Ever since I was a child, I remember being deeply impacted by the environment and what we are doing to it. This and loving animals were the two biggest passions I had when I was young, and they have stayed with me this whole time.

The earth is what keeps us alive. It feeds us, gives us water and air. It provides us with raw materials for clothing and shelter, and such great beauty that sometimes there are no words to describe it.

It is everyone’s job to show it as much love as it shows us. There are simple things we can do that really add up. Getting a reusable mug and water bottle, turning off the water as you brush your teeth, and using reusable shopping bags are all so simple but add up as more and more people give them a go.

The Holidays are coming up, and with that, there are presents, and with the presents comes the wrapping paper. If you find yourself wondering if there is a better way, you may be happy to hear that yes, there is!

Gift Wrapping Ideas

Wrapping paper is one of the biggest sources of waste we have this time of year. It gets me a little on edge just thinking about it. There are some pretty cool alternatives that hopefully have you feeling a little more loving this season.
  • Old paper you are going to recycle anyways – this can include newspaper, old maps you may have lying around, pages from a book you were going to recycle. You can be as creative as you want. I am the family member that gives newspaper presents because it makes my heart a little happier!
  • Furoshiki – Japanese type of gift wrapping. Using a large, beautiful, square cloth, you wrap the gift in a way that matches the shape of the gift. Search the name and you will find a tonne of instructions – illustrations and videos. The results are beautiful and people will definitely ask you about it.
  • Reusable gift bags – I have a whole box of these in my basement because I like to keep the bags I get for later use. I don’t think I have ever had to buy one! I also keep the tissue paper and use it again too. We cannot control what others give us, but we can control what we do with it.
  • Wrap a gift in a gift – What? If you are getting someone something that can double as wrapping paper, try it! Towels, tea towels, socks, a reusable shopping bag, a scarf. The list is endless. Your creativity is your greatest asset!
  • Tins and pretty little boxes – this is another item that you can acquire as the years go on. If you give baking as gifts, these are perfect. They are reusable and can be used for years. Challenge the people you give them to. Tell them what you did and ask them to do the same.
Let’s get rid of the one-time use products and get ones that will stand the test of time. Start slow and watch it grow around you.
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Different Types of Gifts

What if, instead of getting your loved ones a physical gift, you got them something different. Here are some thoughts:
  • Give the gift of an experience – this is something my wife and I have been doing for a while now. Get someone the gift of spending time with you. A concert, comedy show, art gallery, museum, a play, a movie. It can also be a get together where you make all the food or drinks. This is such a win-win idea because you are telling someone they are special enough to you that you actually want to spend time with them!
  • The gift of servitude – Minus the creepy connotations! Maybe you offer to clean someone’s house one day, make a meal and deliver, babysit so your loved ones can have a date night, offer to watch someone’s dogs while they are away, etc. This is a really fun one and it will differ for everyone. Where ever your talents lie and whatever it is your loved ones would need is the sweet spot for this gift. You can be as creative as you want with this one.
  • Holiday account – I just heard about this one earlier this year. Everyone who you want to include puts the money they would spend on presents for all the people included into an account. The idea is to use the money at some time in the future to pay for a trip with all the people who contributed to the account.
I’ve been trying to get presents nixed for years with my family, and I never gave up. When I heard about this idea, I immediately thought of them, so I suggested it and they accepted! There is hope. To me, spending time with the ones I love is so much better than buying or getting gifts – it’s not even comparable.

Final Thoughts

The holidays can be such a loving time. It just depends on where you put your focus. Release the stress of this time of year, well as much as you can, and you will maybe start to enjoy it in a whole new way. Fingers crossed!

If you have some cool tips not listed above, I would love to hear all about them. You can comment below or join me and a growing number of fellow vegan women in my Facebook group – Vivacious Vegan Women. Click here to be whisked away!

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