another alternative for an eco-friendly gift would be to use a jeweler who deals in certified fair trade products that are manufactured in an environmentally responsible manner.
Surprise your wife or grandmother by designing a beautiful piece of jewelry with recycled metal from broken or unwanted pieces.
Support Local Artists
Supporting local artists creates no waste and helps your community’s economy thrive.
Artists can be commissioned to do specific pieces or you can select from their current stock. The range of styles for these pieces varies by dealer and artist. Some artists even use recycled items in their art.
Local photographers can shoot in your home or on location at a park. Purchase a portrait package from a photographer and you’ll be giving the gift of a memorable day and moments captured. Professional photographers can often capture moments that mom and dad miss.
I adore this portrait of a friend’s precious children. I love that all the kids are wearing recycled outfits made by a local seamstress from the dad’s old shirts. How unique!
Practical Food Gifts
I’m practical. And I love practically any food. In most communities, you can come up with some great edible gift ideas. Buying locally, again, is a great alternative to sending your money far away to have an item shipped a great distance.
One of my favorite treats is locally roasted coffee. My favorite roaster is in a nearby town square. They have enough roasts and flavors to please any coffee lover. Whether buying coffee gifts for adventurous family or friends looking for their old favorite, local coffee roasters could be the place to go.
Who doesn’t love chocolate and fancy desserts? Find a local bakery or chocolatier and buy a box of their best sellers for that hard-to-shop-for client or your favorite aunt. Even men with a sweet tooth will appreciate this gift. These will definitely not be re-gifted.
Buy a Trial Co-op Membership
If you have a friend who is open to trying new foods and recipes, consider contacting a local, fresh food co-op about a trial or short-term membership. You’ll be purchasing a part of the local environment, supporting small farmers and hopefully introducing your friend to the convenience and value of co-operative food buying.
Flavor for the Culinary Artisans
I recently came home from a family visit with some homemade vanilla. It’s the best vanilla I’ve ever had because it was made with quality ingredients and tons of love.
Give another gift of flavor. People who love to cook usually love fresh ingredients. Herb plants such as rosemary, basil, mint and cilantro are generally easy to grow and lovely to add vibrant flavor to a dish.