Posted in Zero Waste

Giving gifts can be fun or a dreadful experience. Being born in Denmark where everyone always makes a wish list for their birthday or Christmas. It took me over 20 years to learn that it is not the norm around the world. I guess we have it easy but sometimes it does also feel a bit forced and impersonal.

I have always been one to give handmade gift to friends or family whether it be personalized item or business leftovers. If you are not the crafty type but still wants to share your sustainable beliefs while giving meaning full, and most importantly useful gift, here are some ideas to help you along.


1. Plants & planters

Plants, planters, eternity bouquets… if you know a plant person you know they can never have enough.

Head to your nearest nursery and pick up some cute plants you think they might like. Look at places like Etsy or local ceramic shops for some cute handmade planters.

I really like these planters made from a blend of bioplastic made from corn and recycled wood fibers. Though a bit expensive they are stylish, and the seller offers a few different designs and some vase designs as well. If you are live in the EU these a made in France, so yah no import fee.

2. Books

If you know someone that loves reading it might be hard finding something they haven’t read. But if you do, think about alternatives to gifting new books. If they own a kindle, gift a digital book they want maybe even a gift card. If they are more the paper type, look into the second-hand market. Sometimes libraries need to clean their collection, and will sell a lot of books cheaply. Make sure to keep an eye our for a local library sale.

3. Scented candles

Handmade scented candles made with good ingredients and sustainable waxes, look for plant-based waxes like soy, rapeseed or coconut, and containers that are easily reusable or recyclable. I have also seen quite a few brands doing refills, which sounds like a good option, though I have not tried this myself.

4. Food

Want to give a gift that 100% won’t go to waste. Why not buy their favorite snacks. If you got the skills, you can make your own. Cookies, filled chocolate or even a granola mix like this one. You can never go wrong with food.

5. Shampoo and conditioner bars

Most people use shampoo and conditioner in their everyday life, so they will likely need some more at some point. If you know their hair type look for shampoo that will compliment their hair. Maybe you already have a favorite brand, or you can look at places like Lush. I recommend syndet (synthetic detergent) bars. Despite the name these bars are generally much better for the hair, as shampoo made from real soap is very alkaline which if not great for your hair or scalp. They don’t “adaptation” period and don’t need a vinegar rinse after. In other words, they work exactly like the liquid version just in solid form.

6. Hand soap

Talking about real soap. Why not gift a nice set of pretty and nice scented handmade bar soap, and maybe a cute soap dish. It’s soap,  we all use it, hopefully.

7. Sustainable jewelry

Maybe you have heard about recycled gold and silver jewelry, if not you have now. We all know mining is a dirty business. By buying jewelry made from recycled materials we avoid doing further harm to the environment. More big brands are making the switch to recycled silver, but take the chance to support some smaller designers.

8. Experiences

Like food you can never go wrong with experiences. It may be as “boring” as a brunch date or a spa day. But this is also where you can show the receiver how well you know them. Maybe it’s a luxury dinner or something more action packed like bungy jumping. A few years ago, I gifted my husband a tripped to the aquarium, with an added “feeding the sea otters” and behind the scenes look. A surprisingly fun experience with a lot of information as well.

9. A course or class

Maybe know someone that always say they want to learn something. Well, now is the time. Pottery class, drawing, sewing, dancing, maybe a fermentation course, there is really no limit. Is there any better gift than expanding your knowledge.

10. Bag made from sustainable or recycled materials.

If someone is in need of a new bag, wallet, cardholder. Look into ones made from alternative sustainable materials like Pinatex, pineapple leather made from pineapple leaves, or upcycled leather.

Pineapple leather PINATEX black Toiletry bag in wine red I image 1

11. Gift sets

Let other people do the hard work for you. If you are not sure what to get find a nice eco-friendly gift set in a category you think the receiver would enjoy. Or if you are up for the task, make your own gift basket, you can use a few different things from this list as a starting point.

12. Socks, everyone needs some

And finally, for the dads and husbands that don’t need anything. Why not switch up the old sock and underwear with the sustainable versions. Get some organic cotton or hemps socks, or some hand knitted organic wool socks. I would avoid bamboo fabric, as that is a gray area at the moment.

And while wool is not vegan, it is a very sustainable material. You might think sheep are held for the wool, that is rarely true. Wool is often a by-products and something the sheeps are very happy to lose.

Hemp Socks Organic Cotton Socks Natural White Unbleached image 2

I hope you got some inspiration to get you going. Remember if you are shopping small things might take longer to get to you than the regular amazon order, so start early!

Do you have any great ideas you want to share, comment below.

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