It’s that time of year again when many of us are exchanging presents and after a year like this we could all do with a little festive sparkle and some of those extra endorphins that the act of giving brings!
But what with it being 2020 and all that, things are different. We’re more conscious of what and where we spend our time and money. So this gift guide will hopefully give you some ideas for presents that will give you and your loved ones an inner glow without costing the earth.
1. Plant a tree
For the ultimate eco-friendly present, plant a tree in someone’s name. You can opt to have a tree planted somewhere they can visit it or support national and international reforestation projects. There are lots of NGOs and charities such as the Woodland Trust and Worldland Trust who can offer advice.
2. Make edible presents
No waste! Make someone a batch of Emma’s No-bake plant protein power brownies for their post-yoga refuelling. Package them in a nice reusable food container with a list of their nearest refill grocery stores for extra points.
3. Donate on someone’s behalf
This year, charities have been hit hard by their fundraising events being cancelled. Find a cause close to your friend’s heart and donate on their behalf. For some ideas, many local food banks also take donations of presents for the children of families they support. Or you can buy an e-gift card for emergency supplies for refugees through the Choose Love website.
4. Adopt an animal
There are lots of different organisations that run animal adoption schemes. Whale and Dolphin Conservation will send you very sweet monthly updates on how your adopted whale or dolphin is doing, and if you’re near Scotland you might be able to spot them.
5. Choose ‘Experiences not things’
This cliche may be a little worn out by people selling expensive ‘experience days’, but the idea is still sound. There are plenty of free or low cost, local things you can do, like organising a walk with your friends or learning something new together. Look out for charities auctioning experiences as part of their fundraising. Reduce the amount of ‘stuff’ in the world and gift someone a day they’ll remember instead.
6. Give the gift of yoga
Buy someone a gift card for online yoga with EkhartYoga 🙂 so they can have a little yoga escape from the festivities. If you’re a member yourself you can pick a program or playlist to follow together. Or sign your loved one up for a relaxing yoga retreat.
7. Choose gifts that give back
Support small, local businesses with strong ethical policies. More and more companies now operate on a buy-one gift-one basis, or donate a share of their profits. Look for companies who give back to communities, like Article 22 who employ local families in Laos to create jewellery from shrapnel and weapons, making the area safer and providing a decent wage in the process. Check any wrapping paper you use can be recycled (lots can’t) or choose reusable fabric wrap.
8. Buy second-hand
Buying pre-loved presents means less impact on the environment and more for your money, whether you’re buying someone vintage clothes, antique furniture or second-hand books. And when you buy from charity shops you’re also directly supporting organisations from local hospices to international aid organisations like Oxfam. Charity shops are also perfect places to donate those novelty Christmas socks should you receive them – someone else will love them.
9. Make a DIY yoga bolster
Everyone loves a bolster! A few restorative yoga poses with a bolster before bed can make all the difference to gettng a good night’s sleep. Even if your friends are not into yoga yet, bolsters make great cushions and draught excluders! Make your own.
10. Create a yoga playlist
Recreate the nostalgia of receiving a mixtape! Give someone your time and effort and show them you care by putting together a personal playlist to practice to. Check out Anna Sugarman’s Spotify yoga playlists for some music ideas and inspiration.
Have a great rest of 2020 – however you choose to celebrate it!
This is unsponsored and unaffiliated content, we’re just shining a light on companies and charities we think are doing good in the world.