It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas… not only the Christmas tree in EADA’s entrance hall is set up, but we are also all slowly starting to get ready for Winter Break as we finish our courses and exams. This also means that it is time to get your gifts! The EADA Sustainability Club has put together a list of ideas for sustainable gift giving that we hope will provide some inspiration. Hint – always check for green credentials (Fairtrade, Ecocert, GOTS organic) if you’re unsure about the source of a product. Let’s get those (sustainable) gifts ready for Christmas!
Most of the time when we try to come up with a gift for our loved ones, we think about material presents. But have you ever considered giving a do-good gift with a less tangible value? These presents create value for people in need, for the planet or for certain causes and thus have a good conscience guarantee for your giftee.
- Refugee support: The Choose Love store sells real products for refugees and gives you the opportunity to give something to someone who has nothing. The “products” that you select will be delivered to refugees facing winter in the most difficult conditions. The focus is on emergency needs, daily survival and building a future including hot meal, warm clothes, firewood, education for children and mental health support.
- Offset your barbon footprint: With a carbon neutral subscription, you can calculate your yearly carbon footprint to pay a monthly fee to offset your emissions. (https://my.mindfulmission.earth/en/home)
- Local Covid-19 relief: Donations for Covid-19 in “La Marató” is a foundation that fosters and promotes biomedical research whilst also raising social awareness about diseases, with this year’s focus being Covid-19.
Sustainable household and practical gifts
There are sustainable alternatives to all of the products that we use in our daily life like coffee mugs, water bottles and make-up. A nice knock-off effect is that they will think of you every time they use your gift.
- Kitchen Utensils: That’s a wrap! How about beeswax paper instead of cling film or aluminium or fruit and vegetable cotton nets instead of flimsy plastic bags in the supermarket?
- For the real eco-warrior: Get a nut milk bag to make your own plant-based “milk” – yes, it’s a thing!
- Reusable bottles or cups: If you know someone who still gets their coffee in disposable cups, it’s time to give them a little nudge. It’s 2020, people – throw away culture is so last season! There are lots of options for reusable water bottles and coffee mugs. Check out Klean Canteen, Chilly´s, Swell and Keep Cup.
- To complement your to-go set: When a cup is not enough! Check out straws made out of stainless steel, bamboo or reed, or how about some reusable cutlery?
- Refillable jars: These jars can be used for leftovers, homemade food and store-bought “dry” foods.
- Sustainable cosmetics: Reusable makeup remover pads or solid shampoo and conditioner bars make a great gift.
- Dried flowers: This is a great alternative to traditional fresh bouquets…and they will last until next Christmas! Ask your local flower shop about options.
Sustainable fashion gifts
Who doesn’t like getting a new pair of socks or a pullover for Christmas? Clothes are a classic Christmas gift, but this year you can show your family what the gifts of our generation are made of by prioritising sustainably sourced and recycled materials.
- A voucher for a second-hand store or local/ethical fashion brand. Brands to fall in love with include Twothirds, Armed Angels, Dariadeh, Organic Basics, Ehrlich Textil and Staiy.
- A repair or DIY set for clothes.
- Eco-friendly, fairtrade or recycled jewellery. Check out BRUNA The Label, Stilnest and Purelei.
- Need a new piece of luggage? Check out Wayks for modular Backpacks made out of recycled PET.
Sustainable gifts for the real sport fan(atic)
- Ethical active wear for a workout session that makes you feel extra good. Take a look at Seela, Pama, HeyHoney and Patagonia.
- Yoga mats made from natural rubber or recycled materials. We are fans of HejHej Mats and Lotuskraft.
Food gifts that make you feel good about eating
Food is usually a safe gift idea. This year, you can move beyond simply buying food that tastes good – shopping and supporting local food stores and buying products with certified ecological ingredients or fair-trade certifications such as tea or chocolate (e.g. slave-free chocolate from Tony’s Chocolonely).
Your favourite book
How about a very different approach: Instead of buying something new, take something you already have and give it a new life! What about that book that you’ve already read 6 times? Can you give it to someone special who will love it too? Your sustainable example may make it particularly special to them.
Gifts for the little ones
Still searching for a present for your niece, nephew, godchild or children? Ethically-produced wooden toys are a great present and much more sustainable than plastic alternatives.
Have a heart for the odd ones out!
Fruit and vegetables that aren’t cosmetically “beautiful” can still be made into great products. Espigoladors is a non-profit organisation that fights against food waste and raises awareness on the topic – they make delicious jams, creams and patés out of fruit and veg that is less than perfect aesthetically. Many shops throughout Barcelona sell their products.
- Check out pages like Odd Box that offers to deliver surplus and odd fruit and veg from the farm. Could this be the perfect gift for one of your loved ones?
Already have a gift? Rethink your Christmas present wrapping!
- The magic words here are like always reuse and recycle! Wrap your gift in (your local) newspapers or use a nice silk scarf or piece of fabric you have at home. Reusable jars or boxes are also a nice idea. There are even reusable gift bags – who would have thought?
- Not good enough for you? Take a look at more ideas here.
The list could go on and on, but we wanted to be done before Christmas (which is surprisingly soon!). We hope we have given you a little inspiration to rethink some traditional Christmas presents and wish you and your family a wonderful holiday!
About the authors
This article was written by the EADA Sustainability Club Leadership Team, made up of Alexandra Berendes and Helene Schnelle from the Master in Sustainable Business & Innovation; Tomas Zanchetti, Esther Vilaseca, and
Bálint Pokoly from the International MBA.
The Sustainability Club is a co-led initiative between EADA and the participants that includes all the extracurricular initiatives with a deeper focus on responsible management, social impact and sustainable business. The Club serves as a hub for multidisciplinary debate and initiatives related to sustainability and is open to all full-time programme participants, faculty and institutional stakeholders.