Living your best life shouldn’t come at the expense of the environment. I’ve tried to follow that idea to the best of my abilities for a while now. While at first glance, I found it hard to understand just how my life is impacting the environment, as years went on, I couldn’t stop seeing it. Either in the way I shop or in the way I use electricity, bit by bit, I began implementing sustainable alternatives in more things in my life.
The bad thing about focusing on sustainability is knowing that you still can’t avoid things. However, one thing that we can all do is damper consumerism in its tracks. With the holiday season all around us, the shopping spree it creates causes an increase in purchases that might not always be necessary. It might be easy to purchase mundane gifts that aren’t practical and will be discarded soon after or splurge on fancy outfits for the family or corporate events you’ll be attending. However, isn’t it better to know that the gift recipient will use it?
Instead of buying something that you think the person will like, purchase something that isn’t only wanted but useful and environmentally conscious at the same time. It doesn’t really matter if you’re gifting this to someone environmentally aware or not. The following eco-friendly gifts are, first, useful. Secondly, they pose no threat to the environment, as small as the threat might be, and will bring practicability in that person’s life. You get bonus points if whatever you buy is locally sourced, but some might not be as readily available at your local store.
Reusable Water Bottle
Instead of buying water bottles because you become thirsty during your outing with friends, carry this reusable water bottle in your purse. You fill it up before leaving the house, so you have it on you if you need it. If you end up buying another water bottle, you’ll only add to the one million plastic bottles purchased every minute worldwide. Gifting someone eco-friendly gifts in the form of a reusable water bottle will lower that number. Many options are available on the market, from stainless steel selections to copper bottles. You might be interested to find out that copper has a purifying effect. Copper containers sterilize the water they store overnight, killing harmful bacteria it may contain.
Depending on your relationship with the receiver of the gift, many consumable products have alternatives for eco-friendly gifts. A realtor might gift their client the Buffy Cloud comforter, especially if they’re starting a new chapter in their lives, like buying their first home. Instead of plastic toothbrushes, your children might find it easy to start using cornstarch, bamboo, or other sustainable options. All-natural cosmetics can be found both from online shopping and local artisanal shops, and staying away from PFAS chemicals is becoming more accessible. You can find any eco-friendly gifts from lotions to makeup, solid soaps, shampoos, conditioners, and toothpaste at local green stores or manufacturers. The best thing about these products is that they are not as harsh to the skin, and most come in zero-waste packaging. Eco-friendly gift boxes can contain various products, including natural candles, edible cosmetics, recycled notebooks, and sustainable straws.
Portable Water Filters
For your adventurous friend, you can look into eco-friendly gifts that might improve their outdoor experiences. Some of these products might make you think of doomsday preppers, but only because they are more aware of their uses. A camping trip or accommodations in places where you can not be sure the water is safe will benefit immensely from a portable water filter. It works to clean water of bacteria, particles, or parasites, providing you with clean, drinking water anywhere you are and from any water source. Hikers, climbers, and campers find this product highly practical and can even be lifesaving in some circumstances.
A solar charger can be handy if someone finds themselves in an area where they can’t easily find a plug. Whether this is an outdoorsy individual or not, a solar charger is convenient and a great housewarming gift. Some come in small sizes, comparable to a power bank for USB-chargeable devices. If you want to treat someone special in your life, you can find eco-friendly gifts in the form of watches. Aside from the sustainable materials they can be made of, some can even charge in the sun for batteries lasting up to six months. If you can’t change the energy source they use because that might exceed the gift budget, give them a more accessible alternative. With solar-powered electronics, that person may become more energy efficient and still enjoy the same quality of life.
There are many books out there that are great eco-friendly gifts. Some fall into the self-help category, but the following have a different approach to discussing the subject. If we look at the KonMari art of decluttering your home, we won’t only find a book that teaches us how to declutter. This bestseller from Marie Kondo promotes a different way of looking at our possessions, leading to a simpler and clutter-free lifestyle. It isn’t only about tidying up. It’s about tidying your mind as well.
Next, we can go to The Little Book of Hygge; The Danish Way to Live Well by Miek Wiking (see here). This Danish writer will introduce us to another way of life. This is based on the simple joys in life and learning to appreciate them. This book will help the reader understand the meaning of coziness, comfort, and happiness, finally showing them how to nurture those feelings and make them more accessible through a simple way of looking at things.
For someone who is curious about their environmental impact, we can find David Wallace-Wells’ book, The Uninhabitable Earth: Life After Warming (more info), which contextualizes the climate crisis for the reader and shows how we can all improve our lifestyle for the planet’s benefit. Your reader friend might find something intriguing among these pages and understand that our lives don’t need to be as wasteful and unsustainable as they are. Eco-friendly gifts can also come in the form of information for those who are always searching for knowledge.
Each of these suggestions is a gift that the receiver can use. The fact that the market is catching up with the growing demands for eco-friendly products is a great sign. The public that is less open to trying out new things because they are too set in their ways might be a bit more challenging to convince. So take that extra step and provide them with great alternatives that they didn’t even have to spend money on. You can show them the way without trying to convince them verbally through the eco-friendly gifts we mentioned above. Just provide them with some alternatives and see how slowly they will see the benefits of this lifestyle change.
It might not happen overnight, but with a little here and a little there, more and more, sustainability will become a norm in our society. Human beings weren’t made to live in concrete boxes and use man-made materials for every product. Nature provided us with these alternatives a long way ago. We just replaced them with what we considered to be better. Well, plastic showed us that it isn’t a better alternative, and so has fossil fuel. The toxic chemicals that lace our hygiene or cleaning products are proof enough to motivate someone to seek nature’s alternatives.
Remember, going sustainable isn’t only about green energy and going vegan. There are many ways through which each person can lead a sustainable lifestyle. It can be an easier transition for some, while it might be stressful for others. However, what is important to note is that it doesn’t stem from what you buy but how you buy.