29th Nov 2016
The holidays are upon us, and shopping fever is spreading across the nation. For the environmentally conscious, here’s the question: Can you stuff all your stockings and do right by the earth? Is it possible to find eco-friendly gifts that your friends and family will love?
Yes. The trick is finding items made from sustainable materials that support our ecology and traditional cultures, rather than erode them. Fortunately, with retailers like Solné on the scene, that may be easier than you think.
First, what do we mean by sustainable materials?
Whenever possible, eco-friendly gifts should avoid newly re-made and repurposed plastics, polyesters, hardwoods (unless FSC), or any other non-sustainable materials. Almost any product is now renewable. New plastic or poly-based products are generally produced with harmful toxins during manufacturing. Instead, look for materials like cotton, some bamboos, Tencil, and wool—organic or up-cycled when possible.
The rumor is that buying sustainable, eco-friendly, and organic may seem more expensive. This is far from the truth. Like everything else, it comes down to quality, style, design, and how it feels. High-quality sustainable products are typically made from better materials that last longer and wear better. If you have to buy two or three versions of the same cheaply made product vs. one well-constructed item made from eco-friendly materials, then the savings become very clear. And those savings multiple over time. Saving money, like saving the earth, is a long game.
Save the earth
This is the obvious one. Buying sustainable gifts provides that immediate feeling of satisfaction that you’re doing something to help your children, and your children’s children. You’re helping not only preserve the planet but also the way of life of many cultures around the world. When something is made from sustainable materials that means you’re not depleting a resource or permanently damaging the ecology to produce that product. If it’s well made, it lasts longer, reducing waste and keeping more junk out of the landfills. If the materials are biodegradable, then you’re not filling up those landfills with items that don’t naturally break down or that degrade in a toxic manner.
Do you love dousing your body in chemicals? Do you trust your long-term health to the byproducts and toxins in cheaply made, throwaway products? Probably not. Buying eco-friendly gifts means avoiding dangerous chemicals and also reducing harmful levels of naturally occurring, but harmful, substances like arsenic and oil. It means eliminating or drastically reducing things like volatile organic compounds (VOC), typically found in traditional paint. It means giving your body a chance to better filter out all the toxins that you’re exposed to on a daily basis so you can live a longer, healthier life.
So this holiday season, why not save? Save some money, save the earth, and save the planet. You’ll feel better and future generations will thank you. For a wide selection of eco-friendly fashion and home goods, visit Solné, the Eco Department Store.