The gift-giving season can be a little difficult for people like myself who have decided to consciously pursue a more sustainable lifestyle. Consumerism runs rampant during the holiday season, and we don’t always know how to convey to our loved ones that gifts really aren’t necessary and non-sustainable gifts just make us sad!
The holiday season can be wasteful in many ways, and I don’t believe that that is in the true spirit of the holidays. I never want to seem bitter about the holidays and I definitely see the value in a thoughtful gift (plus I must admit, I love the glory of picking out a really awesome prezzie for someone), so these days I simply participate in the gift-giving by picking out thoughtful, ethical, useful items for my loved ones.
Whether you’ve been planning your presents all year long, or you wait until two weeks prior to the day to put your online order in (pro tip – don’t do that), I’ve compiled a list of excellent companies to search for the perfect ethical, sustainable gifts to give and perhaps even request for yourself this holiday season.
Here is my 2019 Sustainable Holiday Gift-Giving Guide!
Bamboo Underwear – These undies are hypoallergenic, softer than cotton, and eco-friendly since their main ingredient, bamboo, requires significantly less water to produce than cotton does.
Girlfriend Collective – Their leggings are made from recycled water bottles straight from Taiwans “Garbage Island”, but the company offers many other clothing items as well! They uphold incredible standards for sustainability and workplace ethics.
Veja – Worn by Emma Stone, Meghan Markle and other celebs, a pair of these super trendy and sustainable sneakers would be an amazing gift for anyone.
BEAUTY & HOUSEHOLD
Zero Waste Store – Get your loved ones started with sustainable and natural shampoo and conditioning bars, organic soaps, deodorants (which FYI will require a detox process if you are not used to wearing organic deoderant), sunscreen, bug sprays, reusable dish scrubbers and cotton facial rounds, and much, MUCH more. Great place to find stocking stuffers or various small items to create a themed gift box (think sustainable baby items box, sustainable kitchen box, sustainable bathroom box, etc)!
EKO Earth – Offering baby items like adorable reusable nappys, general kitchen, bathroom and even a pet collection of sustainable items! Another great place to stock up on sustainable home essentials and luxury items. Put together themed gift sets, or purchase individual items.
The Good Source – Cute and colorful beeswax wraps, reusable straws, reusable makeup remover sets as well as a number of totes and produce bags (which you could totally fill with other environmentally-friendly gifts and use as sustainable “wrapping”!).
The Sill – A new plant is not only aesthetically pleasing, but let’s also recall that plants literally clean our air and keep our households and work spaces healthier! You don’t have to order from the Sill, but they do know how to ship a plant without harming it, which is great for family and friends who you won’t be seeing in person.
– Get crafty and gift a plant with a pot that you created/designed just for them!
– Create a calendar for the following year with personalized images/memories or a theme that you know they love!
– Tree Tribe (I have one and I love it!)
ITEMS PEOPLE ALWAYS USE
– Fancy candies/ specialty food items
– Luxury bath products
Owning vintage stuff is cool and unique!
Vintage jewelry, handbags, watches, barrettes, sunglasses, makeup bags from Ebay, Poshmark or Depop!
Pro Tip – It’s easy to repackage vintage items in jewelry cases or nice boxes so that it still has a “new” feel when they open the gift!
SHOES (yes, these brands are sustainable & environmentally conscious!)
EXPERIENCES/ MEMORIES/ SKILLS (These are the best gifts)
– Concert Tickets
– Digital Learning Course (Try Skillshare.com)
– Vacation or weekend trips
– Take a class together (check Groupon for cooking, dance, etc. classes)
– Books (Check out my new book “83 Reasons I don’t want a baby: Deal With it” HERE!)
– Gift cards to their favorite farm-to-table bars or restaurants
– Also consider donating to a cause that your loved one cares about, and then presenting them with a donation receipt and a story from the cause. Alternatively, if you don’t want to do a straight donation, you can go to the organizations website and see if they sell “swag” or other items that financially benefit their cause! The giving season isn’t only about giving to ourselves and our closest friends/family, in fact, that’s not the point of the holidays at all. Lets make it a norm to extend the giving outside of our inner circle so that the holidays can be a season of enrichment worldwide instead of a season of mindless, thoughtless consumerism.
Spread the word early that you would like to receive more sustainable gifts this year, and share this article so that your friends and family can get an idea of what sustainability in respect to gift-giving means, and where they can find these items!
Leave a comment to share what sustainable gifts you plan on giving this year, or which ones you hope to receive!
Happy (almost) Holidays!