Sustainable Gift Ideas – How to gift ethical and eco-friendly?

Sustainably wrapped Christmas giftsThe festive season heralds feelings of joy, love, family, friends and giving. It allows us to honour our ideals and intentions towards the impact on our beloved planet. How we do that ultimately is up to us. However, we at Organic Merchant have decided to go green this Christmas. This decision fits perfectly with our values, which are to practice sustainability in all aspects of our lives, as well as to be aware of the environmental impact our actions have every single day. At our last team dinner we talked about the topic of how to gift eco-friendly and chatted about ideas for gifts that give back. We came up with a list of ethical and sustainable gift ideas:

  1. Go plastic free!

    This year a number of big grocery chains finally decided to not give out free plastic bags any longer, a decision that we fully support. Well, you will still need to carry home your groceries, and buying a plastic bag at checkout every time is not easy on your wallet or the environment. So why not gift a reusable grocery bag?Going plastic free does not have to stop there, here are some more inspirations:
    – bamboo kitchen utensils
    – reusable metal straws 

    – ditch tea bags and switch to loose leaf tea
    – reusable coffee cup
     
    With a reusable coffee cup you will also save 50 cent at any café that supports going green, whilst simultaneously helping to reduce carbon footprint.At Organic Merchant we made the decision to go completely plastic free years ago. Our certified organic loose leaf blends are packaged in either reusable glass jars or sealed in biodegradable cello-bags and put into a recycled paper box, printed with eco-ink.
  2. Make it yourself!

    Nothing shows that you care more about a person than a self-made gift. It can be as simple as a hand-made greeting card, or you could for example make some:
    – fruit jams
    – chutneys
    – cookies / cake
    – hummus / dips

    Explore a local farmers market to get fresh and ethically grown organic fruit and veggies directly form the producer. Not only will they taste delicious, but you can also support small local businesses with a low carbon footprint. Alternatively we recommend to browse bulk food stores, such as The Source Bulk Foods or Naked Foods stores.

    Another idea would be to make a calendar for the grandparents with dates highlighted when you will come visit them. That way they have something to look forward to throughout the entire year. Make sure to keep a copy for yourself though, so you don’t forget. The pages can contain anything, from photos to a short story about a memory that you have with them, or let your children draw a picture.You can combine your hand-made gifts with some of the plastic free ideas into a self-made gift basket. 
  3. Encourage a green thumb!

    If you have some friends that are like us and love to work in the garden and take care of plants, one of the following sustainable gift ideas might be good for you:
    – compost bin for food waste
    – bee house to support our little friends
    – some herbs for the kitchen, e.g. basil, mint or rosemary
    – a new plant
    A new plant is a gift for years to come, and will always remind them of you.
  4. Help your children be active!

    Having an active lifestyle is important for feeling comfortable and being healthy. So how about gifting your kids a bicycle, scooter, skate board or roller skates. Yes, yes, we know… it is not easy (or very safe) to ride your bicycle through the big city traffic, especially when you are young. But there are plenty of big parks and places around allowing for your children to practice under your supervision and get comfortable at an early age. Getting used to riding a bicycle and seeing that it is fun will not only have them be active while they are enjoying themselves, but it might also inspire them to choose an environmentally friendly method of transport over e.g. a car at a later stage in life.
  5. Give an experience!

    Are you accustom to hearing “I have everything I need”? We find it to be especially common amongst the elderly generation. You can still make them happy with something that is not tangible. Gift them with an experience, such as:
    – a picnic with them at your local park
    – a voucher for a yoga, dance or cooking class
    – a long walkThese small gestures do not have to be a one-off. You can combine your different ideas into a voucher book.

Give your sustainable gift ideas the final touch by wrapping them in either recycled paper or old newspaper; or wrap the present in fabric that can be reused and decorate with natural material (e.g. fallen twigs, leaves).

Everybody can make a positive impact with their actions, not only putting a smile on the faces of their loved ones but also mother nature. The choice is up to you, so why wait? Start to give sustainable gift ideas this Christmas.

Those eco-friendly gift ideas seem a bit too much for you? No worries, we’ve got you covered. Get inspired by our hand-made tea gift sets.

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