Despite online retail platforms making shopping even easier, many people are embracing a non-consumer lifestyle or simply choosing to be more conscientious about the purchases they make. According to the International Society of Markets and Development, the COVID-19 pandemic is challenging consumer habits. With a greater awareness of the impacts of climate change, sustainable consumerism is on the rise as is sustainable gift giving. Here, we share 8 sustainable gifts that help to make the world a better place in some small yet consequential way.
Beeyonder Monthly Subscription (starting at $120 annually)
While many of us are still missing the joys of international travel, Beeyonder is a marketplace of virtual travel experiences that can be experienced from the comfort of home. Minus greenhouse gases produced by air travel and the need for a COVID-19 test to cross any borders, it features plenty of fun adventures for the wellness enthusiasts in your life. This holiday season, you can gift the Hidden Zen Garden Immersion Experience, which allows participants to travel virtually to the Zen Garden at Konchi-In, Japan. Led by an American Japanese garden specialist who has worked in the gardens of Kyoto, they will visit the Japanese Zen Temple and waterfall garden, miniature moss forest, and more. Available as a standalone experience or as part of a 12-month subscription with 11 other enticing experiences, this is a great option for those you want to give the world. Other experiences include street tours, cooking classes, art workshops, wildlife encounters, and more. It’ll also be a favorite for those who prefer experiences over more stuff.
Bee’s Wrap Assorted Three Pack ($17.99)
Made in Vermont by a certified B Corp, this assorted set of small, medium, and large eco-friendly food wraps are reusable, contributing to zero-plastic waste. They’re made of certified organic cotton, responsibly sourced beeswax, certified organic plant oils, and tree resin. Available in a variety of patterns celebrating the story between pollinators and plants, the wraps keep food like cheese, bread, baked goods, and vegetables fresh and make for great host or hostess gifts or for anyone who wants to live a more sustainable lifestyle. Lasting for up to a year with regular usage, the wraps can be composted or used as an effective fire starter when they’ve reached the end of their life.
This limited-edition set of 2021’s green beauty MVPs has been vetted and curated by the experts at The Detox Market, a retail brand that carries only green beauty products that feature pure ingredients, provide exceptional performance, and are cruelty-free. Ideal for green beauty lovers and those who want to support beauty products that are sourced, produced, and packaged in an ethical and sustainable way, this collection of 10 products, worth more than $300, includes Ilia Fullest Volumizing Mascara, Innersense Detox Hair Mask, Herbivore Bakuchiol Retinol Alternative Serum, Kadalys Banana Lip Balm, Osea Atmosphere Protection Cream, Detox Mode Renewing Foam Cleanser, Henné Organics Citrus Luxury Hand Cream, Odacité Bl+C, W3LL People Power Palette Eye Shadow, and Pai Skincare The Impossible Glow. It’s the perfect introduction to a variety of green beauty brands.
Nilaa Sateen Classic – Bedding Bundle (starting at $279)
A gift that will be appreciated by anyone who values a good night’s sleep, these sheets from Nilaa are made from certified Fairtrade, organic, and all-natural materials that have been ethically sourced. The brand was created to prove that responsibly made bedding doesn’t have to break the bank. Instead, the company’s luxurious sheets, towels, blankets, and robes are made to order and then sold direct to cut out the middleman. There is no outsourced production, no warehouse or stored inventory costs, and no retail markup. Focused on using plastic-free packaging and clean manufacturing processes, the company reinvests in local co-operatives, funding schools, health clinics, clean water, education, and business training. This luxurious bedding bundle, available in four colors, comes with one flat sheet, one fitted sheet, two pillowcases, one duvet, and two pillow shams. It’s a luxurious gift that will envelop the lucky recipient in comfort all year round.
This kit is curated to help people make small but achievable changes for a lower waste lifestyle. It features a Simply Straws Stainless Sip Set, a To-Go Ware Bamboo Utensil Set, an organic cotton tote with the Kindhumans logo on it, and a Bee’s Wrap Explorer pack in monarch print. The ideal gift for someone looking to prioritize the planet, this kit also lets you give back 3 percent to the cause of your choice.
Lively Root Plant (price varies)
What could be greener than giving a live plant this holiday season? Lively Root features a variety of plants for every taste, whether the object of your affection was born with a green thumb or has trouble keeping a Chia Pet alive. From low-maintenance succulents and hardy varietals to pet-friendly greenery and exotic flora, a plant is the perfect way to thank employees and clients for their support or simply introduce some nature into a beloved family member’s or friend’s life. Dreading the holidays because it means gathering with those whose political views differ from yours? Consider smoothing things over by gifting a beautiful Peace Lily. There are also air-purifying plants that can add a breath of fresh air to a home office or any area that needs a bit of detoxifying. And when you add a Plant Pick for a Purpose ($5), a ceramic message stick featuring a sweet, kind, or funny thought, such as Frond of You, Best Buds, and #1 Plant Mom, the company will also make a donation to the Arbor Day Foundation, which will plant a tree for every one you buy.
Living Composter ($199)
Food waste has long been a problem for the environment. It contributes to climate change by producing methane (a greenhouse gas) when it breaks down in landfills, is among the leading causes of freshwater pollution, increases food insecurity, and more. Fortunately, you can help the ones you love tackle the issue by composting, which helps reduce greenhouse gases, cuts down on waste, and nourishes the soil. The Living Composter, an especially thoughtful gift for gardening enthusiasts and anyone else interested in being more mindful about the waste they produce, can process more than two pounds of food a week. You simply throw in your food scraps, such as vegetable peelings, grains, and tea bags, along with some worms, and let nature take its course. The compost can then be used to fertilize your plants. Made from cork and recycled plastic, this artfully designed composter is also odorless.
A fun and festive stocking stuffer, The Mitty Snowman gift set comes with a Makeup Mitty and a Mitty Mini, each of which helps remove makeup and grime from delicate skin. Best of all, these soft mitts are reusable and can be thrown in the laundry, eliminating the need for disposable cotton balls and wipes, which can contain toxic pesticides and create excess waste. The ultra-soft, long-lasting polyester releases stains and stays soft after thousands of uses.