Natalia Lasakova 10 Ethical Gift Ideas

10 Vegan & Eco-Friendly Gift Ideas

With Christmas less than a week away, many of us are frantically still trying to come up with creative and meaningful gift ideas for our loved ones. Eeek! But don’t panic. There are a plethora of ideas well within reach – despite the time crunch.

When shopping for holiday gifts – or gifts in general, it’s important to keep in mind that our purchases directly determine the kind of companies and economies we support. In a time of increased social and environmental awareness, shopping sustainably has never been more prevalent. You’ve probably noticed the dozens of companies in Toronto alone, dedicated to minimizing their ecological footprint by promoting sustainable and ethical business models.

While it’s no secret that eco-friendly vegan products tend to be higher in price, know that your purchase generates an enormously positive impact for the individuals who produced it, the environment from which resources are extracted and the ethical and fair-trade economy you build by supporting cruelty-free products.

Check out these 10 vegan, eco-friendly and gender-neutral gift ideas to give you that extra boost of encouragement!

Disclaimer: this post is not endorsed in any way and purely reflects either my own positive experiences or great reviews given by others.

For the body

1. Jewelry – Looking for cruelty-free statement pieces? Check out Jewels by SJB –  a total lady boss based in Toronto who shares her love and compassion through hand-made vegan jewelry.

2. Shoes & accessories – Prior to going vegan, I unintentionally discovered Matt & Nat (no pun intended) – a vegan leather company that sells shoes, handbags/laptop cases and wallets for the comfort-seeking vegan (male or female) for a fraction of the price of mainstream leather handbag brands. The inside of their bags is even made of recycled plastic water bottles!

For the home

3. Produce bags – As plant-based consumers, our meals naturally revolve around fruits and veggies. Farmer’s markets in the summer time make it easy for us plop our goodies in our reusable bags, but when it comes to doing larger grocery runs in the winter time, resorting to plastic packaging becomes more convenient. Investing in reusable produce bags not only helps the environment, but it’s also a sanitary and healthy way to transport and store your produce!

4. Bamboo products – Bamboo, a type of woody grass grown in the tropics, is a great sustainable replacement for plastic as it uses no chemicals or pesticide fertilizers to produce. Best part about bamboo products, such as toothbrushes – they’re biodegradable!

5. Bea Johnson’s ‘Zero Waste Home’ book – Bea is the ultimate QUEEN of zero waste. She and her family live a completely zero waste lifestyle and generate about a mason jar’s worth of trash per year. Crazy right?! The secrets and tips shared in her Zero Waste Home book make for a perfect gift!

For good health

6. Vitamins and supplements (B12, spirulina, or chia/flax/hemp seeds) – As vegans, we swear by our super foods and vitamins. Why not give the gift of health this holiday season?

Carbon footprint-friendly ideas

If you’re on a budget this holiday season, or just wanting to reduce your overall consumption, check out these alternatives:

7. Bake or cook your loved one a delicious vegan meal – (personal favourite way to lure my non-vegan friends and family to the compassionate side).

8. Thrift one-of-a-kind gems – Toronto’s Kensington Market is thrifting central! Check out stores like Bungalow, the Vintage Depot or Courage My Love for pre-owned gems.

9. Make DIY home-made gifts – While this idea may be slightly more time-consuming, framing old photos or writing personal notes and letters are guaranteed to melt hearts.

10. Suggest a hike or an outdoors activity – Plan a day trip to a local or provincial park, a skating date to Harbourfront or a ski trip up to Blue Mountain for the more adventure-seeking souls.

Most importantly, remember that no materialistic possession will replace the sweet company and priceless experiences this holiday season.

Happy Holidays!

Natalia Lasakova

I'm a passionate plant-based bean, adventure-enthusiast and a (wannabe) Chris McCandless protégé. When I'm not studying away finishing my undergrad degree at U of T, you can find me outside somewhere chasing nature or following my passion for writing!