“Green” gift ideas

Modern furoshiki, or Japanese wrapping cloth.

Furoshiki, or Japanese wrapping cloth, is a zero waste and affordable alternative to gift wrap. (Photo: Ekoshiki)

What to give

Show gratitude with a “green” gift e.g., for holidays, birthdays or weddings — or anytime.

Give or ask for “presence” instead of “presents.” The precious gift of time never has to be dusted, recycled or regifted!

Or choose something from this list (or, send this to your partner or parents):

Give outdoor experiences

Consider a foraging tour gift certificate, a Parks Canada pass or a guided snowshoe trek! There are also local guided mushroom walks, Indigenous plant tours and native plant workshops, too. 

Give wildlife shelter

Choose a bat house, butterfly house, lady bug lodge or mason bee house.

Give a green service

Turn people on to green cleaning or cloth diaper services. Introduce them to local, organic produce delivered to their door.

Give zero waste goodness

Visit the local zero waste or refill store for gift certificates or buy a ticket for a landfill tour (everyone should go on one).

Give skills good enough to eat

Buy tickets to a food fermenting, canning or mushroom log workshop. 

Give cat lovers “catios”

A catio is an outdoor enclosure that keeps cats safe while protecting birds and other wildlife. Did you know keeping cats inside could save 200 million birds a year in Canada?

How to regift

Don’t feel bad about regifting. It’s a thoughtful undertaking!

Why regift?

  • You already own one. (And it’s impossible or a hassle to return or exchange.)  
  • Someone else would appreciate it more.  
  • You can own less instead of organizing more.

Regifting etiquette 

Regift unto others as you would have them regift unto you.  

  1. Personalize it. Giving a journal? Write a favourite quote or recipe inside the cover.
  2. Don’t regift broken or opened items. Donate or recycle them.
  3. Keep a drawer, box or cupboard to organize your stash.
  4. Optional: Be open about it.
  5. Host a regift party!

How to gift-wrap (without gift wrap)

Wrap gifts using traditional Japanese techniques and fabrics known as “furoshiki”. Whether you’re giving a bottle (or two) of organic wine, a tin of treats or any object, you won’t need scissors or tape.  

If you can tie a knot, you can wrap using furoshiki. They become reusable gifts! Make your own or reuse or regift tea towels, linens, cloth napkins and scarves, or find these and other fabrics at a thrift store. Follow step-by-step tutorials online.