Going green during the holiday gift shopping season is not as difficult as you might think. With some practical guidelines and a little bit of effort, you can easily find gifts that are both interesting and easy on the planet. Don’t forget, apart from all the celebrating and guilty self-indulgence, the spirit of the holidays is also about goodwill, so it’s a perfect time to show your child how rewarding it is to go green. Knowing there are many who believe going green is dull, and anything prefixed with ‘eco’ is hardly appealing, we are hoping to change your mind. Here is our list of planet-saving gift ideas that might just prove, ‘green is the new black.’
Spotlight Green Picks
Whiskey Barrel, RMB1,452
In partnership with Trees for the Future Non-Profit Organization, Original Grain plants a tree when any watch is sold. This eco-friendlier organization also generates jobs and income for families in Senegal. Using only natural hardwood and stainless steel, they promise every timepiece is unique and, better still, comes with a story of giving back to the community. On top of that, they offer free-shipping worldwide.
UseDem Bag, RMB280-660
Ever since denim was introduced to the world in the 19th century, it has never been out of fashion. According to Statistic Brain, over a billion denim jeans are sold around the globe every year. And where do the old ones go? UseDem, a Shanghai-based project founded by Russian designer Xenia Sidorenko, sets out to give all second-hand jeans a new life by transforming them into cool, hip denim bags. You can order your one-of-a-kind denim bag, or, if you want to be extra good, donate some of your old jeans from the bottom of your wardrobe. E-mail them at email@example.com or visit their shop on Huaihai Lu. See listing here.
The Smog Free Ring
Remember the story about a Dutch artist who exhibited a tower-like air purifier in Beijing? The Smog Free Project is still ongoing with the Indian government planning to install the giant smog vacuum towers in their industrialized cities. With this project, they hope to raise awareness around the importance of a cleaner globe. By collecting smog particles from the polluted urban air, the team pressurize the pollutants and turn the bad into the beautiful, in the form of tiny cubes that adorn rings. The Smog Free Ring can be ordered by contacting firstname.lastname@example.org, a pretty awesome gift in the season of goodwill!
Starting with a campaign that asked people to think twice about buying their usual daily ‘to-go’ coffee, KeepCup has the alternative. They have managed to produce a zero-waste product that supports their initial campaign and helps reduce the consequences of convenient, disposable coffee cups. With a trendy design, light weight and multiple color and size options, KeepCup can be a behavioral changing gift for any friend or family member. They also encourage you to design your own KeepCup, and thankfully you can purchase them from Tmall handy (Scan code from Alipay).
Some Other Ideas for You to Think About
PVC free, the wood is sourced from sustainable forests and provides excellent sound from its acoustic properties, available on Taobao.com (scan code from Alipay).
Honey Sticks Crayons, RMB75
Made from beeswax and non-toxic pigment color, you can find them on Taobao.com (scan code from Alipay).
Animal Rattles, RMB87
Handmade with 100 percent yarn.
Original Cork Yoga Mat, RMB789
Using 100 percent recyclable materials, handmade and specially crafted. Apart from it’s natural sturdy texture, the raw cork also provides a slip-free surface with anti-microbial benefits.
Rekindled Candles Collection, RMB50-350
In addition to the natural materials in their hand poured candles - soy wax, cotton and paper wicks - they also provide a refill program where customers can bring back their empty jars, and trade them for a discounted replacement candle.
Rekindled Candles Collection, The Shanghai Gift Company, RMB50-350. See listing here.
Paper Tiger Wrapping Paper, RMB15
Created and printed in Shanghai, all their paper uses 100 percent recycled paper and soy-based ink. Each sheet of their paper also comes in double-sided designs.
Gifts For a Good Cause
Going green is good for the planet and going philanthropic is good for the community in which you are supporting. This season why not purchase specially made gifts from Shanghai Sunrise, a charity organization dedicated to breaking the cycle of poverty by raising funds for educational scholarships and life skills programs for underprivileged and at-risk young people.
Shanghai Mug, RMB50
Coffee mugs featuring artwork of The Bund designed by a local artist and former Shanghai Sunrise student.
Coaster Sets, RMB50
A set of six cork coasters designed by a former student, featuring an evening scene amid the winding alleys of Shanghai's lane houses.
Finally, if you're still needing to make your house festive, be sure to use our helpful guide for where to find decorations in Shanghai.