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5 Tips: How and Where To Buy Sustainable Gifts Online

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Let me ask you this : Does the idea of giving a sustainable or eco-friendly or ethical gift appeal to you? Or, does it seem like something that would be too much of a hassle or derail your gift-giving altogether?  Admittedly, finding a sustainable gift – that really checks all of the boxes – is not always the most straightforward endeavor.  However, my guess is that you’ve probably hand-made or bought a ‘sustainable gift’ for someone in the past without recognizing its positive value to our planet.  So, good on you! 

If you want to keep your sustainable streak going (or kick one off!), here are my 5 tips to get you jump-started online : 

Wait! Before diving into the Google-sphere, remember that buying local is a fantastic way to support your community and to find sustainable gifts.  Perhaps, start there first. And, if you strike out, see what’s available online (locally, regionally, etc.). Best of luck!

Tip 1. Determine your desired spend

Decide how much you want to spend on your sustainable item(s). Make sure this is in line with your intentions.

Tip 2. Search “sustainable,” “eco-friendly” or “ethically-made”

Include at least one of these words above in your basic Google or Google Shopping search. For instance, you can type in “sustainable socks” or “eco-friendly socks.”  Or, take another route entirely and search for a sustainable experience (e.g. a gift cert for dinner at a farm-to-table restaurant) or donate to a worthy cause or organization in the name of your ‘givee.’

Tip 3. Examine the results

Review the recommended brands to shop and/or any “best sustainable gifts” blog posts. Determine which items meet your specs and are made from more sustainable materials.  For socks, this means looking for responsibly-sourced yarns, for Fair Trade, organic, upcycled or non-GMO cotton, and/or for recycled polyester (RPET).  

Tip 4. Shop with purpose

Not all sustainable brands are created equal. If you can dig a little deeper into a brand’s website, you will get to know its people and processes better. Consider these questions: How are their products made?  Do they pay their employees a living wage? Do they “give back” in a specific way, in addition to creating products? Are their products or materials certified in any way? What is their mission and vision?

Tip 5. Check packaging and shipping options

Look for brands that use recyclable or biodegradable packaging to send their gifts. Support brands that are closest to you and/or ones that offer a carbon offset for shipping. 

So, how do you feel about the prospect of buying sustainable gifts now?  Let us know in the comments below.  And, let us know if there are any other tips we missed.  Happy Giving!

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