The winter holiday season is here! So many people love this time of year. There’s nothing quite like spending time with family, enjoying some tasty eats, and—of course—sharing gifts!

Not to put a damper on these feelings of holiday cheer, but it’s important to know that Americans throw out 25% more waste during the holiday season than the rest of the year.

But don’t fret—we have some eco-friendly holiday tips to make your holiday season the best and most responsible one yet!

Make your own wrapping paper

Tip 1: Make Your Own Wrapping Paper

Did you know that most wrapping paper isn’t recyclable? If it’s metallic in any way, that stuff goes right in the trash. In fact, we throw away 2.3 million pounds of wrapping paper a year! What a bummer, considering it’s used for only a short while.

Skip the new wrapping paper and use these instead:

  • Reuse old wrapping paper
  • Grab magazines, newspapers, or paper bags. Pro tip: Grab some paint or markers and decorate them!
  • Use a cloth item that’s also part of the gift, like a scarf
  • Recyclable boxes like the ones from Amazon stacked in your garage (yeah, we see you)

Beyond just wrapping paper, a lot of people love sending cards to friends and family. While some folks hold onto these as keepsakes for years, other folks simply throw them away. A creative solution to the waste problem is to skip regular holiday cards in favor of holiday cards you can plant! Pretty cool to know that your words of joy can grow into a plant too.

Eco Forward Gifts

Tip 2: Give Eco-Forward Gifts

The best gifts are the ones that last. You know, the gifts that you’ll use regularly for years to come. So, skip the tchotchkes that simply won’t last and give people something that they’ll really cherish instead.

Some examples of lasting, eco-friendly gifts:

  • NoSo Patches: These nifty gear-repair patches are cute, durable, and can help fix puffy jackets, hiking pants, tents, gear bags, and so much more. This keeps torn or ripped gear out of the landfills, which is a big win for the planet and the gear owner.
  • Thermoses or other reusable containers: Embodying sustainability by reducing single-use waste, promoting mindful consumption, and offering a practical and stylish way for recipients to contribute to a greener planet every time they enjoy a hot or cold beverage on the go.
  • Solar-powered lights: These are super nifty since they harness the power of the sun to light things up. Much better than batteries.
  • Gift cards: Gift recipients can buy exactly what they want and skip returns.
  • Homemade gifts like cookie jars: Ditch mass market goodies in favor of something handcrafted and more sustainable.
  • Gardening tools or starters: Here’s an eco-friendly gift idea that actively gives back to the earth.
  • Recycled garments like these headbands: Recycled clothing is a fashionable way to reduce, reuse, and recycle.
  • Reusable gear like Kula Cloths: Everyone’s gotta do their business. Here’s a sustainable product that helps reduce TP.

This isn’t a complete list, of course. There are so many possibilities. Hopefully, this got your mind coming up with all sorts of fun ideas.

Shop Local

Tip 3: Shop Local

Don’t get us started on the amount of waste shipping produces. From the packaging to the carbon dioxide, it really starts to add up. Skip all that mess and shop local this holiday season. 

Are you in the Jackson, Wyoming area? You can buy NoSo Patches straight from HQ. Come in and say hi and leave with a patch! Or, if you don’t have time to swing by, there are retailers all around the US who sell our patches, such as REI. Reach out with your location and we can help you find one. 

Not into patches? Check out our favorite retailers local to Jackson:

Real Christmas Tree Donation

Tip 4: Get a Real Tree and Donate It After

Did you know 30 million Christmas trees get thrown out each year in the US? That’s a lot of trees that could go towards something else.

Luckily we have those ideas for you right here:

  • Cut your tree up and turn it into mulch, compost, or firewood
  • Use your tree in crafts, such as woodworking
  • Donate it to your local zoo

Pretty clever, right?

Gift Experiences

Tip 5: Gift Experiences

News flash—you don’t have to buy things! Buying experiences is a great way to get a gift that’s eco-friendly and doesn’t involve too much waste.

Here are a few of our favorites:

  • Buy books they’ll reuse, like cookbooks
  • Tickets to a concert, sports game, museum
  • Classes or workshops
  • IOUs, like an IOU coffee or ski date

This is an especially stellar gift choice because it’s easy to share experiences with friends and family—making it all the more special and memorable.

Tip 6: Donate to Charity

The holidays are a season of giving. And sometimes, it’s nice to pay it forward by giving gifts to charities. You can even make donations in someone else’s name. It’s a way of showing goodwill by putting someone else first.

Here are a few of our favorite charities:

  • Jackson Hole Land Trust: Preserve the breathtaking landscapes, crucial wildlife habitat, and working ranches that define Northwest Wyoming.
  • Friends of the Bridger-Teton: Help ensure the enduring beauty and sustainable stewardship of the Bridger-Teton National Forest, a treasure trove of wilderness, wildlife, and recreation.
  • Snake River Fund: An impactful investment in safeguarding the pristine waters, abundant wildlife, and recreational haven of the Snake River watershed for generations to come.
  • NoSo Takes Care: Shop these patches for a cause!

Is there a cause that calls to you? Maybe you can even discuss worthy charities with a friend to find out what they prize and cherish.

The Eco-Friendly Holiday Season Starts With You

We hope you love these eco-friendly tips for the holiday season—cause you know what? Bringing the best of us starts with us. So take these eco-friendly tips and spread them around this holiday season.

Looking for some eco-friendly holiday gifts that are sure to bring a smile? Shop our repair patches today!