OH, December and all the holidays you bring. Time for joy, happiness, snow, tea, cozy sweaters, good food and piles and piles of plastic decorations, wrapping, toys, air pollution and empty wallets. To not even mention the stress of “what to buy?” and jammed shops. Giving gifts should be fun and thoughtful and environmentally friendly gesture of love and friendship.

And as I was made and shaped in Yugoslavia and my family is far from religious, we were celebrating only New Years. We had our beloved Dedek Mraz, based on Russian legend Ded Moroz (literally, “Grandpa Frost”). I would now say he wears a little bit too much fur and leather, he is like a stylish version of Santa. This photo was taken on one of those company parties they would organize for all kids of the employees. We would get oranges and candy and maybe a book. At home, Dedek Mraz brought gifts at midnight on New Year’s Eve. At home parents would we would get some cookies, pajamas, socks, slippers, coloring books,…

Weather Chrismas, New Years, Dedek Mraz or something else here are

25 Sustainable & minimalist & vegan and other good things ❤ GIFT IDEAS

  1. Bulk spices, coffee, tea, candy that you can pack in a cute jar or reuse some nice paper box.
  2. Natural soaps, bath bombs, oils in glass or without packaging.
  3. Homemade beauty products: lip balm, body scrubs, bath bombs, soap. But only if you know they like them and will appreciate the gift.
  4. Self-made müsli mix, made from all the ingredients they love.
  5. Self-made DIY cookie mix, packed in glass bottle/jar with an added recipe.
  6. Fruit and nut basket.
  7. Handmade beanies, gloves, socks.
  8. Locally or self-made pottery.
  9. Tickets for cinema, theatre, opera, concerts, sports events. I suggest you buy two tickets if possible. It might be more fun for them to take somebody with them. 🙂
  10. Reuse some of your old USB sticks and upload an album of photos from a trip you took together with that person.
  11. Voucher for local restaurants, spa, ski resorts, trip, brewery or winery tour.
  12. Organic olive oil, wine, vinegar, ….. from a small family business.
  13. Self-made chili, lemon, or herb olive oil.
  14. Voucher for cooking, dancing, pottery (me me me ) or any other class they might like.
  15. Custom made a voucher for free babysitting/dog sitting (done by you), washing the car, cleaning the house, drive to the airport, cooking for them, haircut, …
  16. Homemade cookies & cakes, jam, juice…anything that you might be good at making.
  17. Cute reusable coffee mug, thermos, water bottle or stainless steel lunchbox.
  18. Subscription to online music, movies, books, podcasts.
  19. Small bags of lavender or other flowers that will keep their closet, room, clothes smelling amazing. I keep one lavender bag under my pillow (can´t take Island Hvar out of me).
  20. Essential oil defuser and some eco essential oils.
  21. Vegan candles.
  22. Vintage thrifted treasures: art, jewelry, clothes, LP´s, ….
  23. Plants. Maybe grab so easy-to-keep-alive-plants if they don´t have a green thumb. Like cacti. 🙂
  24. Eco-friendly reusable tote bag or basket.
  25. Charity donation in their name. Some ideas: Greenpeace, Four paws, SOS Children villages, The water project, or visit generosity.com for a lot of great projects and charities that need your help.

Keep it low waste, simple and beautiful

Wrap your gifts in recycled and recyclable paper and decorate them with some rope (from natural materials), pine branches, dry flours or some pine cones. I found some nice cotton bags for small gifts, lavender. Make them customized cotton bags, you can also agree to reuse every year. You can get creative and draw something on the box, use newspaper, old wool to make some pompom decorations, wrap it in s cool scarf, or simply don´t wrap it at all.

Don’t try to push your values on others

I want to mention also, tolerance and understanding that others might not be on our planet-loving zero waste level. They might not appreciate us giving them a menstrual cup, homemade toilet paper or body cream with a funny smell and might even be offended by our gift. It will probably end up in the trash. The same way as you don’t want them to push their expectations on you, don’t push yours onto them. Meet them somewhere in the middle with gifts I mentioned.

Thank you for giving a shit about environment,


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