It’s no coincidence this article is being released right before 💘valentines day.💕 Luckily, this can be used for any holiday, birthday, or no occasion at all and simply just gift giving! It can be tricky making sure we are gifting sustainable gifts. So, we created this article to showcase 7 sustainable gifts for everyone to enjoy. 🌱🎁
Whether it’s for someone we love, we like, who we work with, or who we put up with, everyone enjoys gifts. The idea of gift giving is a kind, thoughtful, and authentic thing to do. But like a lot of good things, industries have taken advantage of it.💲
We've started buying gifts for the sake of buying gifts while putting less and less thought🤔into them.
We are then left with a lot of:
- Returns 📦
- Waste 🚮
- Unnecessary strain put on the environment 🌏
The most sustainable gift is no “thing” at all and instead an experience. So, of the seven sustainable gift ideas, some of them will be experiences.⛱ That being said, there are things that many people do need or want so don’t worry, we won’t leave out actual things. Without further ado, let’s dive in.🏊🏼♀️
1. Plant a Tree!
Of all the ideas for sustainable gifts, what’s better than the gift of life, shade, and healing of the earth?🌳 Trees create oxygen for future generations, they sequester CO2,💨 and improve soil quality.🌎 Everyone likes trees and everyone loves to help the world.
You can gift a tree by purchasing one in their name for a certain area like on Treedom . For Valentine's Day, you can even gift a pair of trees, aww...how adorable!💞 Treedom allows you to choose what species of tree and the respective location it is planted natively. 📍🌲
Or, you could even buy a tiny sapling and plant it together somewhere! Just make sure it’s approved so it won’t be cut down or taken out later.
2. Tickets and Vouchers
“Tickets! Get cher tickets!”
This could take the form of:
- Concerts 🎸
- Musicals 🎶
- Trains 🚂
- Plays 🎭
or really any event.
Vouchers could be for:
- Massages 💆🏻♂️
- The spa 🧖🏽♀️
- Paintballing 🎨
- Ski passes ⛷
The world is our oyster!
These tickets could be for you two to go together or you can also gift two tickets for them and another person to go. If you are looking for a more personalized event, see the next option.👀
3.Create your own!
This is a great option for those looking to do something a little more specific for the person. A lot of these ideas can be free or cost very little all while providing such a meaningful experience with a minimal environmental footprint. 👣
Some ideas could be a:
- Sunset or sunrise 🌅
- Hike or bike ride 🚲🏔
- Camping trip 🏕
- Movie night (at home or at a theatre) 🍿📼
- Picnic 🧺
- Dinner 🍽
When gifting to loved ones, people will undoubtedly remember an experience they had with you more than an object. Many people have been taught to feel bad about giving a gift that doesn’t cost💵much. The true importance in a gift is the meaning behind it. Who knew these fun things could be such sustainable gifts?!
Consumables being things that we use up such as:
- Tea/Coffee ☕️🍵
- Food in general 🍱
- Chocolate 🍫
- A zero waste toothpaste like from Bite . 🦷
- Flowers 💐
Alright, so maybe gifting toothpaste bits isn’t so exciting, but if the person is really interested in their impact on the environment🌱then that may be perfect.
Consumables are great because they can be easily regifted if someone doesn’t like them, they don’t add clutter to peoples lives, and they are (typically) better for the planet. However, we should pay attention to the sourcing of consumables and whether it’s sustainable and ethical or not.
We all care about something. Many people on facebook usually ask for donations to a certain cause on their 🥳birthdays anyways. This shows how the gift of giving is so meaningful!
You can pick a cause, organization, or movement to donate money from and donate under their name.✍🏼 A lot of organizations even offer the function to make the donation more “gift like”. Or, you can create your own presentation with a card or wrapped up letter of some sort. 🎁
Of course we must mention, if the recipient has expressed a large interest in LastTissue, you can support the production of it by pledging an amount on Kickstarter . Or, if you’re reading this later, maybe LastTissue is already being sold, in which case head to the next category. 😉
Giving in to overconsumption is not beneficial to the planet and neither is gifting unwanted things. That being said, a lot of us know about some things that people really need.💅🏾 This will largely depend on the person so this list is meant to mostly spark thoughts for you. We hope it helps!💃🏻
Some sustainable gifts to give could be a:
- Reusable water bottle 🚰
- Reusable coffee mug ☕️
- Reusable grocery bag 🛍
- Water purifier for home (if bottled water is used or needed) 💦
- LastSwab (if they use cotton swabs for beauty or general use) 👂🏾
- LastTissue (if they have expressed the need) 🤧
Much like consumables, it’s important we do our best to make sure the things we gift are ethically and sustainably made products. This way, we are gifting sustainable gifts, and not...non sustainable gifts.
Some people know exactly what they want and have actually told you what they want.🙏🏼 That’s great! The problem isn’t gifting things, the problem is gifting stuff for the sake of gifting stuff. If someone has a need for something or has expressed that need, there is meaning behind it!
We may not all be that lucky. But, maybe we know where this person loves to shop, eat, etc. In that case, move on to the final category of our sustainable gift ideas. Hint: it starts with the word gift. 🤭
7. Gift Cards
Ahhhhhh...the tried and true gift card.💳 Some may view it as a last minute and less thoughtful effort, which could be true. But, if we genuinely know a place where someone shops, this could be more meaningful than others may have thought.🤗
To make it sustainable, give a gift card from a type of package free shop or a company that is ethical and sustainably minded. This way, they can choose to get the things they need when that need arises.
Gift giving can be hard.🤷🏽♀️ It can also be conflicting with a lot of us who are trying to watch our consumption habits. When thinking of sustainable gift ideas, just remember the meaning is what matters most.🤔 For friends and loved ones, giving your time and energy is the best gift we can give.👩🏼🤝👨🏽
At the end of the day, people love people and experiences. Some of us need things, some of us want things, and if we know exactly what someone wants or needs, then great!
We have been walking🚶🏻♀️the same route for years which allows us to do it with ease. When we make changes that are better for the earth it’s like changing our route. We’ll probably need to learn how to navigate this new route🧭, we’ll need a map🗺, and probably even some help from others.👨🏻🏫
Enjoy the journey and your new route. Happy holidays and/or happy gift giving!💚
Written by Aaron Burr
A writer dedicated to working solely with companies on a mission to help the earth and people on it.