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Thoughtful Presents

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Gift ideas from homegrown brands that’ll help you and your loved ones lead a more sustainable life

The Holidays are here! And while we could all benefit from the festive atmosphere, there’s no denying this season can be a bit stressful – not just for us, but especially, for the environment.

With the tradition of gift-giving, carbon emissions from deliveries as well as trash from packaging and gift wraps skyrocket at this time of year. Factor in the proverbial “deadweight loss of Christmas” – the “gap between how much a giver spends on a present and how much the receiver values the gift” – and the holidays become a season of waste on a whole new level.

However, gift-giving undoubtedly adds a certain kind of charm to the holidays. It reminds us of the power of generosity and thoughtfulness, and how wonderful it is to be treasured enough to merit a gift.

Fortunately, there are ways to lessen the wastage that comes with this tradition. For starters: shop local – when it’s near, there will be lesser carbon emissions from driving or delivery. Next, opt for reusable gift wraps like fabric pouches or scarves; better yet, don’t wrap your presents at all! And last, but not the least: give more meaningful gifts, like the following seven items that are not only worth your money, but are also kind to the environment:

Artisanal Bread

Everybody eats so food is always a fail-proof gift. If you have friends who love their carbs, Antipolo-based artisan Baker Bear creates delicious, no-oil, no-preservatives, no-added sugar crusty breads. Irresistible bâtard, fragrant foccacia, and superb sourdough – these are some of their offerings which do not only make you feel warm and fuzzy, but are also vegan!

Order your crusty breads and other baked creations on Instagram: @bakerbearph, or on Facebook at Baker Bear.

Zero-waste Starter Kit

Shameless plug alert: Ecoheroes is a brand this writer had started earlier this year. It offers alternatives to single-use plastic, with collapsible cups, containers, and metal straws being some of its products. The cups and containers are perfect for your on-the-go friends who’d love to minimize their plastic waste. Get coffee, taho, or cheese corn without the disposables. Get takeouts without the unnecessary trash. Plus, Ecoheroes does plastic-free shipping – the items come in fabric pouches that could already double as gift-wrap!

Know more about our bid for a zero-waste world on Facebook @Ecoheroes and Instagram @ecoheroesph

Earth-Friendly Dessert

For the sweet-tooths (erm, sweet-teeth?) in your life, Earth Desserts has a trove of vegan-friendly baked goodies: from white choco macadamia cookies to Biscoff-stuffed brownies. These desserts also come in gift-ready reusable jars which you can return later for a PhP10 refund!

These delectable sweets are available at The Vegan Grocer, Ultra Supergreen, Manna, and every Sunday at Mandala Park. You may also check them out on Instagram: @earthdesserts

Fancy Floss

Regular dental floss is made of nylon – a kind of plastic which, like all other plastics, takes a long time to decompose. For your friends who like keeping their dentists happy, TreeMaria has an eco-friendly alternative: Silk Dental Floss. Made of mulberry silk coated with vegetable-based candellila wax, this 60 meters of teeth-cleaning action is 100 percent biodegradable. You can also get refills packaged in bioplastic made from corn!

Sachet-free Suds

Our dependency on sachet goods contribute a great deal to the plastic problem. Get your loved-ones to lessen their plastic consumption by gifting them sachet-free shampoo bars. The Cold Process makes awesome concoctions like ones that’re beer-infused. There’s also a yummy-smelling chocolate variation! The best part? You can get these packaging-free or wrapped in biodegradable materials.

Check them out on Facebook at The Cold Process, and on Instagram: @thecoldprocessph.

Period Friend

A sanitary napkin is just one of those things we never thought would have a huge impact on the environment.

But they do (because they’re plastic), and tampons are no better. Thankfully, there’s Sinaya Cup! This organization introduced menstrual cups to Filipinas and has been on a campaign to lift the stigma off of periods ever since.

Female friends would surely appreciate this gift – it’s a total game-changer! Not only will you help keep thousands of sanitary waste out of landfills and our oceans, you (and/or your female friends) will also be saving tons of cash. Plus, you’ll get to enjoy activities like surfing even on your period.

Check out Sinaya Cup on Facebook (Sinaya Cup) and Instagram @sinayacup.

Fabulous Handcrafts

Speaking of female friends, help them amp up their wardrobe by getting them a piece (or two) from NCLK. These handcrafted accessories are made painstakingly with love and thoughtfulness. They’re so pretty, they’re sure to become conversation-starters – which could give you the chance to talk about your efforts to live a more sustainable lifestyle. Indeed, these are perfect for advocates and dream-chasers!

Browse NCLK’s beautiful collection over at Instagram @nclk_ph

So if you’re a bit stumped, these are some meaningful and eco-friendly gift ideas. If you haven’t yet finished your Christmas shopping, why not consider getting these, add a thoughtful note sans disposable wrapping, and give the gift of sustainability to your loved-ones!

 

By CELINE MURILLO