More and more people these days are thinking about the environmental impact of the gifts that they buy to be more ethical and sustainable when shopping. This doesn’t have to involve any sort of compromise either, because it is now perfectly possible to buy eco-friendly gifts that are useful, beautiful, or delicious! Here are just a few ideas to get you started, whether you’re buying for yourself or looking for a gift for others.
Reusable water bottle or coffee flask
These are great gift ideas for people on the go. Single-use plastic water bottles take over 1,000 years to biodegrade, during which time they can leak harmful chemicals into the environment. A reusable water bottle is far more eco-friendly and can easily be filled up at home or out and about. Some even have infusers to fill with fruit for extra flavour. Alternatively, if the person you’re buying for is more a fan of hot drinks, then a coffee flask or reusable cup might be more suitable. These can be used for drinks made at home or handed to the barista at their favourite coffee shop to be filled up.
Another fantastic idea for purchasing gifts that are more ethical is to support small, independent businesses. This could be your local coffee roasters, for example, or a neighbourhood chocolatier. One particularly good choice is to support an independent jewellery company. For example, there are beautiful handmade Australia jewellery lines that you can purchase online, plus companies who create ocean-themed jewellery and put their profits towards saving the oceans. You can also find jewellery created using sustainable materials such as recycled silver, fairly mined gold, lab-grown diamonds, and various upcycled materials for the most eco-friendly credentials.
Chocolate is a classic gift for anyone with a sweet tooth, but to make it truly ethical and eco-friendly, opt for vegan treats. These are made without the use of milk or other dairy products and so don’t involve any animal exploitation. Palm oil is another ingredient to avoid, if you can, due to the devastating impact its production has on the environment. In order to be as green as possible, look out for chocolate that is certified by Rainforest Alliance or Fairtrade and made by a company that works directly with farmers in the country that the cocoa is grown in. This will help you to avoid supporting those that use child labor or other unethical practices.
Charity membership Do you know someone who is passionate about a particular cause? If so, you could consider getting them a charitable gift instead of something physical. For example, you could go through an adopt an animal or plant a tree scheme, or donate some money to help build a school or support a homeless shelter. Another idea is to buy a gift for someone in need on their behalf, such as a child who is in hospital. There are endless options available, so you’re sure to be able to find something suitable for your friend or family member!