22 ethical & eco-friendly christmas gift ideas

Now that Christmas is around the corner, it's time to present to you the ultimate minimalist, eco-friendly, ethical Christmas present guide! Christmas and the surrounding months are for some people synonymous with shopping mania, to-do lists, and stress and for those who want to avoid that, we have some cool tips. What's better than giving gifts with meaning, that are great for the planet too? Minimalism is actually about having fewer choices, and thereby less stress in your life. What could be better than that?

  1. Buy tickets to a musical/theater/cinema/concert/stand-up comedy show/art gallery opening. If you are looking to be more original, what about looking for outdoor movie screenings or a trip to the sauna in the Oslo fjord?
  2. An invitation to go for a cool hike, maybe plan it as a weekend getaway, and stay the night at a cabin in the woods. We recommend Trolltungen if you live in Norway.
  3. Homemade gifts are always a winner (except maybe those you brought home from the ceramics class in 3rd grade?). What about granola (we have a delicious suggestion here), sauerkraut ( this is a great recipe) or crisp bread? Give it in a big glass jar with a gift-band tied around, and you will be begged to make more.
  4. A treatment at an organic spa. In Oslo, we suggest testing out Greel Peel and in Lisboa we love Organii. In Copenhagen and Bali, you can enjoy a luxurious, organic experience at Hotel Guldsmeden
  5. Minimalist kit - everything needed for people who often buy food/drinks at cafés to take away, and don't want to use so much single-use plastic. Something like this.
  6. To the true environmentalists, a thoughtful gift is a washing bag that prevents microfibers from your clothes to enter the ocean. Radical! Guppy bags are cool.
  7. Organic makeup or cosmetics. Some favorites worth mentioning are: Evolve Organic Beauty (in Oslo you can find it at Green Spirit), ZAO nail polish without toxic ingredients, The Body Shop has tons of goodies, Dr. Organic's facial scrub with Manuka honey, and Eco Minerals mineral foundation.
  8. A homemade “gift card" to go second-hand shopping!
  9. Sustainable swimwear from the amazing brand Halla Halla.
  10. If your mother/sister/father/boyrfriend/friend is into yoga, we recommend that you have a look at Hejhej yoga mats!
  11. Eco-friendly candles is a super cool gift. There are tons of brands online, or most likely in your closest mall or health store.
  12. Lingerie in organic cotton. Oysho and Lindex have some affordable choices.
  13. If they are into more luxurious eco-conscious brands, check out Mara Hoffman, Reformation, and Stella McCartney
  14. Sunglasses from W.R.Yuma that are 3D printed from plastic waste. Just amazing.
  15. If the person is into surfing, you should check out these sustainable surfing brands: Eco Fins surfboard fins made from recycled waste,  Bees Knees natural organic surf wax and EcoLeash from the Ecosurfshop.
  16. The "perfect" white T-shirt made from sustainable materials from The White T-Shirt Co.
  17. For the pricier gifts, have a look at Patagonia. The company is taking huge steps towards sustainability!
  18. Sustainable water bottles are very popular, and some types have such a nice design too.
  19. Take away cups are lovely gifts for the coffee or tea lovers.
  20. Check out ethical gifts from charity organizations - you can give away vaccination, invest in building a school, providing a birth certificate or give a family goat.
  21. Order used books from Amazon, or give a Kindle or a subscription to an audiobook app or Spotify!
  22. Give a subscription to a city-bike!

Other tips for an eco-friendly Christmas

  • Use newspaper as gift wrapping, and decorate the presents with thing you can find in nature, like pines
  • Recycle the wrapping
  • Swap a meat meal for a veggie meal
  • Make a plant-based hot chocolate with homemade hemp milk instead of using cows milk

Have a lovely pre-christmas time!

3 ways to go green today

As rational beings we tend to look for results of our actions, which in the big picture sometimes are hard to find. Therefore, we looked up three simple actions with a positive effect for your environment.1. Does it matter if I use a plastic straw?It is estimated that by 2050 there will be more plastic than fish in the water if we continue to consume like we do today, as this previous post points out. #Stopsucking on single use plastic straws when you buy a drink.2. Does it matter if I use plastic bags every time I buy food?5 trillion disposable bags are used each year across the world (1). We use the bags for 12 minutes on average, but they remain in nature for thousands of years. About 10% of the bags end up in the oceans.     The production of plastic bags requires millions of gallons of petroleum. Sea turtles often mistake plastic bags for their favorite food (jellyfish) and may choke on them. So maybe this is just a habit which is quite easy to quit or at least consider.San Fransisco was actually the first state to ban plastic bags already in 2007. In 2016 France became the first country to ban plastic bags entirely. In France it was estimated that 17 billion plastic bags were used each year and 8 billion were just discarded in nature. So, yes! It does matter. France also banned the use of plastic cups, plates and cutlery, which comes into effect in 2020 (2).4. Does it matter if I eat meat everyday?Scientists have found that by pursuing a plant based diet, you can cut your carbon footprint by 50%. Animal agriculture accounts for more greenhouse gases than the combined effect from all transportation (3). Having a meat free Monday can be the personal sacrifice with the largest environmental impact of them all - one day per week of replacing red meat and dairy for veggies can cut your annual emissions by the equivalent of a 1900 km car ride. Thats like driving from Oslo to mid France!Every single step matters, no matter how small!(1) http://www.theworldcounts.com/counters/waste_pollution_facts/plastic_bags_used_per_year(2) France: http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/europe/france-bans-plastic-cups-plates-cutlery-energy-transition-for-green-growth-a7313076.html(3) https://www.paulmccartney.com/news-blogs/news/meat-free-monday-the-facts