Sustainable Gift Giving: Dos and Don’ts

Easter is just around the corner. Yay. And while it’s a time to, first of all, celebrate the reason for the season, it’s also a time to show love to those closest to us. This usually involves gift-giving, pot lucks (read: love feast), and family or friend hangouts. 

Studies have shown that the holiday season is one of the highest times of waste generation, as there is larger consumption of goods and impulse buying. In fact, as much as a 30% increase in waste is produced during these times.

As a person practicing sustainability, how can you purchase thoughtful gift items and celebrate the season, while still staying true to your eco-friendly lifestyle? We’re here to help! 

Here are a few things you can do as a sustainable gift-giver

1. Purchase thoughtful gifts: The number one rule of law when practicing sustainability is intentional purchases. You should make sure that the gift you’re buying is one the recipient would like and actually use, thereby reducing the risk that they stuff it at the back of their closet, or even worse, throw it away.

2. Invest in experiences: What’s one thing your gift recipient would like to do? Something they can’t stop talking about? This could be a visit to a new spa, a movie date, a hiking experience, or even a dance class?  Instead of buying yet another gift that they probably already have, why not purchase an experience instead? Sign them up for that class or massage. We promise they’ll thank you for it. 

3. Reduce the clutter: As eco-friendly individuals, one of our biggest pet peeves when shopping is the amount of wrapping that comes with a new product. Do we really need all of that paper and foam and nylon? When purchasing a gift, ask for less gift wrapping if possible, or better yet, buy from a store that has incorporated sustainable packaging into its processes. 

And here’s what not to do

4. Don’t buy the same gift twice: We sometimes do, out of a lack of gift ideas. You bought them a white mug last year, so how about a blue one this year, to add to their collection? Don’t do it. They probably don’t want it and you’ll be contributing to more waste. 

Wondering what gift items to get? Here are a few ideas from us

What gifts will you be buying this holiday? You can take a picture and tag us on our social media pages @givoafrica. We can’t wait to hear from you!

Sustainable, Eco-friendly Swaps For Your Home

Transitioning to an environment-friendly lifestyle can seem daunting and a lot of people ask; Where do I start from?

Does this mean I have to overhaul everything that I currently have? 

The answer is no. 

To be consistent, it’s best to start with small steps and we’ll be sharing sustainable, eco-friendly swaps you can make for items in your home. Are you ready? Let’s do it!


Washcloths for paper towels

Kitchen paper towels can be classified as single-use products and are a big contributor to household waste. When disposed of in landfills, paper towels break down and generate toxic gases. In addition, they are not recyclable because they are made from fibers that are too small to be useful during the recycling process. 

By replacing paper towels with washcloths, you are reducing the negative effects on the environment and also saving costs as washcloths can be reused multiple times.

Water dispenser for bottled water

Buying water is among the highest household grocery costs, especially in Nigeria, where portable tap water is considered unsafe for drinking. By switching to using a water dispenser you are saving costs over the long term while also contributing to a safer and cleaner environment rid of plastic waste. 

Other sustainable swaps you can make include: 

  • To-go coffee cups or water bottles instead of disposable cups
  • Reusable tote shopping bags instead of single-use plastic bags
  • Wooden/iron cutlery instead of disposable cutlery


Recyclable packaging for single-use packaging

This could include switching to a biodegradable bamboo toothbrush, instead of a plastic toothbrush. Or purchasing bathroom essentials (such as deodorants, shampoos, soaps, conditioners, etc) that are made with recyclable packaging (paper or aluminum) 

In addition, some brands offer refills for certain products such as shampoos or skincare. As such, you don’t need to dispose of the original containers, you can just top up with additional product. 

Why do sustainable, eco-friendly swaps matter?

By developing the habit of making eco-friendly swaps for items in your home, you are creating a shift in mindset that helps you evaluate what you buy, and bring into your home and the effect of this on the environment. 

The end result of this is a waste-free environment and improved quality of life.

What other eco-friendly swaps can you make in your home? 

List them in the comments. We’ll be reading!