Christmas is near – the time of giving, sharing, and caring. The commercialism behind the holiday makes me detest this time of year at times, but the kindness often expressed by many is quite humbling.
I do believe, however, these acts of compassion should not only be restricted to the six weeks lead up to Christmas. Whether it is taking the time to volunteer at a hospice, giving away some leftover lunch to the homeless or simply doing friends and family a favour because you just want to, these actions will brighten someone’s day, whether it’s Christmas Day or an ordinary Monday.
In the New Year, I am looking to be involved in more community projects and volunteering role – both at home and through my travels. I also hope to vote with my money – use brands that promote a conscious lifestyle, buy products that promise a positive environmental impact and invest on items that will aid me in my journey to sustainability.
This brings me to my gift guide/wish list for 2015. Created primarily for family members who are stuck for ideas, but also for those who want to receive gifts that will enhance their lives, as opposed to the usual tack we have all been beneficiaries of in the past few years.
I’ve listed gifts and experiences I’d like to receive myself, as well as gift to others. Many options have a healthy and active lifestyle, with a conscious travel footprint, in mind. Though not an entirely zero waste approach to Christmas, I believe many of the ideas listed will be used often and treasured most, as everyone welcomes the New Year.
Abel & Cole Organic Box Subscription, from £7.50
Why not gift your loved ones an organic fruit and veg box subscription? Whether you’d like to start the New Year with healthy habits, or simply up your kitchen game with understated British produce, an Abel & Cole subscription seem to tick all the right boxes.
From haute cuisine, to twists on old favourites, courses vary at the cookery school. Suitable for foodies or budding cooks who seem to have everything anyway – you know the type, the ones who own the latest kitchen appliances, and possess both the paper and digital versions of the must-have cookbooks of the year. This is for those people.
Stainless Steel Bento Boxes, from £15
Definitely better than the plastic Tupperware tower we currently have at home, stainless steel lunchboxes make for a great lunchtime accessory. They’re BPA-free, and you don’t get the odd taste sometimes attributed to storing food in plastic containers – a great pet peeve of mine. They will most definitely last longer than their plastic counterparts, too. Perfect for travellers, health food enthusiasts and newbies, or those very busy people in our lives.
FitBit Flex, from £49.99
Is there a gift guide this year that does not feature a heart rate or activity tracker?! As I become more conscious of my everyday physical activity, a FitBit seems like the perfect tool to own. I plan to travel more in the New Year, and with often limited options for exercise, this is a great way to track my fitness progress whilst on the road, as well as aid in continuously seeking ways to be more active in 2016.
This Asics pair will be great for more races, more hikes, more cycling, and, generally, a more active lifestyle in the future. The vibrant colours available make it suitable for running in the dark. This pair is cheaper than others in the range – great if you’re a beginner runner like myself.
Thanks to the Cruely-Free app, any conscious consumers can now search for any brands of interest and obtain information with regards to the welfare involved in manufacturing their products. NYR is an obvious contender for UK-based customers. I admit that their products are on priced quite dearly – but if you’re looking to vote with your money, NYR is a brand worth supporting.
The try-me kits they offer are perfect for a luxurious yet conscious gift option this Christmas.
My mother introduced me to this chic French brand, after a family friend visited from Paris with beauty recommendations. Their signature huile prodigieuse is fantastic. It’s a great oil to suit any night-time face routines or for finishing off any hairstyles after applying some heat treatment to it. The NUXE perfume is wonderfully musky and sophisticated – the bottle it is contained in is gorgeously understated, too. It’s a brand which promotes the use of the plant kingdom and the advantages of doing so. NUXE is also known for its environmentally-responsible outlook – what’s not to love?
Handmade soy wax candles – they are made using the finest ingredients, burns cleanly, and are biodegradable. If you love relaxation, pampering, and wintry smells, this tin of Mandarin Spice will send you into a winter wonderland – as it did when I had a sniff around at a local boutique. Upcycle the container tin to your heart’s content afterwards.
Vegan 1461 Doc Martens, £100
Though my personal style would not necessarily be associated with a pair of DMs, I have been seeing a couple of lookbooks which perfectly incorporate them with a minimalist and monochromatic wardrobe. I spotted this vegan pair at a Doc Martens supplier in Florence this summer, and they have been on my wish list since.
I understand the list isn’t exactly zero waste or totally environmentally-friendly, but the brands promoted and experiences provided will help anyone make more sustainable choices in the future.
What do you think of this gift guide/wish list? What’s on your gift list; will it help you reach your goals for 2016? Let me know in the comments below!