7 tips for sustainable gifts

When making presents, we intend to make someone happy and put a smile on his face. That way, gifts are fun. But far too often we feel obliged to make a gift, and buy random things just to hand over something. I am involved in sustainable subjects every day and, of course; don’t want to leave the issue aside when it comes to presents. And yet, I had no idea what it means to make green gifts – which is kind of sad. If you search online for green or sustainable gifts, you mostly find common gifts, yet their eco-friendly alternatives: organic and fair produced cuddly socks, scarves, lotions, candles and treats. We have digged a little deeper and present some ideas for greener gifts!

Stream at fall in the Black Forest. © Hotel Lamm
The way we choose our gifts impacts the environment, such as spots like these in the Black Forest. © Hotel Lamm

Sustainability = Durability

For sustainable reasons, you might consider the impact of your chosen gifts on the environment. Today, the term primarily implies environmental protection, but also embraces the preservation and protection of natural resources, biodiversity, health, human rights, labor law, and animal welfare. Let yourself be inspired by the following tips on how to make your gifts fairer, better, and greener:

Tip 1 – Avoid useless gifts

For the above-mentioned reasons, you might reassess if your loved ones need the gift. Be honest, most of us have more than necessary – and sometimes we only buy a present because we feel obliged. That is why our first tip is not making “nice to have” presents because it’s you duty to bring something useless (how many tea light holders does a person need?).

Bee hive at the hotel garden. © Creativhotel Luise
The managing director Ben Förtsch is checking the bee hive in the hotel garden. © Creativhotel Luise

Tip 2 – Save and protect resources

Meaningless gifts needlessly use up resources and probably end up in a dusty box in your basement or on landfills. So, what about a donation or a sponsorship?

  • Donate to a non-profit organization
  • Sponsorship for whales
  • Sponsorship for bees
  • Buy a tree or take a sponsorship for a forest, e.g. with Wohllebens Waldakademie (German only)
  • Seed bombs instead of a flower bouquet, e.g. via Seedles (US)
  • Pens with integrated herb seeds
  • Postcards with bee-friendly flower seeds for planting

Tip 3 – DIY and be creative

There are no limits to creativity. A nice side effect of DIY is appreciating things again since you are not taking them for granted. Our ideas:

  • Specially mixed granola including your best friend’s favorite ingredients
  • A ready bottled baking mix and the matching recipe
  • Knitting or knotting: scarf, socks, mobile phone cover, cap, etc.
  • Up-cycling from old textiles to shopping bags or cool pot rags
  • Chocolates
  • Home-made chocolate bars loaded with various toppings
Organic, vegan wine from Tuscany. © i pini
Vegan and organic wine, biodynamically grown in Tuscany. © i pini

Tip 4 – Green gifts for the wellbeing of nature, animals, & humans

And in case you choose “the usual” gift (which I fully understand, because I also like to give away sweets and care products), just pick its green alternatives:

  • Natural cosmetics
  • Bee wax candles
  • Certified clothing made of natural fibers
  • Biodynamic wine
  • Fair trade chocolate
  • Treats without palm oil
  • And best of all in organic quality

Tip 5 – Buy locally

In recent years, there has been a lot of criticism about large online delivery services and their poor handling of employees. So, the motto is: support your local dealer! A book from the local bookseller strengthens the regional economy, secures jobs, the people are treated well, and you get an individual and personal advice! A great thing to support by purchasing 😉 And it’s the same for

  • Regional wine from the wine maker next door
  • A plant bought at the nursery around the corner
  • A visit to the small, charming pastry shop instead of the large coffeehouse chain
View of the Bay, Seychelles. © Cerf Island Resort
Spending time together enjoying the view of the bay on the Seychelles. © Cerf Island Resort

Tip 6 – Well being & spending time together

Wellbeing is good for your health. Stress seems like the new standard just like personal top performance seems natural. The numbers of burnout diseases are not increasing by chance. That’s why well being and time are our winners:

  • Time for two, during an extensive walk in fall sun
  • A delicious, home-made meal
  • A voucher for babysitting and tickets for the favorite band
  • A visit to the snappy satirist, so one can have a good laugh again
  • A reading of the favorite author
  • An adventure excursion such as the climbing forest, a parachute jump or cannoning
  • Or you may pamper your loved ones (or yourself ;)) with a relaxing spa treatment
  • Even more ideas for joint activities can be found, for example, at Zeit statt Zeug (engl. time instead of stuff)
Elegant spa area and pool. © Lifestyle Resort Zum Kurfürsten
Perfect relaxation at the sustainable spa hotel near the German river Moselle. © Lifestyle Resort Zum Kurfürsten

Tip 7 – Gifts from our Green Pearls

Whether it’s time together or a special souvenir: you can also find unusual gift ideas at our partner hotels:

Special organic souvenirs are available for example

Do it yourself at the HUBERTUS Alpin Lodge & Spa

  • Simply mix your own lotions with natural ingredients in a workshop

Or how about a spa-holiday for two?

  • Spend time together and indulge yourselves at the huge spa area of the Lifestyle Resort Zum Kurfürsten at the German river Moselle
  • Recharge your batteries at the Ayurveda hotel Amaya Lake in Sri Lanka
  • Relax at a basic salt bath at the Hotel Lamm in the Black Forest
  • Or give away a soothing hot-stone massage amidst nature at the Cerf Island Resort on the Seychelles

We hope you could draw some inspiration from our ideas!


Cover image: © Adobe Stock / fedorovacz