DIY Gifts Ideas for an Eco-Friendly Holiday

Part of our plan for having a more eco-friendly holiday this year is to make more of the gifts we give. We’ve been making handmade gifts for years because we love to craft and find the act of making something for someone we love meaningful, but this year we have an additional motivation: to buy and ship less while giving from the heart! Below we’ve gathered ideas for gifts you can make yourself whether you are a novice DIY-er or a seasoned crafting vet. Making a few (or all) of your gifts this year is good for your creativity and for the planet!

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Ultimate List of Experience Gifts

Below you will find a list of over 60 experiences you can give as gifts instead of something that will eventually end up a landfill (toys, clothes, etc.). If you choose experience gifts you can join in on, then they are really gifts for you too! If they help you invest in quality time with a person you care about, then these gifts can be good for your relationship and the planet.

Scroll down to see person-specific experience gift lists for: teenagers, women, men, grandparents, college students, and kids.

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Sustainable Holiday Quiz: Just How Much Waste Is Produced During the Holidays?

Each year, Americans and others across the globe produce an unbelievable amount of waste during the holiday season. Not to mention how stressful buying, wrapping, and even giving gifts can be!

Take this quiz to learn just how much waste is produced during the holidays and how you can have a more sustainable holiday this year. Play along with us by watching the video below and quizzing yourself! Be sure to leave a comment below and let us know how you did.

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How to Talk to Family about Embracing Eco-Friendly Holiday Traditions

Change is hard. Changing a whole family group is harder. It is natural for us to resist change, but as the saying goes: “If we don’t adapt, we die,” or in this case, our family traditions do. 

Think about your family traditions for a minute. How long have they been going on? How often have you made changes to them? The ones that last the longest probably tend to adapt to the changing needs of the family over time. 

In my family, we’ve been thinking and talking a lot about being more Earth-friendly during the holiday season. Think wrapping in reusable fabric instead of piles of discarded wrapping paper and e-holiday cards instead of snail mail ones. Below, I’ll walk through how to introduce a eco-friendly changes to traditions around the holidays and gift-giving to your family. 

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Eco Holiday Challenge Guidelines

eco holiday hero badge

We challenge YOU to take the #EcoHolidayChallenge to make this year’s holiday sustainable and Earth-friendly. The challenge is simple. Commit to doing a few of the guidelines below. After reading through the guidelines, watch the video for tips and ideas for following each one.

1. Wrap gifts in reusable or recycled wrapping.

We suggest checking out Furoshiki wrapping.

2. Send electronic holiday cards.

We make ours by uploading a family photo to Canva, adding text and graphics, and downloading. Then we send our holiday cheer via email and post on social media.

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10 Easy Ways to Make your Holidays *Green*

“Going green” can be daunting, especially during the holidays. We’ve compiled a list of ten easy ways to make your holidays a bit more eco-friendly this year. We like to think of these tips as a fun challenge that gives some structure to the way you go about your holidays. Even if you just do one of these this year, you will have done something good for the planet! Maybe next year you can do two.

1. Send holiday e-cards.

Save yourself the stress of getting cards printed, writing on envelopes, and buying stamps? We’ve been sending “e-holiday cards” for years now. If grandma really wants to put one on her fridge she can print it out. Email your cards to your contacts but also consider posting you ecard on Facebook and Instagram to spread holiday cheer to even more people.

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Eco Holiday Badge (and a Challenge)

Our next badge is the Eco Holiday Hero Badge! This badge is so important to us, we are devoting the whole month of November to exploring the topic of sustainable holidays.

Join us over the next month as we learn about the impact our holiday traditions have on the environment, easy Earth-friendly alternatives for the harmful holiday-habits we currently have, and how to get our families on board with making changes to our holiday traditions. We will also discuss the many benefits an Earth-friendly holiday brings to all of us! We’ll make DIY gifts, seek out presents that promote sustainability, and shop local. We will speak to experts on sustainable holidays and share a long list of experiences you can give instead of traditional gifts.

Along with this badge, we are issuing an Eco Holiday Challenge. We challenge you to make your holidays a bit greener this year by following a few simple guidelines.

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Earn your Moon Explorer Badge in a Weekend!

To earn the Moon Explorer Badge, you will learn about lunar legends and myths, the fascinating history of moon exploration and moon facts, discover the phases of the moon and how they affect life on earth, visit a local planetarium, and host a moon party or moon ceremony.

We treat this badge as equal parts science and woo woo, and that is how we set up the steps to complete the badge in a weekend below. If you’d like to lean more heavily in one direction or the other, that is up to you! These are just guidelines and you can make the badge your own. Here is a quick rundown of how earning a badge works. We use “Badge Guides” to lay out what it takes to earn the badge.

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Moon-Themed Party and Waning Moon Ceremony

Moon Explorer Badge, Step 3

To complete Step 3 of the moon explorer badge, we hosted a moon party that consisted of magnificent moon snacks and mesmerizing moon information. We then did some moon yoga, and a waning moon ceremony. We shared all of this with a high school girl scout troop who were having an evening get together.  They were the perfect audience.

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Moon Research: History, Rituals, and Legends

Moon Exporer Badge, Step 1

moon badge research

The mysterious moon has been the subject of wonder for thousands of years. Join us as we immerse ourselves in the science and the supernatural surrounding the moon!

Step 1 of the Moon Explorer Badge led us on a moon research journey. We learned basic moon facts, read about moon landings and walkers, explored the moon phases and rituals, and of course had to learn about werewolves! For Step 2, we visited our local planetarium and attend a Moon Fest.

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