Sustainability| 4 min read

Sustainable Holiday Shopping Tips

As we enter November, we can see the holiday season on the horizon and are eager to seize the opportunity it holds to do better and reconnect with the planet.

From elaborate meals to piles of gifts, it’s hard to ignore how much more we consume during the holidays and the impact this has on the Earth. 

As you start your seasonal shopping, we encourage you to approach it from a more sustainable angle. This year we’re embracing the idea that less is more. With a bit of forethought and mindful questions, you can celebrate with less waste and give more meaningful presents that show everyone on your list you care, including the planet.

Before you load up your cart (digitally or in person), here are a few small things to consider.


sustainable shopping tips


How many gifts are you buying this holiday season?

Statistics show that despite our excitement for the holiday season, we’re not as enthusiastic about gifts. A survey showed Americans throw away a whopping $16 billion worth of unwanted gifts during Christmas in the US. While it may be tradition to buy a gift for everyone on your list, consider how you can minimize your impact by giving fewer gifts this year.

We know it can be hard to break from tradition, but we encourage you to lead the sustainable charge with your circle of family and friends. This year, consider trying a more simplified gift exchange. 

Giving fewer presents reduces your collective impact, and the gifts are often more thoughtful when you’re only shopping for one person. Organize your group of gifters and have each person draw the name of one person they’ll buy a gift for. You can even keep who’s buying for who a secret to add an element of surprise. 

More sustainable ideas:

  • Ditch the wrapping paper and use natural decorations like pine cones and evergreens to decorate your gifts.
  • If you wrap your gifts, repurpose what you have around the house (newspaper, cloth napkins, jars), upcycle shipping boxes or reuse gift boxes from last year.
  • Offset your wrapping paper.
  • Ditch the gifts and plan a celebratory night enjoying good company and festive drinks.


holiday party


What does the person you’re shopping for value?

Once you’ve narrowed down your gifting list, take some time to consider the people you’re buying for and what they value. Putting thought into practical gifts that won’t end up in the back of a closet or a landfill is a win for the person you’re buying for and the planet.

A great way to do this is to think about the daily routines and values of the person you’re buying for. Are there certain things they do every day that you could make more enjoyable with a mindful purchase? Are there specific causes or issues they care about that you could help support through your gift? Questions like these will help guide you toward a purchase that won’t go unused or unappreciated.

More sustainable ideas:

  • Consider homemade gifts (baked goods, natural cleansers) or planned quality time spent together.
  • Gift experiences like a cooking class or tickets to an event.
  • Explore digital gifts or donations.


Are the gifts you’re buying sustainable?

One of the most obvious ways to reduce your environmental impact is to ensure you’re shopping with conscious, sustainable brands that care as much about the planet as you do.

Here at tentree, our Earth-first gift guides are curated with you and the planet in mind. Our products are made from the most sustainable materials; from manufacturing to shipping, we ensure our impact is as minimal as possible. Plus, we’ll plant ten trees on behalf of the person you’re shopping for with each gift you purchase. 

Not only does tree planting sequester carbon, but it also helps create other positive impacts for the earth, like conserving water and biodiversity, supporting vulnerable communities around the world, and ensuring food security. You can check out where we plant our trees here. And with our new digital Impact Wallet, the person you’re shopping for can actually see the impact their trees have in the world. 


tentree women's sustainable gift guide

Featured: The Women’s Cloud Shell Packable Puffer, the Patch Beanie, the Women’s Bamone Sweat Pant, and the Women’s French Terry Crop Hoodie.


More sustainable ideas:

  • Explore locally-made gifts.
  • Buy quality products that are made to last.
  • Support companies that are giving back to their community and the planet.


What’s the carbon footprint of your gifts?

Over the 2020 holiday season, nearly half of Canadians (46%) purchased everything, or most things, online. While there’s no denying the convenience of having gifts delivered to your door, it’s important to consider the emissions that are required to make this happen. Gifts need cargo planes, trains, and delivery trucks to reach their destinations. That, in turn, pumps out carbon emissions and adds to air pollution.

This year, take responsibility for your delivery emissions. With tentree’s Shipping Climate+ Package, you can offset your shipping for 5-10 domestic packages. We do the math for you, and with each Shipping Climate+ Package you purchase, we plant seven trees on your behalf.

More sustainable ideas:

  • Opt for slower shipping methods — this usually results in a slightly smaller carbon footprint.
  • Consolidate your orders, so everything is shipped together.
  • When shopping in person, skip the car and remember your reusable bag.


These are just a few sustainable shopping tips to get the ball rolling. Sustainability this holiday season will look different for everyone, but wherever you are on your journey, we’re here for you.


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Find Your Perfect Match: Sustainable Sweaters

By planting ten trees for every item you purchase, it’s our mission to plant 1 billion trees by 2030. Head to our website to learn more and get 10% off your next purchase.


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