It’s that time of year again - Christmas! Christmas means family time, but for a lot of us, Christmas also means it’s time for gifts. LOTS of gifts. But this year is different for me: I’ve decided I only want things I really need, that will last me a long time/a lifetime, that will add value to my life. Gifts that will help me reduce waste and live a more conscious, sustainable lifestyle. Besides gifting someone an experience (a citytrip, a wellness weekend, whatever it may be), here are some other gift ideas: (all links open in a new tab btw!). Before you start reading, I just want to add that I would definitely encourage you to shop local! If you can, go into town and support your local entrepreneurs :) Ok, here we go!
A giftcard for an ethical fashion brand
If you’re really into fashion and want to invest in a new piece of clothing every once and a while, choose wisely. If you’re from Ghent, here are some really nice places to shop for ethical fashion:
- Fann (secondhand!)
Awesome brands! For people who don't live in Gent and want to shop online, think of brands like Matt & Nat (handbags and shoes), Jan ‘N June , Armed Angles, Mud Jeans, Kings of Indigo, or Goasur (Belgian brand with a pop-up in Antwerp now!) So much better to support brands who care or shop second hand!
If you’re like me and you need to physically write down your ‘to do’ list, to be able to scratch is off the list, buy your stationary from a brand like Redo Papers. Redo Papers gives new life to misprinted and surplus paper to make unique stationery. Also, 2019 is around the corner so you’ll be needing an agenda. Redo papers has your back!
Reusable water bottle/coffee cup
Zero waste bathroom essentials
Stainless steel razor, reusable make up remover pads, some plastic free products from Lush (shampoo bars, conditioner, deodorant, etc.) a menstruation cup (might seem like a weird gift, but I wouldn’t mind ;)) or go for period underwear from Thinx - all great things to reduce waste and they’re nice gifts. You could even put together a little basket full of bathroom essentials!
Washing clothes with synthetic materials releases microplastics. The Guppyfriend will catch the microplastics and prevent them from polluting the water. If you're buying one in Belgium, consider buying one from Sustainable Family's webshop -
that has tons of other awesome zero-waste
No more plastic phone cases from now on, because Pela case is the only way to go. Make sure to order with friends, to minimize the impact of the shipping!
Although I don't have one, I think e-readers are so cool. I have to say, I love a good book, but i's just not convenient when you're on the go or travelling.. So, this is a great gift idea for people who love to read and travel! Tip: Check out second hand options - a lot of the time, they’re still in perfect shape and it saves you some money (+ good for the environment of course ;))
4 Oceans Bracelet
Buy a 4Ocean bracelet https://4ocean.com/products/4ocean-bracelet and help remove a pound of trash, picked up by this awesome organization. Bracelet made from recycled materials!
A good book
What Vegans Eats - I recently met Brett and he’s such a down to earth, friendly inspiring person! This looks like a great book for people transitioning to a vegan diet, who are struggling to cook! You can pre-order his book.
This Is A Good Guide - for a sustainable lifestyle is also supposed to be really good! Tips and tricks guaranteed! A good book is always a fun present and it can be passed along once you've finished reading it!
These are just some of the things I could think of! If anyone has suggestions, I'd love to hear them and I can add them to this guide! Conclusion: only buy something you know the other person will LOVE, take care of and keep forever/for years!
Wrapping gifts? Get creative and look for paper/materials at home - dig in your arts & crafts box to see what you have lying around (for example: newspaper)! Use DIY Christmas gift decorations. Use reusable materials such as cloths, bags, etc! Put some time and effort into making something special for your loved ones!
From the desert with love,