You were so busy lately. So much work or studying, a lot of responsibilities, kids or pets, cleaning the house, you name it. Or you were busy doing nothing and you just forgot. Your phone beeps and there it is. A reminder that a loved one’s birthday is tomorrow and you have very little time to look for that perfect gift. Moreover, your loved one leads a very eco-friendly lifestyle. A gift that you could buy fast, wrapped in tons of plastic just won’t cut it. So what do you need?
To get a last-minute eco-friendly gift you have several options.
- You can buy something online, a digital magazine subscription, or an eco-friendly subscription box.
- Or you make something that won’t take too much time; using materials that you would usually have lying around the house. Try to make a surprise in a mason jar. You can bake something, or you can prepare a nice house plant.
- You need something that is readily available in a close-by shop and won’t take you too much time to go and buy. For example, you can buy/make an abundance basket or a nice bottle of wine.
Sounds difficult? I will prepare a list of options from these 3 categories, having the planet and the environment in mind. Any of the items will take only 60 minutes to buy or make. You can relax, read my list and pick the right one for you. As I am helping you with all this; you have spare time to make a handmade card to add to any of the chosen gifts. A personal message will improve any gift that you will pick.
If you want to learn more about what does it mean to be eco-friendly, check out this article where I cover everything from the product stages, materials, to certifications, and much more.
In this category, the card you are making is probably the most important. As the gift won’t be physical at this moment, you might need to describe the gift, and explain method the delivery of the gift.
Reading is a pleasure for many people. Some prefer reading magazines instead of books. Unfortunately, magazines add a lot to the amount of paper we waste and send to the landfill on a daily basis. Most magazines are printed on not eco-friendly paper, are not recyclable, and get outdated fast. Luckily, nowadays there is a great win-win solution. You can buy an online magazine subscription for Kindle. You can search for magazines in categories such as Crafts & Hobbies; Home & Garden; Cooking, Food & Wine; Health & Fitness, and others. The kindle subscriptions are inexpensive, so you could even buy more than one.
If you want to take it a step further in the eco-friendly game, check out a magazine dedicated to green living. Mother Earth Living magazine, the authority on green lifestyle and design. Each issue of Mother Earth Living features advice to create naturally healthy and nontoxic homes.
Alternatively, you can buy Amazon Kindle Gift Card, so that the person can pick their titles, ebooks, or magazines themselves.
Eco-friendly subscription box
If you prefer to buy something physical, you can buy a subscription box that will get to the Bday girl or boy’s house every so often. Today, make that card that we talked about, where you inform her or him about the gift. The gift will come later. Subscription boxes are exciting because they involve a waiting period and mystery contents of the box. If you choose the right company, they do a great job sourcing products that are eco-friendly, ethically responsible, use natural ingredients. Cruelty-free, organic and non-GMO, gluten-free, fair-trade, and include little or no packaging.
My recommendation for a more traditional gift box that ships in the US, Canada, and also globally is EarthLove. A seasonal subscription box filled with eco-conscious goods for leading a holistic, more earth-centered life. You can expect to see 6-8 full-size items in each box; spanning different categories like snacks, teas, books, wildcrafting, wellness, apothecary, aromatherapy, beauty, outdoor, gardening, home decor, apparel, accessories, and more. You can choose to buy only one box, or buy a subscription with up to 4 boxes.
If you are looking for a more unconventional subscription box, what about a Gardening Subscription box that ships within the US? Bloomin Bin offers a monthly subscription box for gardening experts and novices. Each month, they’ll send seasonal seeds to plant. You can choose between 4 levels of bins, the most basic one contains only seeds. The most advanced one contains the seeds of the month, it may include live plants, the first month comes with a custom binder to hold the seed instructions. After selecting the bin level, pick how many months subscription (1, 3, 6, or 12) you want! I really love this option for a last-minute eco-friendly gift, what about you?
The last online purchase I will recommend is a vegan meal kit service that ships within the US. Why vegan? Lessening the consumption of meat is a very environmentally conscious choice. Animal agriculture affects the environment in a great way by, for example. producing many greenhouse gases, polluting the soil, etc.. With Purple Carrot the person who will receive the box will have a chance to get more acquainted with vegan cooking. If they are already vegetarian or vegan, they will appreciate the convenience of the delivered ingredients and new exciting recipes. The one thing I do not like is that the ingredients come in plastic bags, these, of course, need to be recycled properly.
When purchasing, you can decide how many servings you want to gift (2 or 4), and how many weeks of delivery (1, 2, or 4 weeks), each week will deliver 3 recipes. The box comes with all the ingredients already measured and separated by the recipe and comes with a nice recipe book.
Make it yourself.
In the next category, I decided to challenge myself to, make a list of gifts that you can make yourself, in under an hour and with materials you would normally find lying around the house. I hope your house and mine are similar.
Surprise in a mason jar.
Glass is one of the most eco-friendly materials, so lets put it to use. I am sure you have a spare mason jar or jars in the kitchen (or another nice glass container). Now we need to find something to fill it with. I will give you ideas and you see what you have in your house and what to use.
Mason jar surprise ideas
- All the dry ingredients for making cookies, measured, and layered in the jar. The layers will give it a nice look, and then the person will just need to mix in the liquid and bake them. Use your favorite recipe and add mixing and baking instructions.
- Fill the jar with healthy or (not so healthy snacks): nuts, seeds, dehydrated fruit, candy, or whatever you have handy and you know the person will love.
- Fill the jar with tea leaves and mix in some spices to prepare a special tea mix (add cloves, cinnamon, ginger, dried fruits, or other).
- You can use bath salts to fill the jar, it would be ideal if you have different colored salts and you could layer them.
- If you really don’t have any of these ingredients at house or cant quickly get them from the nearest shop, you can get creative and fill the jar with messages for the Bday person. Pick a topic depending on your relationship. My tips include: 25 reasons why we are best friends, 30 reasons why I love you, 20 reasons to always keep in touch with you.
When you have your jar or jars ready; decorate them with a piece of cloth and a thread. You can hang the card, a message, an explanation, or the recipe for the cookies.
Nothing until this point worked for you. You are really in a hurry and don’t have a jar, or any ingredients at home. I hope you have plants. You can choose one of your own plants to be your gift, many people love receiving a nice plant. To make things more special, why don’t you decorate the pot. You can paint over it and leave a message on the pot. You could glue jute or other threads, nice fabrics, or lace on the pot and make the pot much nicer.
Maybe you are a great baker, and you happen to have your favorite cookie recipe ingredients on hand. Cookies usually don’t take more than 1 hour to make, and everyone loves cookies! Make sure to find a nice box or basket to make the gift more visually appealing. Add a handmade card with a message and you are good to go!
Buy in a nearby store
No need to go to a mall or specialized store. The last option is to make a quick run to a nearby store and buy something that is eco-friendly, and at the same time makes for a great gift.
If you have a nice basket, you can run to the greengrocery store and prepare an abundance basket. Fill the basket with nice, fresh fruits and veggies and some nice local products they might sell at the shop. Its a spin on a food gift basket, but prepared by yourself and with fresher and nicer items and without any unnecessary packaging. Add a message in a hand made card.
Nice bottle(s) of wine
My last tip, if nothing else worked, is to buy a really nice bottle of wine (or few). It is such an easy and quick gift to buy than and it will most likely be appreciated! Add a personal note and a card, and remind the new owner to recycle or re-use the bottle(s).
After you have chosen the best gift, you might need to wrap and decorate it. I have written a whole article on eco-friendly ways to wrap a gift. Read it and get inspired so you don’t mess your green gift with plastic wrapping. In this article, I cover how to reuse what you already have in your house for wrapping, some non-traditional ways of wrapping including a Japanese traditional way of wrapping called Furoshiki. Moreover, I give tips on how to tie and decorate the gift.
I am not using any affiliate links, everything I recommend is because I like it and think it is useful. Feel free to search for different options in the same products category.