Our top feel-good gift ideas for 2023
First up, the most sustainable Christmas gifts are the ones we don’t buy at all. There are plenty of other ways to celebrate and honour the ‘season of giving’ that aren’t wrapped in paper (or plastic). You can gift your time, energy or resources, you can gift experiences, you can shop second-hand for rare and meaningful gems, or you can cook or bake your way into the hearts of your loved ones.
Sustainable gifting can also involve exchanging your own things – like books, toys or clothes – that can be wrapped up, opened and reloved for years to come. It’s the circular economy in action (but make it Christmas).
Eco-friendly gifts for babies and kids
When it comes to sustainable baby gifts or presents for the kids in your life, it helps to go in with a mindset of quality and longevity over, well, a whole bunch of plastic stuff the kid probably won’t ever look at again.
- B Corp Olli Ella creates timeless dolls and toys that emphasise diversity and are crafted using natural and mindfully sourced materials.
- The Fair Trader Store has a wide selection of high-quality baby toys that have been sourced with sustainability in mind, with items made from materials like organic cotton, homespun wool or sustainably sourced wood.
- Older kids will value vouchers for experiences – like the movies, trampolining centres or bowling alleys – instead of things. We guarantee, the memories will last longer than the thrill of a new toy.
Sustainable gifts for her, him, them and every adult
Looking for a special gift for eco-conscious friends and family who love to support brands that align with their values?
- Bank Australia customers and certified B Corp Underwear for Humanity (who we recently profiled on the blog) make sustainable, ethical undies with a great impact.
- HoMie is a Melbourne-based streetwear label and social enterprise that supports young people affected by homelessness. Their products are ethically made and their REBORN upcycling factory has saved thousands of garments from landfill.
- Ozeano sells homemade, plant-based sustainable sunglasses. The best bit? With each pair sold, you fund the removal of 6kg of litter – the equivalent of over 500 plastic bottles – from our oceans and waterways.
- Donate to an Australian environmental not-for-profit on behalf of your loved one for a gift that gives back to the environment.
Sustainable and ethical Indigenous gifts
Christmas is an excellent opportunity to support First Nations-owned businesses and showcase mob excellence. Just make sure to do your research before you buy. Unfortunately, there are many fake and replica products out there that don’t originate from, or provide any benefits to, Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander people.
- Welcome to Country, a social enterprise online marketplace, has a huge range of gifts that directly benefit Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander artists and communities. They also offer experiences that can help anyone better connect with the world’s oldest living cultures, right here in Australia.
- Aboriginal owned and operated Clothing the Gaps (whose foundation is a Bank Australia customer) is a social enterprise that lets people wear their values while campaigning, educating and elevating Aboriginal peoples' voices and causes.
Eco-friendly gardening gifts for nature lovers
Present shopping for your favourite green thumb? Here are some gift ideas for gardeners.
- For a gift that gives back to the environment (and doesn’t require shipping or excess packaging), buy some seeds or plants from your local nursery or community garden.
- Start propagating some of your plants now and gift them in a vessel you can repurpose from home, like an old mug with a broken handle or a clay pot you paint yourself.
- Registered B Corp Biome, an online eco-market, has a large range of organic gardening and plant-care supplies, from composting kits to grow-your-own mushroom boxes.
Sustainable food gifts
Sustainable food gifts are always a safe bet. Who doesn’t love a good meal, or meal accompaniment?
- Experiences are one of the most sustainable gifting options for any occasion. Give your favourite foodie a voucher for a restaurant they love, an upskilling course (like a knife-sharpening class), or a cooking experience, like the ones run by Bank Australia customers Free to Feed.
- Certified B Corp Huskee’s reusable cups are a stylish, sustainable and spill-proof solution for your preferred warm morning beverage.
- Market Lane Coffee, another B Corp and Bank Australia customer, sells Australia-wide coffee subscriptions so the java-lover in your life will never run out of fresh coffee again.
- Coconut Bowls do exactly what they say on the box – they turn coconut shells into simple, beautiful and sustainable tableware. Plus, they’re B Corp certified.
Sustainable gift wrapping
The best gifts for sustainability lovers don’t stop at the present itself.
We’ve all had a case of Christmas cringe when the recycling bin is as stuffed with single-use wrapping paper as our stomachs are with pavlova. If environmentally friendly gifting is on your mind, consider some more sustainable gift wrapping options, too.
- Start saving up any newspapers, kids’ drawings or butcher’s paper to reuse as wrapping paper.
- Try the Japanese art of furoshiki, using fabric wrapping (think old bandannas or scarves) that can be reused for many Christmas celebrations to come.