The Holidays are here! Have you started your shopping and gift wrapping yet? If you have, then there is a high chance that you might need a last minute gift for a friend or relative, so this guide is for you. If you haven’t, like a lot of us who love to wait last minute to begin our holiday shopping, this guide is definitely for you! Here are some tips for you to be sustainable and eco-friendly during the holiday shopping season.

Gift Giving

  • Shop locally. When you shop locally, you are supporting your locally owned businesses and your community, therefore, the money you spend stays within your local economy! When you shop locally, there is a higher chance the products you purchase are made locally, too, instead of overseas, which lessens the carbon footprint that product has on the environment. Another great reason to shop locally is to WOW your friends and family with a one-of-a-kind, unique gift that they might not find elsewhere. This gift could be more meaningful to your loved one!
  • Regifting. This may sound a bit taboo, however, it’s a great way to declutter your home and give a gift to another friend or family member who might enjoy it more than you did. Before going out on your shopping adventure, take a look around your home to see if there is anything still packaged from the year before that you haven’t yet used. Create a spot in your home for gifts that you could give to friends, family, or even during a Holiday party at work! This will eliminate waste if you decide down the road that you are going to throw that unused item away.
  • DIY Gift. The creative opportunities are endless and not many things are as thoughtful as a gift made by hand and from the heart! To get started, look around your house for spare parts to build a birdhouse or picture frame, paints to paint a custom coffee mug or tree ornament and more. Once you have searched your house for scraps and have drawn up a few ideas, take a trip to your local thrift store to buy second hand items to refurbish! Need help with an idea? Check out this list of easy and cheap DIY gift options! Creating a gift out of items you already have at home or from a secondhand store will reduce waste and your carbon footprint!

Gift Wrapping

  • Reusable gift bags. Instead of going out and buying new gift bags, look around your house for gift bags that you have used from past holidays. No one will know the difference and you will eliminate wasting new bags! Another trick would be to buy a reusable shopping bag from your local store to put gifts in. Pair this with your gift item and it counts as a double gift because the recipient will be able to reuse the shopping bag for grocery shopping, etc.! Reusable shopping bags are the gifts that keep on giving.
  • Use fabric scraps instead of wrapping paper. If you have unused fabric scraps from previous art projects, or large shirts you don’t wear anymore, why not use them as a cute and creative way to wrap your gifts? You can use a ribbon or piece of twine to tie it all together.
  • Use newspapers, maps, calendars or other paper scraps as wrapping paper. Instead of going out and buying wrapping paper, reduce your carbon footprint by using the paper you already have at home! It is possible to make any paper you have at home look nice by adding your own creative spark to it by painting or drawing on it. Once again, you can use a ribbon or piece of twine and a homemade name tag to pull it all together.

Last but not least, be sure to fill up at 7-Eleven Renew locations while you are out shopping at local stores and thrift stores to reduce your tailpipe emissions by up to 30%! 7-Eleven stores also have great stocking stuffers such as candy, toothbrushes, lottery tickets, etc., so be sure to pick those up while you are fueling up!

There you have it. Eco-friendly and sustainable ways to both gift and wrap in a “green” fashion this holiday season. From 7-Eleven Renew to you, Happy Holidays!