Clementine on a white marble table

Eco Friendly Christmas Gift Ideas

The planet can really use our help right now, so I’ve compiled some eco friendly Christmas gift ideas to get your sustainable juices flowing. If we each take a few simple steps, we can reduce waste footprint, and lighten our impact on the environment. If you’re looking for ideas this Christmas that might make it easier for your friends and family to take a few baby steps in a green direction, I’ve listed some great gifts below. That way, we can give the Earth a little something, too. Even small steps to save the planet are steps in the right direction.

If you are able to shop locally and support your neighbourhood small businesses, that’s fantastic, please do! But for those who live in small towns or remote areas, or who hate the din of city sidewalks, all the items below are available online, and will help you flesh out your Christmas gift list with a few eco friendly ideas.

I have also included some ideas for wrapping it all up at the bottom, so you don’t have gobs of waste to kick to the curb on Christmas morning.

Eco Friendly Christmas Gift Ideas

Cookbooks

Gorgeous cookbooks are an asset to every kitchen. We all know that a few more meatless meals will go a long way to help the planet, and these are some great options for culinary inspiration.

Travel Mug

This amazing thermos keeps coffee hot for 12 hours. For real. It’s also beautifully made, and an elegant way to get your morning jolt.

Water Bottle

These s’well bottles are so chic, and they really do keep your drink icy cold for 24 hours. This was hands-down the best gift I received last year. I get compliments on it constantly.

Reusable Coffee Filter Cups

If you know someone who uses a Keurig, please get them a reusable K-cup. It will save them heaps of money, and will help save the planet from all that incredibly damaging waste. Tuck these in with a nice bag of roasted fair-trade coffee, and the java-junkie on your list will be two steps ahead.

Organic Sheet Set

This gorgeous 500 Thread Count set is luxurious, practical, and sustainable. This would be such a great gift to receive!

Handkerchiefs

Handkerchiefs are an elegant alternative to tissues (well, as elegant as it gets, when it comes to wiping your nose) and since you’re doing laundry anyway, you might as well toss these in each week and save a few trees. Bundle with a mug and some soothing sustainably sourced herbal tea, and you have a winter cold and flu emergency plan.



Reusable Shopping Bags

These 2-pack of organic cotton shopping bags is really heavy duty and the handles are long enough to fit over your shoulder. You’ll be so glad you have them in the trunk when you go shopping! You could hand paint or monogram them, if you want to give a personalised gift…

…or this 4-pack, if you’re looking for compact and indestructible. They fit right in a purse or pocket in case you’re prone to forgetting about the gorgeous canvas bags you keep in the trunk (not that I’m speaking from experience or anything).


Socks

Not everyone loves getting socks, but these ones are pretty nifty. Fancy mismatched stripey socks made from 100% recycled cotton would be fun to wear. Other colour combinations available too! If you’re nervous the recipient might be the socks-are-a-terrible-gift type, pair them up with some local handmade chocolates.


Sprouting Kit

For the health nut on your list, this amazing sprouting kit comes with everything needed to grow your own alfalfa! It’s really gratifying to see these little seeds grow, and they’re so good on sandwiches, or to add a little green to your plate. They’re also incredibly healthy.

Gifts in a Jar

Give consumables. Buy in bulk and hand make jams, jellies, pickles or preserves, packed in glass jars. Or make some Epsom Salt bath soak with some essential oils, flower petals, or herbs. The possibilities are endless. And because glass jars are infinitely reusable, it’s the gift that keeps on giving.

Organic Wool Dryer Balls

These are on my wish list this year. Made in Canada from premium sheep’s wool, these dryer balls are a boon in the winter months when we can’t hang our clothes to dry outside. I’ve heard of folks putting a few drops of lavender oil on these before use, leaving unmentionables smelling mentionably gorgeous.

Other Ideas

  • Wine is a great gift. It’s celebratory, and comes in recyclable glass bottles. At a loss? Get Prosecco. Trust me.
  • Kiva gift cards are a great way to help your friends help others around the planet.
  • Experiences, like dinner at a local restaurant, tickets to the theatre, or a trip to the local art gallery are fun and boast a low environmental impact.
  • Wrap up one of the above gifts in a silk scarf or some scrap fabric. If you know how to sew, you could even make a big batch of reusable wrapping bags to use each year. That would be an amazing gift in itself.
  • Reuse any and all paper gift bags you get, as well as ribbons and bows.
  • Use flat wooden ornaments as gift tags within your family, and reuse them each year.

We can all probably manage to take a few more steps in an ecological direction. Climate change is endangering the planet, and each of us can afford to be a little kinder to the environment, while spreading holiday cheer. After all, ‘is the season for everything evergreen, right?

image of two passes to a brewery tour

A Year of Dates

A few months ago, I decided to invest in a Year of Dates to share with my partner. Best. Gift. Ever. For both of us.

stack of envelopes containing date night ideas

It had occurred to me that since the birth of our son, we had gone out with friends a few times, and attended some really fun events , but we hadn’t been on a single date for nearly two years. In fact, our last date had been the night before he was born–a glorious quiet dinner in our favourite pub, and then a great movie at the nicest cinema in town. The next morning I went into labour and life was forever changed with a new addition to our already adventurous family. And like most busy parents, we are now desperately in need of mandated time for just the two of us, so read on to see what I did!
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Industrial Style Shelving hack from reclaimed wood and gas pipe fittings konmari

KonMari with a Family

After hearing about the tidying frenzy initiated by organizing guru Marie Kondo, we decided to take the plunge with our own variation of KonMari with a family. We were reluctant at first, to be honest.

A friend had been telling me about the book, the life-changing magic of tidying up–which I had heard of but hadn’t bothered to read (pshhht–I already know I’m a tidy, organized person). But she started talking about the special folding method Kondo prescribes, so I exclaimed, “THERE’S SPECIAL FOLDING?!?” and promptly ran to the bookshop.

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Curried sweet potato and coconut soup for a friend. Recipe forthcoming on the blog. #vegan #soup #coconutmilk #whole30 #getbetter #cancersucks #healingfoods

Curried Sweet Potato Coconut Soup

This Curried Sweet Potato Coconut Soup is a great nourishing recipe to have on hand if you’ve got vegan guests coming, or friends with severe allergies. It’s delicious and comforting, and really simple and satisfying at the same time. And just about everyone can eat it.

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Top Ten Whole30 Essentials

Whole 30 Hardcover BookAs we’re prepping for another Whole30, we wanted identify the Top Ten Whole30 Essentials that helped us succeed last time with the task of clean eating for a month. If you haven’t heard of it, read all about the Whole30 Challenge here. Because we’re in Canada, some of the items listed in other Whole30 roundups are hard (or impossible!) to get, so the items here are all available in the True North.  The affiliate links below will lead you to the Amazon.ca site, so be aware of that if you’re reading this roundup from other places in the world! I’ve listed some of the items and products that made our Whole30 easier, and more exciting that we expected. It truly is a privilege to eat this way.

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toddler in sandbox with truck

Toddler Talk

Our darling boy is talking up a storm. Toddler talk is a strange form of poetry, full of unique pairings. His words often showcase his truck-flavoured vocabulary, like “Oh no, simpleton!” which means the flattened bag on the road looks like it was run over by a steamroller, or “Munga Tacta” which means Gramma has tractors near her house. Recently, he has taken a shine to a certain fairytale, and woke up the other day exclaiming “Come ON, Sinuwah!” which I’m pretty sure means he thinks Cinderella is shirking her duties at our house. (more…)

Vegetables

Whole30 Week Three

Week Three was a busy one, and there were a few fun challenges to meet on our Whole30 adventure, but we were pretty impressed with how easy it has been to adapt our plans to include healthy options. And in the surprising results column this week? My underwear are falling off. (more…)

Vegetable Garden

Whole30 Week Two

We’ve just passed the halfway mark in our Whole30 challenge, so I’d like to share our experiences from Week Two. We started this to reset and recharge our bodies, and have already taken away much more than we expected from this adventure!

If you’re new to the party, please click here for a recap of our Week One on the Whole30 Challenge.

Here’s a roundup of how we ate during Whole30 Week 2, with some notes on our progress, at the bottom.

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view of clouds from the airplane

Seaside Vacation

Every year we make the family pilgrimage to the East Coast–and this was one of the best visits yet. Fresh breezes, rolling hills, hours on the beach, and of course, time with family. It’s always a busy visit, seeing the whole clan, but we insisted on building quiet time into our schedule this year, and were lucky enough to have near perfect weather for most of the trip. Here are a few of the highlights of the simple pleasures we basked in during our vacation:

Our wee boy got some quality puddle time after the morning rain.

Puddle

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Fresh #vegetables ready for #roasting... all in the pursuit of #soup! #whole30 #delicious #tomatoes #garden

Whole30 Week One

We’ve decided to take the Whole30 Challenge to reset our physical health and test our discipline this month, with surprising results. If you’re not familiar, the Whole30 Challenge is 30 days of eating only vegetables, fruit, and clean protein. That means eating grass-fed or pastured meats, free range eggs, and wild-caught seafood, along with plenty of vegetables, fruit, and nuts. (more…)