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21 eco-friendly gift ideas for Christmas 2020

21 eco-friendly gift ideas for Christmas 2020

Thoughtful and sustainable suggestions for everyone on your list

I can’t believe it, but the holidays are right around the corner! If you’re struggling with the thought of giving gifts this year, you’re not alone. Sadly, for many of us what we truly want (in-person togetherness) needs to be saved until things are safer, COVID-wise. Adding COVID to the already-tricky concept of eco-friendly gift giving seems to make everything even trickier. Fear not, though, because there are plenty of ways that we can show our loved ones that we care, even if it’s from afar.

Here are my top tips:

  • Support local businesses and craftspeople! The big-box stores and online retailers have plenty of profit, but small local businesses and entrepreneurs need our love now more than ever.
  • Look online. There, you can research local artisans and small-scale home-based businesses you may not know about otherwise. You can also shop secondhand sites for one-of-a-kind treasures.
  • Experiences and non-material gifts may be more challenging these days, but they’re still entirely possible: just ensure that whatever you choose is COVID-safe. Wondering about how to wrap experience gifts in a fun way? I’ve written about that here.

Gift guide

Here are a few ideas, featuring some local companies, for 2020 holiday gifts.

A note about transparency: none of these suggestions are sponsored or affiliate links. They’re simply local suggestions. However, some of these companies are indeed companies that I’ve collaborated with, been gifted things from, or written about, in the past.

  1. A beautifully written and illustrated kids’ book (The Wonder Cabinet has the loveliest selection)
  2. A gift card for takeout/delivery from a restaurant or food company (like my local favourite: Kula!)
  3. An air-purifying potted plant (bonus points if you propagated it yourself!)
  4. Local, handcrafted soap (such as from Sisters Sage or ALTR)
  5. Organic seeds for when the weather is warmer, such as from West Coast Seeds
  6. A gift card to a local refill/bulk store, if you have one nearby
  7. Preserves, either store-bought or homemade (if you’re doing store-bought, might I suggest Luv the Grub?)
  8. Beautiful local, organic flowers
  9. Local honey or beeswax (for all your low-waste DIY projects), such as from Hives for Humanity
  10. A beautiful new lipstick (I love these shades—and the packaging!—from the Indigenous-owned Cheekbone beauty
  11. Organic and Fair Trade tea or coffee
  12. A starter pack of cloth pads or period underwear for a low-waste period (hey, it can be a bit of an upfront investment otherwise!)
  13. Local, organic, Fair Trade chocolate (obviously a classic stocking stuffer)
  14. Locally made, organic cloth face masks (these are the times we live in, after all)
  15. Sustainably packaged local hair wax (for anyone with short hairstyles)
  16. Supplies to connect with nature, such as binoculars, a Match-a-track or Match-a-leaf game, or hiking/camping gear)
  17. Beautiful handcrafted pottery, like a ceramic mug
  18. Wax wraps for storing leftovers, such as these classics from Abeego
  19. A handcrafted candle
  20. A safety razor for low-waste shaving
  21. A donation to a social justice or environmental nonprofit (and you get a tax receipt too!)

There you have it—a non-exhaustive list of suggestions. Wishing you a happy, and safe, holiday season!

Have a low-waste period

Have a low-waste period

Truth be told, having a low-waste period without any disposable products was something that worried me for a long time. I was intimidated! It wasn’t until several months into my low-waste journey before I decided to give it a go. To my amazement, reusable period products are now one of my all-time favourite Zero Waste swaps! I looooove not buying disposable, mostly plastic, period products every month. So here, I’ll offer some tips and tricks for those just starting out.

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3 local zero waste grocery delivery companies

3 local zero waste grocery delivery companies

Accessibility is a major issue in the Zero Waste world. The truth is that few of us have access to low-waste groceries and home products at the best of times, let alone during COVID. Even for those of us who do have stores nearby, there are other serious challenges, such as transportation. That’s why it’s fantastic to see low-waste grocery delivery services popping up. It’s an idea whose time has come, and thank goodness! Recently, I learned about three (yes, three!) small businesses doing just that in Vancouver and its surrounding areas. I can’t tell you how happy this makes me. Not only are all of these businesses women-owned, but they’re also all moms. So of course I wanted to profile all three of them for a blog post.

Without further ado, I’m pleased to introduce Fulfill Shoppe (owned by Lori Crump and Pam McEwin), Jarr (owned by Emily Sproule) and Livlite (owned by Grace Kennedy). Here are their stories and their businesses.

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How to use a safety razor

How to use a safety razor

Many people find safety razors intimidating, but they don’t have to be! Here are my top tips for using plastic-free safety razors with ease.

A note: you don’t need to remove body hair! Your body is beautiful as it is, hair and all. However, if you’d like to shave, that’s okay too! And as with everything, a safety razor isn’t for everyone. Always choose what works best for you.

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Interview with Lindsay Miles, author of The Less Waste No Fuss Kitchen

Interview with Lindsay Miles, author of The Less Waste No Fuss Kitchen

I’m delighted to be featuring Lindsay Miles of Treading My Own Path. You may know her from her blog or Instagram profile, or from her first book, Less Stuff: Simple zero-waste steps to a joyful and clutter-free life. Now Lindsay has a new book: The Less Waste No Fuss Kitchen, and I’m sure you’re going to love it as much as I did!

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