Sustainable gift giving isn’t only relevant around Christmas… what about all those birthdays, anniversaries, and other special moments sprinkled throughout the year?

Does this sound familiar…

You’re strolling through a chain retail store, up and down the aisles, eyes open for anything that might say “thinking of you” to a friend or family member, buuuut you keep coming up short.

How often do you find yourself in this scene? 

No shame, we’ve all been there, wandering aimlessly from store to store on the hunt for that “perfect” gift.

Let’s banish the bland big box store gifts and instead give sustainable gifts anyone would love—year round!

Below is your guide to sustainable gift giving all year long.

1. Whip up some homemade breads & preserves.

A gift basket of homemade breads and preserves is my favorite go-to gift. At this point, my friends and family look forward to receiving them every year!

It’s a unique gift that you can’t find anywhere else, and I enjoy creating these baskets just as much as my loved ones enjoy receiving them. I think you will, too!

Great items for a gift basket include canned goods like jams, jellies or pickles. 

Love to bake? Homemade bread, rolls, or other desserts are always a crowd-pleaser. You can also pass on the making and baking fun by including the recipe with your gift. When I find out what my friend’s favorite goodie was in the basket I gave them, I like to send them one of the recipes so they can try their hand at making it themselves!

[Learn to make my famous southern sourdough bread & cinnamon rolls in my online course.]

2. Send some happy mail with a homemade birthday card.

“It’s the thought that counts” with gift giving—and even more so when you invest time in  creating a handmade birthday card! Sure, you could stick to purchasing a quick greeting card on the fly, but why not spend an afternoon creating beautiful, handmade keepsakes to write your words of cheer in?

Take your sustainable happy mail a step further with a seed paper envelope. When planted, the seeds embedded in the envelopes will germinate and grow wildflowers!

If you’re local to Nashville or Middle Tennessee, we invite you to join us for our upcoming card-making workshop:

Craft Your Own “Birthday Bank” Card File with Artist, Robyn Barber

March 13 | 10 am – 12 pm

You’ll learn how to create special sustainable handmade cards for your friends and family. If you’ve been hoping to get more creative this year, this class is for you!

Find all the details here.

3. Make your own reclaimed creations.

Get crafty by repurposing items you already have in your home into heartfelt handmade gifts. Here are some ideas:

Wine Bottle Candles

Get your craft on by creating homemade citronella candles using your empty wine bottles. This is both fun to make and super practical for your home. This post from Hello Glow offers directions (with helpful photos) for creating your own wine bottle citronella candles.

Mosaics from Broken Ceramics or Plates

Create a mosaic art piece with your broken ceramics or plates. This easy online workshop from Start in Art walks you through how to make your own beautiful mosaics.

4. Shop eco-friendly gifts from small businesses & makers.

We get it—you don’t always have time to spend making the perfect gift.

The good news is that there are plenty of other makers out there creating beautiful, one-of-a-kind, sustainable gifts.

Shop reclaimed creations, like Andrews Reclaimed, an Etsy shop that makes gorgeous gifts and home decor items from recycled wood. Or Ocean Plastics, another Etsy shop, uses washed-up ocean plastic to create beautiful and bright jewelry.

By shopping intentionally from makers who focus on sustainability, you can feel good knowing you are helping the world, supporting a small business, and giving your loved one a unique gift they’ll love.

Find more eco-friendly gifts on Etsy here.