Pildora’s Last Minute Sustainable Gift Guide
During the bustle of the holiday season, we are often scrambling to find the perfect gifts to share with family and friends. Between our busy schedules and errand runs, it’s always tempting to pick up a random item at the drugstore, throw a bow on it and call it a day.
However, that often means purchasing a gift without considering its purpose or how it might impact our environment.
Instead of dreading the hunt for a great present, focus on finding a meaningful and sustainable gift for your loved ones, quickly and easily. Since we are only days away from Christmas, we have compiled a handy list of our favorite New York City spots to find last-minute gifts. Each item is made consciously and practically to be better for our planet.
1. Greenmarket Holiday Goods
New York has a lively variety of farmers markets, most open year-round. While some around this time of year have daily holiday-themed and gift-focused stalls — like those in Union Square or Bryant Park — you can find more sustainable gifting options at the traditional farmers markets. Save time by checking to see which vendors will be present at a market location near you and planning what you to get on the way over.
What to get: Anything from handmade soaps in minimal packaging to locally baked goods to local beer. (We are slightly obsessed with the vegan goodies from Body and Soul Bake Shop.) Take a stroll through any of the Greenmarkets around the city and you will see plenty of potential gifts.
Grunbag is an innovative Danish brand that makes stylish bags and backpacks with repurposed industrial materials — things like tarps, old lifeboats and sails — that would have otherwise ended up in landfills. These unconventional materials are extremely durable and weather resistant. Grunbag even uses sustainable packaging: they ship with second-use cardboard and use recycled film for shipping labels.
What to get: Get a Grunbag virtual gift card emailed to a friend or family member so it will arrive before Christmas. They can pick which type of bag and material suits them and order it online.
3. Cora Ball
The Cora Ball is changing the way we do our laundry. Throw it in with your wash and it collects microfibers and microplastics, keeping them out of the water and away from the aquatic organisms that they can harm. These microplastics come primarily from synthetic materials and are invisible to the naked eye, but cause problematic pollution that harms animals. By preventing these tiny materials from entering the waterways and the food chain, we’re also making sure that humans don’t consume them.
4. Reusable Cutlery Set
Whether your friend, co-worker or sibling loves to get a take-out lunch or packs the ultimate anti-sad-desk-lunch, a compact and reusable cutlery set is the perfect gift. It’s both practical and sustainable. Whether buying one made from sustainable materials (like our recommended bamboo set) or putting one together with traditional flatware (you can find great vintage cutlery at Fishs Eddy in NYC), it’s a thoughtful gift that can be picked up quickly.
What to get: We love this bamboo set at Package Free Shop, one of our favorite zero-waste stores located in Williamsburg. They also have lots of other great stocking stuffers, like compostable toothbrushes and reusable coffee mugs, that can weave sustainability into anyone’s everyday routine.
5. Zero Vest & Leggings by Malaika New York
Zero-waste designer Malaika New York is known for her innovative approach to fashion design, bold style and high-quality garments. Her best-selling Zero Vest is a versatile layering piece that can be dressed up and down, and worn to work or a special holiday event.
What to get: Find the Zero Vest online (shipped free in the U.S.!) and pair it with her silver leggings — they have upcycled bike tube details for a little holiday flare — to make the perfect gift for your stylish loved one. You can also find her designs at select boutiques in NY like Dreams On Air.
6. Zip Up Hoodie by Zero Waste Daniel
If you have a friend who loves to be comfortable in athleisure wear but has a playful style, Zero Waste Daniel is the perfect place pick up a last minute gift. ZWD is changing the fashion industry piece by piece (quite literally) by creating original fabrics from upcycled waste-scraps.
What to get: The zip-up hoodie is one of our faves, and it’s made right in their shop in Williamsburg.The sweatshirts are comfortable, totally unique and come in different color combinations. Get the pants, too, to create our favorite travel suit. (And if you’re going away this holiday season, consider picking a set up for yourself as well.)
Use this guide to help you shed some stress and find thoughtful, sustainable gifts for all the people on your shopping list. Let us know what meaningful purchases you’re making this holiday season!