November 25, 2021
We get it – it's Thanksgiving, which means every brand you've ever so much as glanced at is about to bombard your inbox with deals for Black Friday and Cyber Monday. We're watching consumption at its peak, conservation at its trough.
Many of us are engaging with consumption not necessarily for ourselves, but for those dear to us. Gift giving is a universal love language, a gesture of gratitude, a keepsake, a statement of "I'm thinking of you and care about you".
We aren't here to argue that everyone should gift less. We're here to nudge that everyone can gift a little differently, a little more sustainably. And to also shout out like-minded (non-affiliated) brands that are working towards a more abundant, less wasteful future.
Gifts for gentle self-care
- Replace single-use cotton essentials with LastSwab, LastTissue, LastRound, and pandemic-appropriate LastMask
- Freshen up with compostable deodorant from Island, or refillable deodorant from Myro or By Humankind
- Treat their skin to gentle ingredients and plastic-free essentials from For the Biome
- Get a beauty boost with low-waste products from Elate Cosmetics
- Do easy plastic-free laundry and dish-washing with Dropps pods, Tru Earth strips, BlueLand, or Happy Human
Gifts for sounder sleep
- Sleep in a cloud with Buffy comforter, made from recycled plastic bottles and water-efficient eucalyptus
- Improve sleep quality with a Calm gift subscription
Gifts for greener eating and drinking
- Simplify on-the-go food and picnics with a foldable spork, ECOspork, Lunchskins, or Stasher silicone containers
- Purify water with Kishu charcoal filter or any reusable water filter bottle
- Keep your favorite drinks hot or cold all day with Yeti mugs, and yes, you can ask the barista to use your own container
- Indulge the coffee lover with organic, fair trade, or B-Corp certified coffee from Counter Culture, Conscious Coffees, Café Mam, Larry’s Coffee, or Wonderstate Coffee
- Make plant milk from bulk nuts, seeds, or grains and skip straining with Almond Cow’s Milk Maker
Gifts for the creative
- Write or draw in the reusable, cloud-compatible Rocketbook, or the 100% recycled Claire Fontaine ZAP book
Gifts for the fashion-forward
- Opt for sustainable, surplus, or upcycled materials from AllBirds, Rothy’s, Tonle, Reformation, or Pangaia
- Go circular with gift cards to local thrift stores, ThredUp, The RealReal, or other secondhand retailers
Non-stuff gifts for the minimalist
- Learn from the best with a MasterClass gift subscription
- Take up a new language with a LingoDeer gift subscription
- Build mindfulness and reduce anxiety with a Headspace gift subscription
- Jazz up the holiday with a virtual magic show
- Make a donation in their name to their nonprofit of choice
Gifting is an art that gets progressively harder, ironically, as disposable income increases. Because then, if our gift recipient wanted anything badly enough, they'd just buy it themselves. The most elegant solution may be the simplest: gift high-quality daily items that one will always need to use and replenish, like dental care and shower products. Better yet, choose the zero waste form. You knew this was coming: Zebo is the perfect personal care package you can send to your loved ones, as a present not only for them, but for a less wasteful future too.