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The Simmons Voice

The Student News Site of Simmons University

The Simmons Voice

The Student News Site of Simmons University

The Simmons Voice

Unwrapping Sustainability: A Holiday Gift Guide

As a broke college student and someone who is passionate about the environment, I have come to acknowledge that it truly is the thought that counts.

Growing up, I remember seeing lavish “What I Got For Christmas” hauls all over YouTube and learning a mindset of quantity over quality. As a broke college student and someone who is passionate about the environment, I have come to acknowledge that it truly is the thought that counts.

This holiday season, let’s adopt more mindful and sustainable gift-giving practices! Here are some of my favorite tips that have not only helped me navigate the financial challenges of being a student, but also allowed me to express my love and appreciation for others without compromising the well-being of the planet.

1.) Being Practical Isn’t Boring

Socks aren’t plain! A huge part of the waste of the holiday produces is that many gifts get thrown away due to their novelty. I love knick-knacks, but at the same time, giving someone a thoughtful gift that they can reuse every day is a game changer.

Some ideas:

-A thrifted basket adorned with ribbon curated with their go-to products and snacks

-Eco-friendly versions of their daily essentials make great stocking stuffers; think plastic free toothpaste and shampoo, bamboo toothbrushes, and metal straws.

 

2.) Sleigh Your Gift Wrapping Game

Around 4.6 million pounds of wrapping paper is used yearly in the U.S., the majority of which ends up in the landfill. It’s time to rethink the way we wrap gifts. Consider saving gift bags and paper from presents you’ve received in the past or use that cute Christmas Trader Joe’s bag you’ve been holding onto. For a touch of creativity, thrift a cute vintage scarf and use that! For an adorable pre-packaged gift, Lush offers gift sets of self care routine essentials in knot-wraps which can be reused as an adorable accessory! 

 

Photo Credits: Shiftstyle.net

 

3.) Share an Experience

As Boston residents, we are surrounded by concert venues, sports arenas, and dozens of store fronts offering activities. Sharing an experience with someone you love will create memories for years to come. Get tickets for their Spotify Top Artist (that they definitely posted on Instagram), favorite sports game, or find your new favorite place to hang out. Some of my favorite local hotspots include getting matching piercings at Studs, crafting custom fragrances at Olfactory NYC, or taking an art class together at The Corner Art Room.

 

4.) Go DIY or Thrifted

These two go hand in hand. The rise of upcycling clothes and the trend of thrifting has brought so much inspiration for the crafting community. You could thrift a colorful fabric and create a tote bag or top, make pins of their favorite art, or decorate a picture frame including a photo of a fun memory. Two of my favorite ideas I’ve been seeing are creating custom style bundles and charm necklaces for your friends and family. It’s a perfect way to honor their style and curate a personalized gift that is eco-friendly at the same time. 

Photo Credits: BestShineJewelry, Etsy

 

Cherishing your friends and family doesn’t have to be expensive or come at the expense of the planet. Being conscious of your carbon footprint is the first step towards making a difference this holiday season.

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About the Contributor
Elizabeth Weiss, Staff Writer
Elizabeth (El) Weiss (2027) is a Journalism major with a passion for writing about music, beauty, and fashion. Outside of the Voice, she DJs her own radio show, frequents concerts and overpriced cafes, and obsesses over her dorm cat Snowy.

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  • M

    Maggie PeddieDec 22, 2023 at 3:21 am

    Absolutely wonderfully written.
    We should all be more mindful around this time of year of how we wrap and recycle gifts.
    A very enjoyable read.
    Thank you.

    Reply
  • K

    Kathleen WhittakerDec 21, 2023 at 10:47 pm

    Elizabeth, what an inspiring and thoughtful article. Your ideas are amazing! You are definitely going places young lady. I’m so proud of you.

    Reply