Whether you deck the halls the second October flips into November, or you wait until closer to the big day, the winter holidays are approaching and the gift guides are coming out.
For the past few months, our family has really embraced a zero waste journey. We’re nowhere close to zero waste, but we’ve already significantly reduced the amount of waste we generate, and we’re hoping to make more sustainable changes in 2020.
I thought I’d jump on the gift guide train and put together a few quick gift guides of sustainable products that my family and I have come across (and loved) this year, in case anyone on your list is looking for ways to cut back on plastic/waste/single-use items.
For the Bathroom
It may not seem like the most glamorous gift, but why not put together a basket of sustainable bathroom/ self-care products? Your basket could include: bamboo toothbrushes, toothpaste tabs, compostable dental floss, compostable loofahs, washable makeup rounds, and shampoo and conditioner bars.
We switched to shampoo and conditioner bars a few months ago and it has been hands down one of my favourite sustainable swaps. A lot of companies are starting to make them (Lush, Love Beauty and Planet, etc) but ours are from Unwrapped Life. I love the variety they offer. The shampoo lathers up really well and after 3+ months I feel like we’ve barely put a dent in our bars. This product is long lasting and when it’s gone it’s just that: gone. No plastic bottle to add to the landfill. You can spring for the cute gold travel tins too. I love ours. This would make a great gift on its own!
We also switched to bamboo toothbrushes and crush and brush toothpaste tabs. Bamboo brushes can be composted or used in the garden to stake plants, but FYI – for most brands the nylon bristles need to be removed prior to composting. The tabs take a bit of getting used to, but they keep plastic toothpaste tubes out of our garbage. The tabs come in a glass jar and you can buy refills. We also got compostable floss that comes in a glass flosspot. It’s just another small part of the plastic we’re reducing from our bathroom waste bin! You could stick one or all of these low-waste products into someone’s stocking this Christmas.
Another switch I made was gifted to my by the wonderful team at Tru Earth. I swapped out my disposable makeup wipes and cotton rounds for these reusable, washable bamboo fibre makeup remover rounds. The pack of 14 rounds comes with a mesh bag to keep them all together when you wash them. They’re so soft and – again – a zero-waste option for anyone who wears makeup or uses cotton rounds to apply facial products. These would make a cute gift tucked into a stocking.
Depending on how well you know the person, you could consider a menstrual cup as a gift. They reduce a significant amount of waste (according to some stats, the average menstruating woman uses 20 tampons per cycle. Multiple that by 12 months. That’s a lot of tampons and plastic applicators getting tossed in the garbage) and only need to be changed roughly every 12 hours. It’s almost like the set-it-and-forget-it equivalent of menstrual products. The only issue here that I’d caution against is not every product fits the same. The first brand I tried didn’t fit comfortably and I experienced some issues with leaking. Someone advised me not to throw in the towel and to try out a different brand and lo and behold, I found a much better fit with the second brand. This is a great swap to make, but maybe a gift that I would steer clear of unless specifically requested. There are also companies making washable menstrual pads. I haven’t tried them (yet) but it’s an avenue worth exploring. Check out brands like Hannah Pad or Luna Pad.
One item on my wishlist is a reusable safety razor. My go-to has always been the multi-pack of disposable razors, but realizing they all end up in the landfill has me rethinking these convenient purchases. I like the rose gold model from Lisse – mostly because I saw it on Instagram and was heavily influenced – but I’m open to any kind. I like the idea of switching out blades rather than tossing out an entire plastic razor after only a few uses. Plus at the rate I shave my legs, these blades will last a long time in between changes.
Other great ideas to toss into a gift basket would be sustainable sponges like ones made of konjac (which is compostable – Urban Spa makes one, so does Saje), or a jute scrub (this Tingle Mint one from Saje smells divine), or have a crafty friend knit a shower pouf for you. Anything made out of reusable or compostable material here is the key.
Hope this gift guide gives you some ideas if you’re thinking about gifting some sustainable bathroom/self care products.
Is there anything else you’d add to this list? Let me know in the comments!