A More Sustainable Gift Guide

Staying at home has definitely made me rethink my consumption habits and how much I'm spending on the day to day. With this year being the largest for online shopping, I think it's safe to say that every body is still manifesting the season of giving, whether we can be with family or not. One of the reasons is that shopping has become one of the biggest hobbies for a lot of people. Sadly, there's not much else to do so people are spending their money at big online retailers like Target and Amazon. Not only that, but I think we are so bored sometimes that it's easy for us to just add things to our cart nowadays without being mindful of what we're buying. 

What I've gathered is that the holiday season is one of the most wasteful times of the year. In fact, plastic usage has been up 500% in 2020. With Black Friday deals following the 25 days of discounts, I think a lot of people (even me) fall victim to consumption during the holidays, and even unhealthy shopping habits at that. As someone who is passionate about the environment, I have found a few sustainably conscious gift ideas and bits from small businesses that could be the better choice of giving to friends and family this year. 
Reusable Drinkware...
One of the easiest and cost efficient ways to reduce our plastic usage is gifting someone reusable drinkware. Whether it be a nice Swell water bottle or some retro holographic metal straws, these can be great gifts and stocking stuffers for anyone who takes drinking water seriously or who wants to be motivated to drink more water, but with style. I find that the perfect reusable water bottle inspires me throughout the day to reach for it more often than a normal plastic bottle does. If you want to get really fun with it, Flask2Gos are also a great gift for those who might need to take the edge off on the go (responsibly, of course). 

Sustainable Beauty...
I always love to support sustainable beauty brands that are not only cruelty free and vegan, but have a brand message that extends beyond surface level authenticity and transparency. Products that I know are always worth putting my dollar to come from smaller businesses that value and are mindful of who uses them. I have always been a huge fan of Glossier products, especially their glistening Lidstar eye shadow in cub and the Boy Brow Pomade which keeps my brows in place all day long.

I recently won a Women's Collective box, which is a one-women shop for all things beauty and lifestyle products made by real women for women. It uplifts women owned businesses which is a mission I will 100% support. Featured in this months box were a few skincare items I loved such as this homemade COCO whipped sugar scrub which has become a new recent favorite. It's always a great gift during the winter time when everyone's skin gets a bit dry and also a nice Sunday self care treat at the end of the day. It includes natural ingredients like coconut sugar, cocoa butter, and avocado oil for moisture. I always love a good face mask and the box came with these Maskeraide matcha detoxifying clay masks which include natural matcha that has anti-bacterial and anti-fungal properties for acne, kaolin which helps with anti-aging, and peach and lychee for hydration and a boost of vitamins. There are twelve single uses to gift to your friends or gift to yourself—and the paper packaging is the cherry on top!

A Good-to-Earth Accessory...
It's so easy to not think about the little accessories we need and use everyday, but things like stationary, tech accessories, and even commonplace items like jars and paper bags can make a big difference to reducing our carbon footprint. Another product that came with the Women's Collective package was this Always Inspiration Journal from the Ruff House Print Shop, a women owned hand printed letterpress shop. These notebooks use 100% conservation quality mat board that is acid and lignin-free, which can be toxic and non-biodegradable. 

A lot of people always ask me about my Pela phone case, a 100% compostable, eco-friendly phone case that is made from plant-based biopolymers, like flax straw fibre, which is a waste byproduct of oilseed harvest. They are NSF tested and BPA free, containing no traces of harmful lead, cadmium, or phthalates. They're also classic and minimal cases for those who like understated tech accessories with a conscious! I've also dropped my phone a million times and it's protected it every drop. 
As more companies are becoming mindful of their consumers values, specifically with protecting the environment and supporting small businesses, I think we can begin to shop with better intentions and put our dollar where it is worth supporting. If we can think of more creative and sustainably focused ways of buying gifts this year, it might come full circle and help out those in your community who need it most. I'd love to hear more sustainable gift giving ideas or products that you love, so be sure to leave them in the comments below! If there's one thing you should take away from this, whether it be a new gift idea or not, I believe that we can all be better by making smaller but more impactful decisions for our communities and our planet.

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