Is it almost Christmas already? I can’t believe how fast we went from Easter brunch to jingle bells! Time flies.
I am super excited about the holiday season this year; we’re going home to cold and dark Scandinavia to celebrate with our family. For the first time in seven years we’ll wake up to snow (hopefully, or at least frost!) instead of palm trees. Yay. Yes, yes, I know we’re adding more carbon to this year’s footprint but it was what we felt we wanted to do with our 2-year-old and I’m sure it won’t become a habit to travel twice a year!
Anyway, I am excited about the season and I decided to share some sustainable, support-something-good gift ideas here on the blog! Gifts that fit everyone, no matter gender identification or age.
A handmade mug to hold that hot, winter drink
I got two beautiful mugs earlier this year from RBD pottery. At the time, their studio was based in Alaska but has since moved to Michigan (shorter shipping for most :)).
Commonly, made in USA mugs are just painted or printed here, not really made here. You’ll see made in China pottery showing off a local artists art work. What’s cool with RBD is that everything – the ceramic too – is handmade with love, making each mug 100% unique and local. PS. They’ve got planters too! $30-60
Virtual Animal adoption
I love the kind act of “adopting” an endangered animal for Christmas as a gift for someone, especially for kids. They’ll get a card to learn more about the animal and a nice picture to keep. Very low consumption yet meaningful and for a great cause. $25
Glass drinking straw
For that person who always wants to zip their drink through a straw but appreciates our need to reduce plastic; I can’t think of a better gift than a reusable straw!
Mine was actually a gift from a colleague who got it in Seattle for me. The one I have is handcrafted in the Pacific Northwest, cute, sustainable and durable. It comes with a protective sleeve, so you can keep it in the car or in a bag, as well as with a tiny cleaning brush. $8-20
The vast majority of folks bathe or shower several times a week, so a nice smelling bar of soap will be appreciated by most!
You’d be surprised how easy it is to find locally made, no plastic wrap soaps at farmers markets, Whole Foods, online, general stores or anywhere they sell beauty/body products. Watch out for goat milk based soaps tho; there’s no need to add the carbon of raising goats just so we can get a good clean! Vegan, paraben-free soaps are a plenty. $10-15
Home-baked crisp bread
I just made a batch of my allergen friendly crisp bread last week and took with me as a hostess gift at a Thanksgiving party. It was super appreciated and everyone loved it (recipe here!). You don’t have to make this particular treat, of course, but stick something home-baked in tin jar and voila you’ve got a perfect gift! $10+time.
Classic gift of socks
Am I a suuuper lame blogger if I put SOCKS on my Christmas list? Maybe. I apologize.
There are no better socks out there in the world than Smartwool hiking socks though. They’re knitted in USA (most styles at least), have absolutely superb quality and will keep everyone you love so warm all winter.
I love wearing mine even in the office (inside my sneakers or booties!) so I am not slightly cold all day (I have yet to hear from anyone who works in an office building that the temperature isn’t either too hot or too cold all the time. Side note, but hence the need for good socks). Of course for hiking they’re great too, and everyone takes walks. Right? Available lots of places but REI is a co-op I love to support so I get mine there. $20-29
Over the years I’ve posted a few Christmas lists on the blog so you’ll find more ideas here and here for how to totally rock it this year. What are some of yours? I’d love to hear what you’re giving your loved ones this year.
PS. I read that in Sweden, this years “it gift” is second hand clothes! That is pretty awesome I think; very sustainable indeed. I hope it’s true (?). Anything second hand makes for an eco-friendly gift of course :)