Sustainable Gift Giving Guide 2019

There’s nothing I love more than giving gifts. I’m one of those people who prefers to give gifts rather than receive them. I just love to see the smile of a loved one light up when I give them something that is meaningful. However, a lot of people don’t love the holidays because of the emphasis on consumerism rather than time with friends and family. I don’t believe that gift-giving in itself is bad, but that they should be given with intention, selectivity, and consciousness in mind. The majority of products today are made using toxic chemicals, low-wage labor, and are not made with longevity in mind. Even if the product is made sustainably, it still takes a lot of resources to make because we are all still reliant on the fossil fuel industry whether we like it or not. Therefore, we should look for gifts that will be meaningful, useful, and last beyond next Christmas/Hanukkah. Here are my top picks for sustainable gift giving!

 

Alter-Eco Chocolate:

This certified B-Corp is sustainable from the inside-out. They use 100% organic and GMO-Free ingredients, invest in the well-being of farmers, source from small-scale farms, and piloted the world’s first compostable stand-up pouch. I also love how their co-ops practice dynamic agroforestry, which according to Alter-Eco, “…strives to mimic the natural evolution of the forest.” Agroforestry enriches the soil, supports a variety of plants, and manages pests without the usage of pesticides. My favorite product of theirs is the cherry and almond butter coconut clusters. If cherries or almonds are not your gift-receiver’s thing, you can also choose from other cluster flavors, truffles, and chocolate bars.

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Image is not my own and comes from the Alter Eco website.

Anything from Tamga Designs:

When you purchase something from Tamga, you are wearing a work of art. Not only are Tamga designs some of the most unique I’ve seen, but the company is also dedicated to using fashion as a force for social good. They pay their workers a living-wage and are very transparent on their website about the factories they use. Tamga uses sustainable materials such as Modal from sustainable beech-wood forests, Tencel that recycles 99.8% of water and solvents, GOTS certified Organic Cotton, and OEKO-Tex 100 dyes free from harmful chemicals. I would highly recommend a scarf or headband as a gift. Here’s a pic of me wearing the Nila Scarf Toba, as well as an up-close picture of the pattern.

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Ten Tree Clothing:

Do you want to shop and fight climate change at the same time? For every item you purchase from this company, ten trees are planted. Ten Tree has a goal to plant 1 billion trees that will sequester carbon from the atmosphere by 2030. They’re already well on their way by having planted 30 million trees in 8 different countries. I find that a lot of sustainable clothing brands just sell basic solid colored items, but Ten Tree clothes feature neat designs such as constellations and woodblocks. Best of all they use sustainable materials such as organic cotton, hemp, tencel and recycled polyester in their clothing. If purchasing an article of clothing is out of your budget, you can also purchase socks, hats, and towels from Ten Tree.

 

To-Go Ware Bamboo Cutlery:
If you want introduce your loved ones to the concept of zero-waste, this is a great gift to give. Not only does the bamboo look chique, but the set is lightweight and I love that To-Go Ware has a holder to put the utensils inside of. The zero-waste lifestyle can be overwhelming and this is a great first baby step for anyone interested in being more conscious of their waste. 

Honeybee Gardens Eyeshadow Palette:

Out of all of the eco-friendly eye-shadows I’ve tried, Honeybee Gardens is my favorite. They are by far the most pigmented and durable eyeshadows I’ve tried and don’t crease after an hour of wearing. Their palettes are my favorite because they choose colors that go together well. Honeybee Gardens is also one of the more affordable green-beauty brands, with the palette costing $27. This unfortunately can be the price of one eyeshadow color for many green beauty brands. I love how they work with the National Resources Stewardship Council to obtain ethically-sourced and child-free mica and regularly test for heavy metals in their cosmetics. The palette is also recyclable and refillable. I highly recommend the Canyon Sunset Eyeshadow Palette, which won the Delicious Living 2018 Beauty & Body Award.

Here’s a pic of me wearing the eyeshadows

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Pela Phone Case:

This is the world’s first and only compostable phone case. This phone case doesn’t look like someone stitched hemp and elephant poop together, but rather is elegant and sleek. They come in a plethora of colors with cute designs featuring honeybees, turtles, mandalas, as well as a more classic design. Pela phone cases are compatible with most cell phone brands such as the Iphone, Samsung, and Google. Pela uses renewable materials such as starch, natural fibers, and flax shive. When you’re done with your Pela case, you can either compost it or can send them your case through their Pela-Cycle program to be recycled again.

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This photo is not my own and comes from the Pela Case Website

Tiny Beautiful Things by Cheryl Strayed:

Okay, so this book doesn’t have anything to do with environmental sustainability, but this has seriously been the best book I’ve read this year. This is a collection of letters that Cheryl Strayed received while working as “Dear Sugar” for The Rumpus and her responses to them. The problems that these people are dealing with are raw and real and have no easy solution, if any at all. I love Cheryl Strayed’s compassionate but yet direct advice that she gave. This book is like wearing a sweatshirt blanket on a cold day with a cup of hot chocolate in your hand, except in the form of a book. Tiny Beautiful Things is guaranteed to light anyone up and I would especially recommend giving it to those going through a difficult season in their life.

BuymeOnce Gift Card: Do you have a family member or friend who’s tricky to shop for? Instead of buying them a gift card to a big-box store, get them one for BuymeOnce. BuymeOnce is an online shop that fights against planned obsolescence by finding the highest quality products on the market. They sell a wide range of products including, but not limited to, clothing, technology, kitchen appliances, home décor, and so much more. Many of the products sold are made out of sustainable materials and even if the product you’re buying isn’t eco-friendly, it will at least be guaranteed to last for years to come.

The best part about eco-friendly gift-giving is that it’s an excellent way to introduce loved ones to conscious consumerism and for them to see that sustainably made products can be chique, cool, and fun.

What’s on your eco-conscious wish list? Let me know in the comment section.

 

February Favorites

I’m a little bit late for this but February was a month filled with favorites!!! New makeup, , tv show, books, the list just keeps getting longer and longer. How about we start with some makeup!!!

Makeup:The Pacifica Enlighten Eye Brightening Palette : I love makeup, but don’t wear it a lot because my skin feels best bare-faced. However, I have been wearing more than I usually would lately and that is partly thanks to this palette from Pacifica. If you want a more in depth review, check out this post  I wrote a few weeks ago. To give you summary though, this eye-shadow palette is affordable, blends perfectly, sports beautiful colors, isn’t filled with nasty ingredients,  and overall are just some of the best pressed eye-shadows I’ve ever used. I’d highly recommend this palette. Here are some eye looks I’ve made with colors from this palette for the past month:

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Fashion: Colored Fleece Lined Leggings- These were a birthday gift for me and each of them were on sale for only $12. I got them in dark grey (my favorite shade of grey), navy, and burgundy. I’ve basically been living in these leggings for the past month. They are beyond comfortable and keep me uber warm, something that is vital for me to have in winter clothing because I get cold like nobody’s business. I am now wearing skirts more often as well because I have warm leggings that can go underneath. I used to say that I was a jean person, but now I think that I’m a legging person thanks to this birthday gift. Fleece lined leggings, in my opinion, are a winter staple that isn’t mentioned often enough. Therefore, my biggest piece of advice to you is GET SOME COLORED FLEECE LINED LEGGINGS ASAP! :P.

Here is a picture of me wearing them in navy and burgundy:ootd

Meee

Television Show: FULLER HOUSE!!!

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OMG I can’t talk about this series without screaming like a little girl!!! I was a huge, Huge, HUge, HUGE, HUGE fan of the original Full House when I was a kid. To emphasis how big this obsession was, I used to stop playing outside everyday at 4:00p just to go and watch Full House. I’ve also seen every single episode ever, multiple times. After I finished it, I always wondered, what are the Tanners up to now? And voila the year 2016 came and dreams came true. The revival was everything a dedicated fan could have wished for and more. The series is extremely nostalgic, but definitely does not utilize it as it’s sole fuel, like the critics claim. It has an incredible original platform to go off of to channel a new series while still keeping the essence of the old show. Plus DJ’s boys are adorable! I’d recommend this show for anybody who doesn’t take things too seriously/can appreciate non-sophisticated humor (that was the critics problem aha), is looking for something lighthearted, and loves family shows. Now for the best news!! They are going to make more episodes! Season 2 is coming back in 2017! Life is tough, but beautiful folks, and if Fuller House isn’t proof of it than I don’t know what is.

 Book: Please Ignore Vera Dietz by A.S. King

Loved this book!!!! This books is everything you could want in a book;  tragedy, humor,  uplifting, heartwarming, and unique are the words I think of when this book comes to mind. To give you a description, this book is about an 18 year old girl, Vera, who is haunted by her dead best friend Charlie, telling her to clear his name. Vera is an extremely likable but yet dynamic character. She isn’t stuck up, disrespectful  ‘cuz she’s just a teenager and that’s how all teenagers act’, hates her parents for no reason, or is only obsessed with boys like other young adult female characters. The words she speaks and the life messages she gives I think will resonate with every reader. It’s a bit slow getting going but once it takes off, it takes off!  This is one of the most honest accounts of growing up I’ve ever read and I’d highly recommend it to anybody, whether you are a teenager or 99 years old. A.S. King has a very distinctive style of writing and I hope to read some of her other books in the future.

Songs: Diamond in the Rough Shawn ColvinLet’s Dance David BowiePride (In the Name of Love) U2Hallelujah Panic at the DiscoThe Who Baba O’ReilyPhantom Flower Step RocketsHolding Back The Years Simply Red

Photograph I’ve Taken:

Reflections