Sustainable Holiday Gift Guide

Hooray, the holiday season is upon us! I know it seems early (especially given the the strangely warm weather we’ve been having), but it really is a good time to start thinking about some special gifts for those special people in your life. This year the postal services are going to be even more overwhelmed with Covid 19, so I would recommend shopping early and of course, sustainably! Here is a mini guide to a sustainable holiday from my warm and fuzzy, Christmas obsessed heart to yours.

First and foremost I want to acknowledge some AMAZING and frankly, way more comprehensive and beautiful holiday guides. I can only strive to get on their level someday!

  1. Forage + Sustain
  2. The Good Trade
  3. Able (live fashionable)
  4. Net Zero Company
  5. Goop

If you’re looking for some basic gift bundles/sets, look no further than these! They are already done for you and take the stress out of finding the perfect gift:

Let’s break it down. Not every gift recipient is the same, of course! Here are a few categories that your friends and family may fall into this holiday season:

The Homebody/Self Care Lover

  • Safety Razor – this is an incredible alternative to plastic razors and it lasts for life!
  • Lounge Sets – love them, need them, have to have them. Here are some of my faves: Encircled, Kotn, Alternative Apparel, We Are Pact.
  • Tea – if you know me, you know I love tea and this is my drink of choice morning, day and night. This set was just included on Oprah’s favourite things list. A Canadian, Black owned brand that will knock your fuzzy socks off!
  • Weighted Blanket – I don’t have one but I want to know this level of coziness someday.
  • Candles – ask any gal you know, this is never ever a bad gift. There’s been some debate lately over how healthy candles are to have in your home versus essential oils, but here are some brands doing it RIGHT: Mala (they have one that smells like fruit loops – mind blown), Woodlot, Kilig.
  • Puzzles – this carbon neutral puzzle brand is just too cool.

The Outdoor Enthusiast

  • Weekend Getaway – I might be biased (I would consider myself to fall under the outdoorsy category), but these are my favourite types of gifts. I love an “experience gift” and this farm is on my bucket list big time – it has horseback riding and a unique stay!
  • Discovery Pass – this grants you admission to all of Canada’s National Parks, Historic Sites, and Marine Conservation Areas for 12 months. Since things are still looking a little grim for international travel, this is a great way to see our home country (if you are Canadian that is – there is an equivalent pass for American National Parks as well).
  • Outdoor Gear – anything from clothing to water bottles is always on any outdoor adventurer’s list. Here are some tried and true brands I love: We Are Finnley, United by Blue, Ten Tree, Klean Kanteen, Patagonia. These are all well known brands but there’s a reason for that – they do it right!
  • Beside Magazine Subscription – love this Montreal-based mag and all it stands for.
  • The Anywhere Shower Outdoor Wipes and Kula Cloth. One for your body and one for peeing on the go – revolutionary for female hikers with tiny bladders (me)!

The Kitchen Guru

  • Plant Based Cookbooks – I think everyone is trying to lessen their meat intake (except for Ron Swanson) these days. Here’s a great, delicious place for the cook in your life to start: Oh She Glows, The Forest Feast.
  • The Always Pan from Our Place. This pan is chestNUTS (roasting on an open fire) – I’m not kidding guys, it does everything and this might have to go on my “treat yourself” wish list.
  • Compost Bin – the one’s we get in Ontario look pretty drab, so if you have a funky kitchen guy or gal to buy for, this is a step up from the boring old green bin (bonus: cute turtle!)
  • Linen Bread Bags – cute way to keep your bread fresh!
  • Dishwashing Block – this is an awesome alternative to classic liquid dishwashing soap, plus it lasts a lot longer than you’d think!
  • Reusable Sponge Cloths – I know this sounds like a boring gift, but the environmentally conscious cook in your life will LOVE these. Also, some of them are holiday themed? Yes please.

The Beauty Queen/King

  • Reusable Makeup Remover Pads – my partner put these in my stocking a few years ago and I’ve never looked back. Soft, washable, wonderful.
  • Sunscreen – this isn’t just for the summer folks! The skincare enthusiast on your list will love that you’ve provided them the gift of supple/protected skin all year round
  • Facial Cleanser Bar – need I say more? We all love to have a beautiful, gentle cleanser waiting for us on the shelf at the end of the day, so will the pal you give this to. Also important: you are supporting a local, mother/daughter owned business (Bon Echo, Ontario)!
  • Perfume – buying this clean fragrance for someone just makes you a “cool human” as their website says.
  • Body Scrub – why not something that can make their body feel great too (there’s a lot of face products on this list – whoops!).

The Fashion Lover

  • Linen Pants – if you are new to an eco lifestyle, linen pants seem to be some sort of right of passage into this world. Is it because the material is super sustainable and amazing and fantastic? Probably. All jokes aside, this is a brand owned/designed by a pal of mine from the sustainable fashion program I took a few years back. She was a star then and she’s even more awesome now!
  • Sleep Set (email or DM to order)– this is a similar item to the lounge sets I talked about in the homebody section, but lets face it, once the pandemic is over we will only have casual clothing left to show for it. Definitely buy this for the fashion gal who loves to be stylish while just chilling/sleeping.
  • Comfy Sweater – a classic holiday gift, but this time with an ethical twist!
  • Sunglasses – style and sustainability? That’s a gift we can all get behind. Waiting for my current glasses to break so I can snag a pair of these.
  • Cool Denim – this can be a notoriously hard gift to nail, but if you’re going for it, this is the site to choose.
  • Personalized Necklace – another classic and great to give to your partner as something special this holiday season

Stocking Stuffers

  • Bamboo Toothbrush – clean teeth, clean earth = win, win
  • Natural Toothpaste – I promise that’s the end of the teeth theme
  • Eco Strip Laundry Detergent – an alternative to traditional laundry detergent that I have yet to try (but I want to). Shout out to my partner’s Mom for this idea!
  • Funky, Eco-friendly Socks – some may say socks are overplayed for Christmas, but I beg to differ!
  • Local Syrup and Honey – I have loved this guy’s honey and syrup for a few years now! He came into a shop I used to work at and let us sample all the product – I was in heaven!
  • Lip Balm – this smells good enough to eat (but don’t)!
  • Bath Salts – if your pal is lucky enough to have a bathtub to relax in, they will need these to get through the winter!
  • Ethical Chocolate – YUM, that’s all.

I hope this guide gave you some solid ideas for the upcoming season! Keep your friends and family close, give them hugs and squeezes if you can, and cherish all the love in your life :).

@sustainablesydb

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