Winter has arrived. That cozy time of year that warms our hearts and asks us to reflect, be grateful, and celebrate all the beauty and bounty of life. One of the most wonderful parts of the holiday season is giving to those that you love and letting friends and family know how much you appreciate them. While this year has been financially and emotionally difficult for many, it seems especially important to spread comfort and cheer to those we care for. Sometimes, we know right away what to get for those on our shopping list, but we all know someone who can be really hard to shop for.
I’ve put together a mindful gift-giving guide for you; everything is eco-friendly, affordable, and sure to bring peace and joy to everyone on your list all year long. These gifts are great for birthdays and celebrations of any kind; especially for the down-to-Earth, spiritual people in your life.
Wildflower Gift Wrap: $17
This pretty, natural looking gift wrap actually has wildflower seeds inside the paper itself; so if you or your giftee are eco-conscious, this gift not only reduces waste but repurposes it too! This beautiful paper can be used all year long and comes in four beautiful colors; all you have to do is cut a square of the paper and plant it in soil to grow your own gorgeous wildflowers. It’s like giving two gifts in one! Includes 6 gift tags and two unique colors of raffia for wrapping.
Reusable Utensils, Storage Containers, Shopping, Bags, etc: $8-$50
Reusable utensils, containers, bags, etc. are great gifts for everyone and good for the planet too! Not only are plastic products and food containers wasteful, but they’re aren’t durable and rarely last more than a few years. These gifts are sure to please and be useful for years and years to come! Terra Natura makes a beautiful gift set full of reusable goodies such as beeswax food wraps, reusable straws, and a mesh shopping bag for anyone on your list who is interested in a low-waste life style; and these plastic-free food storage containers from DE are stylish, durable, and perfect for mom or the chef in your life. You can find a variety of other low-waste gift sets on EarthHero. Of course, long-lasting and biodegradable bamboo toothbrushes also make great stocking stuffers!
Affirmation Cards: $15
An affirmation is an empowering or uplifting statement you repeat to yourself in order to affirm it’s truth. For example, “I am loved and protected.” By repeating statements such as this to ourselves, we can retrain our brain to replace negative thoughts with positive and uplifting ones. These affirmation cards are an amazingly thoughtful and beautiful gift, and can be read once a day or just used as a grounding method when needed. They’re also great for meditation. There are many other gorgeous affirmation card decks online, and you could always make them yourself to make it an even more heartfelt, meaningful, and affordable present!
Singing Bowls: $16-$40
Singing bowls are an incredibly easy and meditative way to relax. They’re also really fun to play and come in a variety of sizes and colors. Each singing bowl produces it’s own beautiful tone and frequencies that have amazing, soothing affects on the brain. A “sound massage” as it is called can have incredible affects on anxiety, mood, and even pain in the body, especially with regular use. Singing bowls are surprising affordable and fun to collect, since their tone depends on size, shape, and material. They can be found on Amazon from $16-$40 and make a great, unique gift for anyone. (This one even includes a gift box and journal!)
Homemade Gifts from Etsy!
Etsy offers literally hundreds of thousands of unique handmade gifts from small business and people around the world, so you’re sure to find something beautiful and unique for everyone you love within your price range. Because mostly everything is handmade, you can often customize things to your liking and make it personalized just for them! I ordered several things off of Etsy this year, including this adorable jewelry box for my little sister, and I was even able to put her name on the top. ❤ Shopping with small businesses is especially important this year, and is often more eco-friendly.
One of my very favorite, local Colorado companies: Roots Apothecary. Roots offers a beautiful, lovingly made collection of health, wellness, and beauty products that are affordable and affective. They are an eco-conscious, holistic wellness company offering everything from tinctures and teas to soaps, essential oils, face masks, and even CBD products. Stuff their stockings with this tasty immune boost tea or treat your loved ones to their soothing, naturally scented organic soaps. (This 5 pack is the perfect gift!) Best of all, they offer free shipping on all orders in Colorado, and you can get 15% off your order today with my code SkylerBreanne at checkout!
A Yoga Mat or Meditation Cushion: $25-$75
A beautiful and unique yoga mat or a comfy meditation cushion makes a great gift for the experienced yogi in your life, but also for the friend or loved one that may be looking for the confidence to get started too. The popularity of yoga and meditation is rising quickly in the U.S. and around the world, both because more people are looking for ways to mindfully relieve anxiety, stress, and depression and because more research is being done that shows its positive affects on the mind and body. I recently discovered cork yoga mats from Gaiam, and I am in love. They are eco-friendly, long-lasting, and the cell structure of the cork seals out odor and bacteria better than basic yoga mats. Gaiam offers a variety of other gorgeous and affordable mats as well! (check this one out!) Meditation cushions and mats can be a bit pricy, but will last for years to come and are sure to make meditation a much comfier, peaceful experience. Amazon has affordable choices ranging from $25-$50, and Gaiam offers this beautiful mat and cushion set for $75.
Salt Lamps: $20-$50
Salt lamps are beautifully carved light decorations for your home made from pink Himalayan salt, which provide not only a gorgeous glow but health benefits as well! The salt is said to be remnants of the original primal sea, dating back to the creation of our planet. These lamps are said to purify the air by trapping air pollutants within the salt itself, and can help with allergies, mood, and even sleep by emitting negative ions. They are even said to help with bronchial problems and asthma. These lamps come in all different shapes and sizes and look great in any room. Highly recommended for literally everyone on your list! This site offers a great variety of affordable salt lamps, and uses 100% pure Himalayan salt.
Sustainable Shoes and Clothing!
Who doesn’t love sustainable, eco-friendly fashion? Here are some of my favorites this year.
- Nothing New – Sneakers for women and men, “made from the highest quality, sustainable materials.“
- AllBirds – Sustainable shoes and clothing made in New Zealand from the finest wool, recycled bottles, and even sugarcane! “We work with leading organizations like ZQ Merino to ensure our wool is held to high standards of farming, land management and animal welfare.“
- Ethletic – Fashionable, sustainable, vegan, fair-trade footwear.
- Happy Earth – T-shirts, long sleeves, hoodies, and more made from sustainable material. Every purchase makes an impact, and you get to choose whether part of your proceeds will go to planting 15 trees, reducing carbon emissions, or reducing pollution. You also receive a free “impact” pin with every purchase to represent the difference you’ve made!
- Pact – A Colorado based, fair-trade company; Pact offers clothing for women, men, children, and babies as well as linens for bed and bath!
Plant-based diets are getting more and more popular, and there are so many amazingly delicious and healthy vegan and vegetarian recipes these days. For someone just starting out on a plant-based diet or even the most seasoned vegetarian chef, a new cookbook full of fun and easy recipes can be an exciting gift that satisfies all year long!
Vegan Cooking for Carnivores is a New York Times best seller written by Ellen Degeneres’ personal chef, full of “over 125 recipes so tasty, you won’t miss the meat.” Perfect for the skeptic chef on your list! ($18)
Two of my favorite vegan youtubers, Ellen Fisher and Hannah McNeely (they’re sisters!), have some absolutely amazing cookbooks at affordable prices. Hannah just recently released an e-cookbook called Everybody Loves Food, including breakfast recipes, soups, treats, and main dishes! Ellen has a few different options on her site, including Epic Plant-Powered Kid Food, sure to please even the pickiest eaters. ($25)
Vegan Holiday Kitchen contains more than 200 mouth watering dishes for every celebration. Contains recipes for brunches and potlucks, Thanksgiving, Jewish holidays, Easter, Christmas and the holidays, and even Summer celebrations. ($12)
A Symbolic Adoption from WWF: $50
I absolutely love World Wildlife Fund, and they have a fun “symbolic adoption” program where you select an animal and contribute to their conservation and protection. In return, WWF sends you an adoption kit in the mail which includes an adoption certificate, fact card, plush, and photo of the animal as well as a reusable shopping bag. I think it’s an absolutely wonderful idea to make the donation in the name of a giftee or child who loves wildlife and see their face light up when they receive their adoption package! It’s a heartfelt and mindful gift that also gives back to nature. ❤
Pela Case: $25-$45
Pela Case is an absolutely wonderful company that aims to reduce plastic usage and waste by using recycled material to make cute and durable phone and accessory cases. The cases are biodegradable, and a portion of every sale is donated to protecting our oceans. Right now for holiday season 2020, they are doing a buy one get one free sale on all cases in order to give back to the community after a rough year. Their notice reads:
“Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, plastic usage has been up 500%. No, that is not a mistake. It’s been the best year ever for the oil industry. To make it really easy for everyone to choose a more sustainable gift this holiday season, we’re giving every purchaser a FREE case. Give it to your friends, family or whoever. Keep it for yourself as a spare. Whatever makes sense to you, it’s our gift to our community. Thank you for choosing plastic free alternatives this holiday season!” Saving the Earth has never been so critical, and I think Pela definitely deserves our support.
Australian Animal Mugs: $40
These mugs are handmade in Pennsylvania by a woman named JoAnn Stratakos. After the bushfires ravaged much of Australia and killed many of the wildlife there, she decided to make these mugs on her pottery wheel to raise awareness and donates part of the profits to the Global Wildlife Conservation’s Australian wildfire recovery effort. They are absolutely beautiful and make a thoughtful gift for anyone on your list.
Bubble Tea Kit: $38
This a really fun gift I thought I’d throw in the mix; an at home boba tea set! We all have a friend who is obsessed with the stuff, and it would definitely make a fun white elephant gift as well! The kit includes two flavors, tapioca pearls, and a reusable straw. I found this and the Australian animal mugs on Uncommon Goods, a really wonderful shopping site that makes it easy to find eco-friendly, unique and out of this world gifts. Definitely go check them out for more gift ideas or maybe even treat yourself to something nice!
Swivel Bath Tray: $50
Another incredible gift I discovered on Uncommon Goods; a swivel bath tray! Who doesn’t love a good bath with a glass of wine and a nice book? This beautiful, handcrafted bamboo tray suctions to the side of any porcelain bathtub, making the perfect gift for the ladies in your life or anyone who needs to relax and unwind.