This month, Melbourne is celebrating the Sustainable Living Festival. With more and more people becoming environmentally-conscious, the question of what to give friends and family for their birthday while caring for the planet is becoming increasingly common! If you’re not ready to completely give up the tradition of gift-giving, we’ve compiled a list of eco-friendly gift ideas that will satisfy even the most diehard eco warriors!
Tagua Nut Jewellery
Also known as vegetable ivory, the tagua nut is an incredible seed that comes from the Tagua Palms native to South America. Being plant-sourced, it is a vegan and sustainable alternative to animal ivory or plastic, and it makes absolutely stunning jewellery! Based in Colombia and Ecuador, the people that make Tagua Nut jewellery are paid fairly for their work so they can support themselves and their families.
Shop Tagua earrings online here.
If you want to get your loved one something truly special this year, Ngwenya Glasses make a unique and beautiful gift. Handmade and mouth-blown in Swaziland from recycled glass from former wine glasses and soft drink bottles, each glass is individual and made with love and care. The glasses are made according to Fair Trade principles, and the organisation works with its local community in Swaziland to foster a sense of environmental awareness, as well as assisting with the construction of schools and other community projects.
Beeswax wraps make excellent gifts because you can never have too many. The wraps can be put in a home compost or worm farm when they’ve reached the end of their life as they are made from all natural ingredients. As if this wasn’t sustainable enough, the wraps we stock are made in Australia, out of a little studio in beautiful Mullumbimby.
For kids or your crafty bestie, we also have DIY Kits so your loved ones can have fun making their own beeswax wraps!
Cutlery On the Go
Your sustainability warrior mates have been BYO-ing their containers to their favourite takeaway joint since before you even knew what a Redcycle was. But every time they sit down to enjoy a picnic in the park, they realise they left their cutlery at home. Cue the cutlery swag - this bad boy consists of bamboo cutlery wrapped up in a handy little pouch. Your friend can leave it in their bag for their next picnic, or it can be taken on the plane so they can refuse plastic utensils on board.
There are few things in life better than a freshly brewed cup of chai. Rainbow Chai is the most sustainable and ethical chai going around. The tea is biodynamically grown in the highlands of Sri Lanka and the company runs entirely on solar power. The tea is Certified Organic and Certified Fairtrade. The spices are also Certified Organic. Now that is a good cup of chai.
Shop Rainbow Chai online here.
Robert Gordon Reusable Cups
A lovely gift to accompany a box of Rainbow Chai is one of our Robert Gordon ceramic reusable cups. Made close by in Pakenham, Australia and glazed-to-order, these cups come in a variety of pastel colours and patterns that are minimalist and beautiful. The only risk is that your friend’s coffee addiction may become more severe because they want to use their new cup all the time!
Recycled Paper Earrings
These fun geometric earrings are made from recycled paper pulp from magazine waste paper. Not only are they good for the planet and super stylish, they are also good for the people that make them. The earrings are made fairly by women in Swaziland, empowering them by giving them the opportunity to earn a sustainable income and support their families. The women artisans are employed full time with permanent contracts, giving them job security and a living wage.
Shop Quazi Design earrings online here.
Products can be purchased in store at Croydon South and Northcote, subject to availability.
Written by Bec Sykes