Five quick, easy gift ideas that are environmentally friendly.
By Jennifer Rook
When it comes to giving and receiving, the one constant between the two remains the same – getting it right. And part of that means knowing the person. If you noticed, there are no shortage of “best” gift lists out there. Gifts for your friend who is always cold? Check! Gifts for the person who has everything? Check.
One interest category that has been gaining ground in the gift giving category are those geared towards the environmentally conscious.
If you have a family member or friend that has expressed a dream of living off the grid or, at the very least, made a serious commitment to reducing their carbon footprint, we have some ideas provided by our very own in-house sustainability expert, Christina Britton. Britton serves as a point person on Meijer’s corporate sustainability efforts – from overseeing local recycling efforts to carrying out the annual sustainability goals set by management, Britton is actively involved in all things environmental.
Here are a few of her favorites that reflect overall trends in this growing gift segment.
1. Organic Chocolate bars – By purchasing Organic and Fair Trade chocolate you are not only ensuring the sustainability of the farming practices, but also the livelihood of the farmers who grew it! And with the superfood, health benefits of cocoa, giving the gift of Chocolate is a sweet and affordable option.
2. Recycled greeting cards – Despite what you may have heard, the art of writing is still alive and well. The greeting card industry reports that Christmas cards are the most popular seasonal cards with 1.6 billion purchased each year. Plus -it’s still nice to get something in the mail, right? Britton says that Greeting Card Companies are now offering lines of cards made with recycled paper.
3. Houseplants – This is another gem of a gift that delivers a multitude of benefits. Studies indicate that some house plants can reduce air toxins and stress levels. A house plant is definitely the gift that keeps on giving all year long.
4. Water bottles and reusable straws – the popularity of reusable straws grew tremendously this year, as well as consumers’ use of water bottles. Metal, paper, silicone and otherwise reusable straws are more popular than ever as major cities like Seattle and companies like Starbucks move away from traditional plastic straws. The easy availability, inexpensiveness, and convenience related to reusable water bottles has expanded the demand for such water bottles all over the world.
5. Instant Pot – With the amount of attention the Instant Pot has received, it’s safe to say that it is probably the kitchen appliance of the decade. In addition, besides its multifunctionality, it is lauded as one of the greenest kitchen appliances, saving up to 70% electricity in comparable cooking to other appliances, (i.e. oven, boiling pot + stove, steamer, etc.) Because most of the Instant Pot’s energy is concentrated on cooking the food, it is more energy efficient than the conventional pressure cookers.
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