The Eco-Minded Mama Podcast

How To Give Eco-Friendly Gifts You KNOW They Will Love! [BONUS]

December 02, 2022 Katie Season 3 Episode 27
The Eco-Minded Mama Podcast
How To Give Eco-Friendly Gifts You KNOW They Will Love! [BONUS]
Show Notes Transcript

Happy Holidays!! In this BONUS episode, Katie Kurpanek, Eco-Living Coach and Podcast Host, shares her favorite go-to's for sustainable gift ideas!

The holidays, or any special occasion, can present challenges when you want to give something your loved ones will truly enjoy while sticking to your own personal ethics and values.

If you're looking for the perfect gift ideas that are unique, eco-friendly, and meaningful, look no further! We've got you covered, and be sure to listen to the end as some of the best ideas are saved for last!

Additional Resources:

BRAND NEW video course: "Caring for the Earth & Kids"
LIMITED-TIME GIVEAWAY -- PURCHASE BEFORE 12/12/22 and you will be entered for a chance to WIN A CLOTH DIAPER SET!!
Empower yourself and your family with a lifestyle that will sustainably save your time, money, and the earth around you! Whether you’re pregnant or just had a baby, you’re navigating the first couple years or early childhood, we’ve got support for you!
- Includes: 4-part video course (all 4 or individual), private online community for support, several PDFs of resources as well as a bundle of unique discount codes to 20+ sustainable products/services

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Katie Kurpanek:

You're listening to all things sustainable, where we unpack topics related to sustainable living, as well as how to apply specific actions to your own life. I'm your eco living coach and podcast host Katie Kurpanek. Let's jump in. Hello, everybody. Welcome back to the All Things sustainable podcast. This is just a bonus episode that I'm throwing into your feed today to say happy holidays and to share with you my top holiday shopping sustainable tips. If you've been following the podcast for a while, you know that we recently wrapped up season three. And that was about all things vegan, so anything that has to do with a plant based lifestyle, it was a blast. And we are currently taking a break while I prepare and get ready for season four, which will be launching in the new year 2023. So right now, this is just a bonus holiday episode, it will be shorter today. And I hope that you enjoy and that it gives you some tips and tricks that you can apply to your holiday season right now. With that, let's just dive right in. I'm going to share with you my sustainable gift ideas for shopping in this holiday season. But of course, this applies to any time of your life where you might want to give a gift, we're gonna go over a mixture of material and non material items that I would suggest as a sustainable gift idea. And so the first and like my top tip that I recommend ever to people, you could probably guess it because a lot of people, I think have been sharing about this much more on social media these days. But it's simply the gift of experiences. So this is my favorite personally because it creates long lasting memories. I mean, really, these experiences can give you memories that last a lifetime. And to me that feels like the gift that just keeps on giving. As a kid I remember some of my favorite gifts weren't even the material items that I got. But they were things like, you know, when my family would save up throughout the year. And then a vacation was like our big Christmas gift. And there was so much excitement about it, there was the anticipation leading up to whether it was like a reveal of where we were going to go. Or we got to take part in like voting on where we were going to go. I mean, there's a lot of different ways that you could do this. But a vacation can be a lot of fun if that is attainable for you. And then of course there are much smaller, more low key experiences that you can gift as well but they are so meaningful, just as meaningful. So some of our favorites that some family members and friends have gifted to us over the past couple of years being young parents now our memberships to places that we can take our toddler so memberships to like a children's museum, or the zoo or like a, you know habitat, like a wildlife habitat. These types of things are so much fun and can be used throughout the year. We've personally enjoyed memberships that include indoor and outdoor locations, because then depending on the weather, we can continue to enjoy those experiences. Of course, that can be a lot of fun if you don't have kids as well, and some other experience ideas that I love to gift so you could give a loved one concert tickets, you could do something like you know coming up with a specific plan for a date night or we you know, with a friend just a coffee date or a lunch date, you could create like a party that you're inviting people to. And that in itself is such a gift, I mean your presence together the time and effort that you're putting into planning this event. And then of course all of the money that it takes to be able to you know, pull off like a meal or a whole party or whatever it is. That all is so meaningful. And so those types of experiences are some of my favorites. Another really fun idea I think is gifting a photo session or even a video session. So if you have a photographer or a videographer that you know of or you want to support I will also have a couple that I personally love linked in this episode description if you are in the Colorado area. But actually I think the couple of people I'm going to link two are willing to travel but anyway, photo sessions if you are a couple or a family or you want to grab your friends and get together. These are such beautiful gifts to give because then you can keep those photos or video forever and look back on it and it is like a treasure so I love that idea for a gift. And then lastly when it comes to experiences so another one of my favorite things as a kid Did that my mom personally would do, she would come up with these like coupon books. And I thought that was so much fun because she would put, you know, so much love into creating them for us. And it was just handmade and really cute, but it was like, you could open up your coupon book. And then throughout the year, I don't know, maybe she had like 10 coupons or something in there. And each one represented something different. And so we would get this as a gift. But then it was like the gift that kept giving, because we could open it up, rip out a coupon that was like, you know, good for one coffee date at Starbucks or something or, you know, good for one picnic at the park. And it was just like something really fun that I could hold on to and save in my little room. And I knew that when I needed some kind of like quality time, or whatever was offered within that coupon book, I had that to use. And I love that idea. As a parent, I've also used that within my own romantic relationship. And then of course, you can do this with friends, and just like change up the ideas. And then if you want to go beyond like the homemade coupon books, I know that there are a lot of coupon books available online, or you can purchase them in stores. And also give those as a gift because then you and your friends can go and like explore the city like my friend a few years ago, she did this with me where she had a coupon book. And it was like a scavenger hunt type of thing throughout the city of Denver. And so we were able to hit up like a couple of different bars and restaurants and use those coupons, and be able to just make some fun memories together. Now before I go any further beyond the gift of experiences, I also felt it was important to point out that getting to know the person even more that you are gifting to like obviously, if you're giving them a gift, you probably know them pretty well. But getting to know them on a deeply personal level in order to best show them that you love them is to know things like their love language, if you've ever heard of this, or things like their Enneagram type. Those are just two examples that come to mind right away, you can find like a million little quizzes online that have to do with these things. But love languages, basically the things that you need to know there's five typical love languages that most people can relate to. So if you have the love language of words of affirmation, or quality time, or physical touch, or acts of service, or I think the last one is gifts, like just gift giving or gift receiving. This is like the way that you experience and receive love, or the way that you give love. And sometimes it's the same and sometimes it's different for some people like the way that you like to receive love is very different than the way that you know how to show love. So getting to know that about yourself, first of all can be really helpful. But then of course, if you can get to know this about the people in your life, it will help tailor your gifts to better serve that person and to really be the most meaningful thing that you could give them. I'm a personal words of affirmation person. So words of affirmation, and then quality time those things mean way more to me than physical like material gifts ever do. Not that I'm not grateful for those gifts I love you know, the thought and the heart behind somebody giving me a gift. But if it has to do with words of affirmation and encouragement, you know, if somebody takes the time to write like a card or something beautiful like that, or quality time, if they make, you know, a plan to go out and spend time with me, those are the things that are going to mean so much to me and just really like feed the core of my soul. And but for other people that's going to look different. So and then of course Enneagram if you know me, I love the Enneagram. And maybe at some point, I need to find a way to like fit that into a podcast about sustainability. Not sure how but the Enneagram is also one of those kinds of personality types. You can find a whole bunch of information about that online too. But knowing somebody's personality type and the depth of you know what makes them tick what's interesting to them that will also help you to give the best gifts for that person in this season. And then on the flip side when you are wanting to or you're just going to be on the receiving end of gifts, whether it's you know for a holiday or it's your birthday. This has taken me a long time to figure it out just with my own personality but it's so important to be specific and to know that it's okay to voice your opinions and to tell people what you do and do not prefer. It really helps the gift giving and gift receiving process if you can create a list of some kind. I know that some families, especially in the holiday season, they want a list. And within my my inlaws family, we even have like a running Google Doc, that people can just hop on and update it as they want. But it has like gift ideas for each person. And so I can go in and you know, maybe I had something listed on that document last year that I no longer need or want, or I've got new ideas to add to it. And then when this type of season rolls around, people can just hop online, look at that Google Doc, and come up with some pretty great gift ideas that the person really wants. So getting to know the person that you are giving to and then also getting to know yourself and practicing using your voice and speaking out your desires. I think those two things are crucial in this gift giving and receiving receiving type of season. Okay, going beyond experiences, some other sustainable gift ideas. Again, we're going to include material items, and also non material items. So the DIY category, in general, do it yourself, is a great thing to pull from when you are giving a gift because it is so personal and so meaningful. If you take the time to handcraft something, chances are that is going to you know mean a lot more to the person that you're giving it to you it'll last a long time depending on what it is. So if you have a particular skill that you know, you're really good at, you know, maybe it's painting or drawing, or you are a poet, you know, you can create a personal little gift to give somebody, maybe you're really a great chef. And so your gift isn't going to necessarily last very long, but it is sure going to be enjoyed you could give the gift of food, you know, a meal or a cake or whatever it is that you can create. So hand crafting something. Of course, if you have kids, this is always a really adorable ways to get them involved in the gift giving process and allow them to let their inner creative shine. A lot of times if I don't particularly have like a one artistic skill that I can really like craft something with, I'm not a very crafty person. Again, like I'm a words person. So I can do a lot of like beautiful handwritten cards and poems and like spend a lot of time thinking about the words that I want to write to somebody. But again, if that doesn't fit, their personality or their wants, you know, then words might not be the best thing I could give them. But I'll hop onto Pinterest, I'll hop onto Etsy. And I'll just kind of browse around and find something that like, okay, that's doable, I have these materials, or I can go out and easily buy these materials and put something together with a hot glue gun, I don't know. And it can be a really fun experience. You can even combine that with the experience ideas that I shared before, you know, maybe for your gift, you're going to invite somebody to like one of those sip and paint parties in your home. And you can all gather around the kitchen table with some friends and sip on some coffee or some wine. And you know, watch a YouTube tutorial. And then you can paint something together. I don't know, another of my favorite gift ideas is donations and or adoptions. So again, you really need to know the person that you're giving too. But if they have a particular organization, or like a nonprofit that is important to them, then making a donation to that organization in their name can be very meaningful for them. And then also, there's a lot of adoption programs out there. Like with rescue animals, for example, you could adopt a rescued animal meaning like you're really just donating to that organization, but through that, you are now taking care of that animals, food and shelter and water and all of those needs. A lot of times they will send you something in the mail as like a thank you, you know, maybe you have a magnet that you get to put on your fridge or something fun that reminds you of like, this is something really important and meaningful that you gave towards in your name or that person's name. This can be a gift that deeply aligns with somebody's personal ethics and values. And so it's a very impactful gift when it comes to other like material items for gifting people like especially if you know the person that you are wanting to bless this holiday season or on their birthday or whatever it is, if they are like, you know their love language is gift giving and receiving sometimes being able to like physically open something and unbox it. You know is that's all part of the magic. And for for those people, for those friends, like you want to be able to give that to them. So when it comes to material items, of course, some of my top recommendations are always to look secondhand Is there any way that you can find the item that you want to give, that is pre loved, you know, gently used, it's still in great condition, obviously, you want to give something that is functional and aesthetically pleasing and all of that. But you, you might be surprised what you can find on Facebook marketplace or Poshmark, or, you know, other like online apps, even in, in person thrift stores, sometimes you have to go around to different neighborhoods and get to know like, where's the cool thrift store, the one that has like all of the great things, but there's a lot of way to get secondhand items that are still in beautiful condition. And then if you're buying something new, of course, I always recommend to look for small businesses, local businesses first, you know, beyond the big box stores, you know, big corporate organizations that they already have so much business, they already have so much money coming in. So I like to support, you know, the small ones and give back to your own community in that way. In the episode description, I'm going to have more links to a bunch of like holiday shopping guides. And again, these guides can apply way beyond just the holiday season. But there's a lot of really cool, sustainable small businesses in there, a lot of this you can align with your personal ethics. So I had this person on the podcast in season one, no season two, in season two, I had Akua Yamoah Opoku on the podcast, and she is the founder of the AYO business finder. And so basically, it's just like an online database, kind of like a search engine and you would plug in whatever item you're looking to gift. And it'll pull up results from businesses that are owned by black, indigenous and people of color. And they're also all sustainable. So there's really cool search options like that, to help you find a new gift that you would like to give, but also support your ethics and the person that you're gifting to, you know their ethics in the process. Finally, my last but not least holiday, you know, shopping gift giving tips would include services. So if you're not going to give a product, sometimes a service can be a gift that continues to keep giving as well. Again, you need to know the person's values and what means a lot to them. But there are services that are becoming really popular nowadays that I'm excited about because of course it has to do with sustainable living, but hard to recycle services, for example, or compost collection services. Especially if that person does not live in a city that already has a great recycling or compost program available to them. If it's something that they have to like pay extra for. And that's just not doable, then giving them something like this, like an annual subscription would be incredible. I'll have some links in the episode description. But some of the services I'm thinking of include like The Happy Beetle or Ridwell, if you've heard of them Ridwell especially is like popping up all over the United States. But that is a subscription service that allows you to have a collection container just on your front porch or wherever like in the front of your home. And you can put things that are really hard to recycle in there like plastic baggies, those are not ever ever supposed to go in your recycling, you know curbside bins so tidbit if you didn't know that, don't do that. And but if people don't, you know, have the time to drive those over to a grocery store that has these collection bins or something. You know, they can put those in there. There's other things like some of these services will take seasonal items like burnt out Christmas lights that don't work anymore, or you know, I glasses like really weird things that you would never know how to properly recycle. And you don't want to just throw it out either. So there are services like that. There's also the like I said, compost collection services that allow people who don't have the ability to compost, maybe they don't have a yard, maybe they just you know, they don't have a service within their city that allows them to compost. So then this way they can just like fill up their bucket of food scraps. And then once a week or however many times the compost collection agency comes and collects that bucket gives them a new one and then they go and take the food scraps and deal with the composting process. So That's a really nice gift meal kit subscriptions, I love this idea because especially for those of us who are busy, you know, maybe it's just nice to have like a couple of meals a week that you don't even really have to worry about or plan for, or do that much prep. So gifting somebody like an annual meal kit subscription would be awesome. There's also a lot of really, really helpful coaching services out there. As a new parent, I was heavily reliant on this one person's coaching services for sleep training, because this was my first baby. And I just wanted to sleep through the night and I wanted my baby to sleep through the night. And I know like, I knew at the time that that was going to take months to work up to, but this person's sleep training videos helped at least to expedite the process. And it got us into a really good routine and rhythm, it really helped our baby to learn how to sleep on his own for you know, at least four hours at a time. And then you know, you slowly extend that period. But those types of gifts can be so helpful to like new parents. And then I'm just going to add like a shameless plug for my own coaching services into this gift suggestions. Because I genuinely I wouldn't do that if I weren't genuinely proud of what I've created and what I have to offer. And I feel that it would be really supportive to you. In fact, I know it is because of all of the testimonials that I've already received from people who have utilized my coaching services over the past nearly three years now we're coming up on a three year anniversary. It's so exciting. So my coaching services, if you are kind of new to the podcast, or you haven't heard about it a lot, I so this podcast is called all things sustainable. But it's under the umbrella of my organization called that minimal life LLC. So that minimal life was founded at the very beginning of 2020 as an overall like organization that helps to support you in living sustainably. So on the website that minimal, there are blog posts, you can have access to these podcast episodes if you aren't already listening to them on some other platform, like Spotify, for example. But then I also have a variety of coaching available to people to help them live sustainably in a way that feels more personal and relatable to them. And one of the top ways that I am now branching out into is through video courses. So currently, I have one full video course it's four parts. And then you can also by just you know, each of the four parts if you're only interested in like one or two of them, for example, on the website. And depending on when you're listening to this, there may be more video courses on the website. So I'm working on that currently, I am going to be rolling more out in the new year that support people all across the board. But the one that I have right now in December of 2022 is geared towards families. So this video course is called Caring for the Earth and Kids. And it supports you in just that, like you want to be able to obviously care for your family. But also you want to care for yourself. And in doing that you don't want to compromise your values on caring for the earth and living sustainably. So if all of that is important to you, this is the course for you. The course offers like sustainable life hacks basically on how to live in a way that is non toxic, eco friendly, and really saving the Earth goes hand in hand with saving money most of the time. That just is what happens. And personally, my family and I have saved over $6,500 In the past two years of just having a toddler and beyond that, you know in the pregnancy phase. And it's all through the life hacks that I share in this course. So I know from personal experience that this is possible. I know from the testimonials of people who have gone through it that they are also experiencing a bunch of money savings as well. And then beyond money savings, just the time and the stress saver that it becomes. This course was based on my own trial and error, lots of learning lots of failing and my failures can now become your successes. So I have put this course together. The four parts include pregnancy through postpartum and then baby's first year and then toddlerhood and young childhood, and it's just full of sustainable tips and tricks for all of those phases. You can go through it at your own pace. Take what applies to you throw out the rest and it's yours. You know you have lifetime access to it. So you can come back to it again and again, it is a huge support. Lastly, what I'll say on this, if you purchase that course, the full four part course between now which is December 1 2022, and December 12. So over the next couple of weeks, then you automatically get entered into a giveaway that I'm doing. So one lucky winner between now and December 12. If you buy that course, I am going to select randomly a person to win a cloth diaper set. And the cloth diaper set comes with six cloth diapers with 12 inserts, and they also are adjustable so that they can grow with your baby into toddlerhood. So it is a massive deal. I love these cloth diapers and I'm excited to give that to you this holiday season. So I have all the links in the episode description. But you can just go to that minimal and then click on shop. And then you'll find all the information there and click on the Caring for the Earth and Kids Video Course. Okay, those are the tips and tricks that I had for you for right now. I hope you enjoyed this bonus holiday episode, and that you came away with ideas that will help you give gifts and receive gifts beyond the holiday season. Thank you for all of the thoughtfulness that you are putting into caring for yourself and caring for your loved ones. I hope that you feel a sense of peace and joy, and have such a beautiful holiday season. I will be back in the new year with season four. So stay tuned for that. And if you haven't already subscribed to the show, be sure that you do so that you don't miss any of those episodes. All right, I'm sending you all my best and all my love. Thanks for being here. I hope you enjoyed today's episode, and if you did, I would love it if you would share it with a friend. Spread the word over your social media or simply leave a review wherever you subscribe to this podcast to help others find it as well. Thank you so much for being here. I'll catch you next time