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The Sustainable Gift Guide for 2021

The Sustainable Gift Guide for 2021

It’s that time of year when things start to get a little crazier. There are parties to plan, decorations to organise and gifts to buy. With all the hustle, it can be easy for our usual ethical shopping filters to fall by the wayside - because there’s simply too much to be done. This time of year, however, is perhaps one of the biggest opportunities we have (outside of our daily choices) to make the positive impact on the planet we wish to have. We’re here to help with some ideas.

Why Shop Consciously?

Before we dive into the ideas, here are your reinforcing reasons to shop consciously.

In Australia, it’s projected that holiday spending will amount to $58.8 billion. In the US, total spending for the holidays is likely to be more than last year, which was $1.2 trillion.

That’s just two countries - and an awful lot of money changing hands!

Imagine if even a small percentage of that dollar figure was being spent on things that benefit the planet and people. Your spending, when combined with everyone else’s, sure has the power to make a positive impact. There’s the environmental impact - keeping plastics out of the ocean and waste streams, minimising usage of the planet’s resources, keeping waste low, just to name a few. There’s also the human impact - ensuring that the people within the supply chain of the things we buy are fairly paid, treated fairly and have fair working and living conditions. These are very real impacts of the dollars we spend.

There are plenty of reasons, then, to shop consciously.

What to Look For?

When shopping or creating gifts, a few things you can keep in mind are listed below. It’s best to have a list in mind before you start shopping - it’s so easy to be distracted from our goal!

  • Plastic free - where possible, keep plastic out of your shopping.
  • Durable/ long lifespan - products that last longer are better for the planet. Think about whether your gift could be repaired, if broken.
  • Fairtrade - Fairtrade certified products ensure equitable working conditions for the people involved.
  • Second hand - could you buy that thing on a marketplace and extend the life of an existing item rather than buying new?
  • Brands with strong values - this is a tough one to navigate, with so much greenwashing. Look beyond what brands say, to what they actually do, and keep an eye out for certifications you trust. Think certifications like B Corp, 1% for the Planet, and Climate Neutral. Overall, look for values that align with your own, preferably verified by an independent body.

The Gift Giving Guide

Now the fun part! Take a wander through our ideas below. Gifts are always most meaningful when we take the time to really consider our recipient, and what they would truly appreciate. We’ve identified a few interests people might have, and put together some ideas for gifts that are thoughtful and low-impact.

The Outdoorsy

When your loved one loves the outdoors, there are plenty of meaningful gift ideas.

  • Promise a day bushwalking - why not draw, paint or write a simple IOU offering to take them bushwalking to their favourite place, or a new one?
  • A guided tour of a local area - research local guides and see if you can arrange one to take the two of you on a walk to uncover secrets you may not have otherwise discovered!
  • Natural zinc for their time outdoors - everyone needs sun protection
  • A sustainable water bottle - it’s always nice to be treated to a shiny new water bottle, especially those who are using them all the time!

The Foodie

Foodies love to be creative - or might just love to eat great food! Check out these ideas for your food-loving recipient.

  • Cooking lessons - pick a local restaurant, kitchen shop or simply someone who knows how to cook (and teach!) and gift your loved one a voucher for a cooking lesson
  • A cookbook - whether you’re using them or flipping through them, cookbooks offer a feast for the senses
  • Offer to make them a meal - a meaningful gift for your foodie might be as simple as offering to sit them down and cook them something special, and connect while you eat
  • Sustainable food storage containers - home cooks often need to store their leftovers! Treat them to sustainable food containers rather than the often-used plastic containers

The Home-Body

Some people just love relaxing in their own space. Here are a few ideas for your special home-body.

  • Make them a beautiful handmade rug/ throw - yes it’s a lot of work, but think how appreciated and loved it will be!
  • Propagate one of your plants for them, or pot one from your local nursery - everyone loves to freshen their space with some greenery
  • Make them a relish, slice or chutney - handmade edible gifts are a fabulous way to say ‘I care about you’
  • Print a photo of you both and put it in a (sustainable) frame - memories are a wonderful gift
  • Make up a home day-spa pack with a natural exfoliator, hand and body moisturiser, and a lovely body wash or soap plus some candles for their next bathtime.

The Socialite

For those who love to get out and about, we’ve got a few DIY gift ideas.

  • Concert tickets - with things starting to open up again, now is a great time to investigate any local (or further afield) events your loved one may enjoy.
  • IOU gallery day - pick a local gallery or attraction, and give them a personalised voucher with a promise to take them there
  • A beautiful stick deodorant to pop in their bag for those big nights out!

The Littlies

Even though the kiddos often gravitate towards the latest shiny new toy, there are plenty of ways to give sustainably to our smaller loved ones!
  • Tickets to their favourite entertainer - gift an experience rather than a thing, and the memories may well last a lifetime
  • Books - from new releases to second hand classics, there are plenty of options
  • Second hand toys - scour secondhand stores and online marketplaces for that thing they’re looking for. Odds are they won’t notice (or care) if their gift is pre-loved.
  • Their very own Bento snack box - for days out and about!

Our gift guide is inclusive and many of the options are DIY. When you choose to shop with Santos Organics, you can be sure you’re making conscious choices - because we do the research for you. Every product goes through our ethical procurement process, consisting of 5 pillars. But of course, some gift ideas don’t involve buying anything at all! Some of the best gifts are handmade, and naturally planet-positive.


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