Sustainable Gift Guide (2020 Holiday Edition)

Photo by Lucie Liz on

This holiday season, shop local, shop small and shop sustainable. Instead of buying from big retail companies, support your local businesses and small shops. We have all faced many challenges this year and it’s important that we help support our local community members. If you do buy gifts from a bigger business, make sure they participate in sustainable and ethical work practices. Below are some of my gift recommendations for the 2020 holiday season!

Here are some gift ideas that support your local community:

  • Coffee beans or loose leaf tea blends from a local cafe.
    • Pair loose leaf tea with a tea infuser or coffee grinds with reusable coffee filters.
  • A gift certificate for a local restaurant or small business.
    • If you’re not sure what to get your loved one, give them the freedom to choose something from a local businesses.
  • Plant from a local plant shop.
    • Everyone’s plant baby collection has grown this year. Since we are all spending time at home, plants can help to create a more relaxed environment and they also help to clean the air!
  • Meal kits from a local restaurant.
    • For example, a pizza shop in SF sells their pizza crust mix and sauce which can be paired into a gift. My family is a foodie family, so we love getting good food as gifts!
  • Art from a local artist.
    • So many of my past classmates are great artists and I love asking them if they are interested in commission work.

If you’re not able to find a gift locally, check out these businesses:

  • Earth Love Box
    • A subscription box filled with sustainable, fair trade goodies! My friends gifted me an Earth Love Box for my birthday and I loved all the items that I got.
  • The Tote Project
    • These totes are handmade with fair trade cotton, water-based inks and recycled fabric. The Tote Project donates 10% of their profits to Two Wings to help support survivors of human trafficking.
  • Driftaway Coffee
    • This coffee subscription box uses compostable packaging, has carbon neutral operations and gives back to the coffee bean farmers that they work with. Driftaway Coffee notes that not all of the coffee is “certified organic” because it can be difficult for small farmers to obtain their certification, even if they are an organic farm.
  • Fair Tribe
    • Everything in this shop is artisan produced, fair trade certified and supports environmental sustainability. My sister got some really pretty earrings for my mom’s birthday from Fair Tribe. She did say that it was a little bit of a treasure hunt to find products that she liked, but recommends their shop none the less!
  • Etsy
    • I love buying gifts from Etsy because I can help support small businesses and 100% of shipping emissions are offset. They also have a lot of unique, sustainable gifts that are handmade.

Another option is to make gifts yourself! You have the option to choose organic, sustainable, and healthy materials. Below are some of my favorite DIY gifts:

  • Beeswax wraps
  • Loose leaf tea blends
  • Shower scrubs
  • Bar soaps or lotion bars
  • Hand knit a chunky blanket
  • Macrame plant hangers or tapestries

And last but not least, don’t forget to wrap your gift with sustainable materials! Here are some gift wrapping ideas:

  • Cloth drawstring bags
  • Newspaper (pair with some twine and pinecones or greenery)
  • Fabric instead of wrapping paper
  • Glass jars (I decorate the outside with burlap so they can’t see inside)
  • Tote bags (make the packaging part of their gift)
  • Reusable gift tags

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