“Chestnuts roasting on an open fire…” Ahh, the Christmas season has arrived. It’s a holiday that is filled with endless joy, festivities … and gift-giving. How wonderful! It’s time to welcome the struggles of buying the perfect gift. However, have no fear: This gift-giving guide will have you covered — plus, the gifts that are listed are eco-friendly, so you don’t feel guilty about buying a present that may harm the environment. It’s killing two birds with one stone. Why not make yourself feel good about saving the planet as you make someone else feel good with some sustainable gifts, as well as something that they would actually enjoy?
1. Symbolic Adoption
The World Wildlife Fund is a nonprofit conservation organization that specializes in wildlife protection. In order to raise funds to continue their efforts, they offer symbolic species adoptions. This gift is perfect for animal lovers. They are able to virtually adopt an endangered animal of their choosing, with options ranging from African elephants, red pandas, narwhals to Przewalski’s horses. Gift-givers can purchase differently-priced adoption kits or acknowledgement letters for the animals. For available adoption kits, it comes with an adorable plush, photo, species card, gift bag and an adoption certificate. So for this upcoming Christmas, it would be a great idea to welcome a new (virtual) pet into one’s household and also, by doing so, save a precious life.
2. Solar-Powered Phone Charger
Have you ever had a little panic attack after your phone dies but you forgot to bring a charger? Or you brought one, but shoot, there’s no outlet. What relatable first world problems. This gift is a must-have for the smartphone user that is always on the go. With a solar-powered phone charger, the external power supply is the sun. Just expose the battery to solar energy, and bam! The phone can now be plugged into the charger for recharging. The gift-receiver will be thankful to receive such a convenient and thoughtful gift that is hassle-free and relies on renewable energy.
3. Sustainable Makeup
For beauty enthusiasts, this gift is bound to put a smile on their faces. Creating sustainable beauty products and eco-friendly makeup is now a rising trend in the cosmetic industry. More brands are trying to make products that are vegan, cruelty-free and natural. Brands are also now switching to recyclable packaging instead of harmful plastic. With that in mind, be sure to check out brands such as Axiology, Antonym Cosmetics, Aether Beauty, RMS Beauty and Tata Harper. They have a variety of lipstick, eye-shadow palettes and foundations to pick from. By buying sustainable makeup, you’re helping someone look their best as you also protect the beauty of nature.
4. Zero Waste Starter Kit: The Works
The zero-waste movement is a lifestyle where people try to produce as little waste as possible. By limiting the use of plastic and garbage, one’s carbon footprint is greatly reduced and everyone is able to play a role in saving the environment. The Package Free Shop offers a variety of bundles that are made from compostable or recyclable material. “The Works” is a bundle that has the essentials for someone to begin their trash-free journey. It contains the bare necessities, such as a water bottle, toothbrush, tote bag and utensils. This gift is a great fit for those who choose to be conscientious about their environmental impact.
5. Eco-Friendly Subscription Boxes
Opening up a subscription box is like digging through a trick-or-treat bag for Halloween. You never know what to expect. It could be a sweet surprise, in which you get items you pleasantly enjoy or yuck! It’s a bag filled with raisins. It’s like flipping a coin. For those that actually want boxes that are filled with pleasant surprises, there are several eco-friendly subscription boxes that would make excellent sustainable gifts.
For $20 a month, Grove Collaborative provides a variety of all-natural home and personal care products. Another subscription service is EarthLove. It is a charity subscription box that collaborates with a nonprofit partners to protect ecosystems. It runs on a quarterly basis and offers a subscription box for $59.95. Each box comes with six to eight full-sized, handpicked eco-friendly items, ranging from books, tea, snacks, apparel, etc. Embrace the holidays by giving a few of these eco-conscious, sustainable gifts.
6. Coconut Wax Candles
Paraffin wax candles are bad for the environment. Paraffin is petroleum-based, and petroleum is a non-renewable energy source. By burning them, CO2 and toxins such as benzene and acetone are emitted into the atmosphere. Coconut wax candles are more expensive, but they are better alternatives. They’re natural and will burn slowly and cleanly. Not to mention, they also have a wonderful scent. For winter, you can’t go wrong by buying an eco-friendly candle to brighten someone’s home.
7. Grounds For Change: Six-Pack Coffee Sampler
Nothing compares to a good cup of coffee to start off the day. As Americans become more and more addicted to coffee, many are unaware of the environmental harm caused by the production of coffee beans. Farmers who grow coffee around the world get a very small cut of the profits that companies make from selling coffee beans and fresh-brewed coffee.
They also resort to using harmful means to produce the coffee. Traditional coffee cultivation requires it to be grown under shade canopies of trees, which in turn threatens the habitats of many indigenous animals and insects. Coffee harvesting also causes topsoil erosion, which means depleted nutrients in the soil and increased sedimentation in rivers and streams. By buying someone a fair-trade coffee set from Grounds for Change, they can help in preserving biodiversity and in ensuring that farmers get paid adequately for their hard work.
Some other ideas for Christmas include reusable products, like LastObject’s LastSwab, which are swabs that can be used over 1000 times and can be washed with soap and water after every usage. Gift-giving does not have to be a mental puzzle. It can be fun and rewarding with the help of this guide to sustainable gifts. After reading through this article, I’m sure you’re now the best, most eco-friendly gift-giver out there.