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Shopping Sustainably This Holiday Season

While some of you are dreaming of a white Christmas, others of you might be dreaming of a greener one. Shopping sustainably this holiday season is easier than it seems. If you’re looking for ways to ease your mind and shop ethically and responsibly for gifts, keep reading.

In order to shop sustainably, you have to take into account how, when, and where you’re buying your gifts. It’s no longer just about what you’re buying. Gift-shopping can sometimes be difficult enough on its own, so we’ve made a guide with a few tips and tricks.

An important part of next-level living at Upper Ivy is being confident in the choices we make and the habits we practice. Follow along to find inspiration for all your sustainable shopping needs.


Buy Local

culver city the platform shop local | Upper Ivy Luxury apartments

Photo: Conde Nast Traveler

What’s worse than ordering a gift for the holidays and having it stuck off the coast of Long Beach instead of wrapped underneath your tree? With shipping and delivery times being so uncertain, avoiding shopping online as much as you can is in your favor, as well as the environment. Any easy way to avoid that expected delivery date being pushed out past Christmas is by shopping locally.

While living in Culver City, there are plenty of ways to find a perfect gift. The best place to find as many gift options in one place is Westfield Culver city. This mall will allow you to knock out a lot of your gift shopping in one go, with a variety of stores to choose from.

A hidden gem in Culver city with unique gifts for everyone is Platform. Located off of Washington Blvd., this shopping mall exclusively supports independent brands. You can become a Platform member and head over IRL or online, either way, you’re guaranteed to find the perfect gift in plenty of time.

Another great shopping experience is waiting right in Downtown Culver City. The Culver Steps  is a shopping, dining, and workplace hubbub right in the heart of Culver City. Stop by to explore the area, search for a fun gift and grab a bite to eat. Stay awhile and enjoy an afternoon at the Culver Steps, right next door to Upper Ivy.

Gift Less “Stuff”

sustainable gift option cooking classes | Upper Ivy Culver CityAs you are shopping sustainably this holiday season, think about how you can enhance someone’s life. Rather than looking for a gift for gift’s sake, look for something meaningful. An easy way to do this is by looking for extremely useful gifts. Although buying someone “extras” is always appreciated, buying something they’ll get a lot of use and enjoyment out can be even more impactful.

Think about what your friend or family member does on a day-to-day basis, and what could add to that. If they bike to work every day, buy them a new bike-friendly backpack to transport their belongings in. If they’re a social media content creator, buy them a gadget to upgrade their filming or photography set up.

Another great sustainable gift idea that will be put to use is buying someone an experience. If they have a certain interest, you can look for a course that will help them develop their skills. This can be a great way to plan on spending some time with them as well if you can find an interesting class to take together.

From cooking, dancing, or sculpting classes, experiential gifts have a value that can’t be measured. They’re a great way to gift without adding to our collection of things we have, that we don’t really need.


Pre-loved V.S Packaged

sustainable gifting second-hand items | Upper Ivy Culver City ApartmentsA great way to shop sustainably, in general, is by shopping second-hand when you can. There are a number of ways to shop second hand both online and in person. Looking on Facebook Marketplace or resale sites like Depop can be a fun way to find something really unique for someone. If you have an eye for vintage pieces, head to a nearby thrift store or thrift shop to see what you can find.

Taking the time to search both online and in-store can show someone how much you mean to them. Shopping for gifts this way feels a bit like a scavenger hunt. While you’re looking so hard for someone else, make sure to look for yourself as well! You could find a great item to gift yourself, to show yourself some love this holiday season.


Fairtrade Festivity

If you don’t find what you’re looking for while shopping locally or second-hand, shopping online might be your best bet. Make sure you shop early to make sure your gifts arrive on time. Aside from shipping time, the other main concern for shopping online is making sure you’re shopping from fairtrade websites and companies. This is a great way to ensure that you are making ethical choices.

Shopping fairtrade products can benefit producers and craftspeople in other parts of the world that deserve your support. Ease your mind by helping ethical companies profit off of your choices. Traidcraft has simplified this process for you, so head to their website now to get all of the fairtrade/sustainable information you need for Christmas.


Zero Waste Zero Hassle

Zero waste gift bag sustainable gift | Upper Ivy Culver City

Photo: Package Free Shop

If you know someone who’s open to starting their zero waste journey, we’ve got the perfect option for you. Thankfully there are many companies that provide pre-planned or customizable zero-waste gift baskets. These kits include everything someone needs to take the first step in living more sustainably.

Gift this to someone interested in the lifestyle, or who you think could be inspired by it. Who knows, you might even inspire yourself to take that first step. Here is a zero-waste gift bag that we absolutely love. It even comes with a trendy tote to help spread the word about caring more for our planet.



We hope this guide inspired you to find sustainable Christmas gift options. Every small change that we make can impact the world in a big way. Feel good about your gifts this year. Happy Holidays from Upper Ivy Culver City.