When we were younger, getting a practical gift was almost always a disappointment – for me it was ugly knitted jumpers! Now that I’m an adult who already has a lot of stuff, a practical and reusable gift is something I absolutely love to open and put to good use. Reusable gifts keep on giving and are perfect for replacing wasteful, disposable products with eco-friendly versions.
There are so many great gifts to choose from so we decided to list our top 15 favourite . All of these items are durable, high quality and look great.
1. Beeswax Wraps: Ditch the plastic wrap and switch to an organic cotton cloth infused with beeswax, jojoba oil and tree resin.Great for wrapping cheese, fruits, sandwiches or left overs in a bowl. If you’re feeling crafty DIY Beeswax Wraps are also available and leave the house smelling great!
2. Certified Organic Bath Towels: These quality towels are great for people and the planet. Our top choice is created by the Wholly Grail Hub which is ethically made from certified organic cotton and fairtrade producers. Their towels are so soft and fluffy it feels like you are drying yourself with a cloud. Available in white, stone and charcoal they will match any bath decor.
3. UnPaper Towel Wipes: Say goodbye to wasteful paper towels and hello to reusable unpaper towels. Made from super absorbent cotton flannelette,these all-purpose wipes are perfect for eco friendly families and can be used for almost anything including an addition to a baby’s changing station, face wipes or a funky statement piece in the kitchen.
4. Reusable Coffee Capsules: If you are the type to make a coffee at home, then these reusable capsules by Podsta are the perfect gift for you. They are made to last a lifetime with its high quality food grade stainless steel body. Just one capsule saves 700 single-use capsules from being produced and disposed of each year. How good is that!?
5. Hemp Backpack: Hemp fibre is strong and flexible, making a hemp backpack perfect for everyday use. These ones from Happy Cow have a wonderful contrast between the vintage-look vegetable tanned leather and the off-weight beige colour of the bag itself. The bag looks and feels tough – because it is.
6. Reusable Makeup Rounds: You will wonder why you ever used disposable makeup rounds once you have used these Reusable Hemp Rounds. The best way I can describe how these feel on your skin is super soft and luxurious. Simply wash them in a delicates laundry bag along with your regular washing.
7. Bamboo Bento Box: Bring your food to work or school in this unique container and know you’re helping the environment by skipping single use plastics. Our EarthStor containers are made of bamboo flax, bamboo wood and plant derived adhesives that allows for a strong yet lightweight fibre to be created. No PLA (corn plastic) are used as their binding agent but instead cassava root and aloe.
8. Bamboo Cutlery Travel Set: The perfect companion to your bamboo bento box. This cutlery travel pouch is great to keep in your bag or car to avoid any unnecessary waste when eating out and about. Say goodbye to plastic, and hello to your Reusable Cutlery Set.
9. Reusable Straws: Among the top 10 items found in the ocean are plastic straws and stirrers. Most recycling facilities don’t process the type of plastic used in plastic straws, which means most end up either in landfill or washed down storm-water drains and into the ocean when not properly disposed of. The reusable versions come in all shapes and sizes. Whether made from bamboo or stainless steel the eco friendly household is not complete without a set of these durable, reusable straws.
10. Coffee Keep Cup: Did you know? It is estimated Australians use 1 billion disposable coffee cups each year. That's approximately 2,700,000 paper coffee cups thrown out every day. Just by replacing these single use cups with reusable cups you are making a change towards a more eco friendly future. Many cafes also offer a discount to those who bring their own cups.
11. Indoor Herb Garden: Herbs are really easy to grow, and you don’t need a yard. All you need is a sunny window or two and a little bit of time. Popular herbs like coriander, chives, mint and thyme are all suitable to grow indoors.
12. String Bags: What once was old is new again. These string bags never go out of fashion. Handy to keep in your regular handbag and use in place of single use plastic bags. They come in a variety of colours so you can always match your outfit.
13. Modern Cloth Nappies: We know what you’re thinking. You’re picturing terry toweling and giant safety pins! Well not anymore. These new cloth nappies come with side snaps or Velcro and can be adjusted in size from birth to toilet training. Available in many funky colours and patterns, you are spoilt for choice.
14. Linen Clothing: If you decide to give clothing as a gift, it’s a great idea to choose quality linen which is designed and made to last a life time. Linen is highly breathable, soft and a natural insulator. Its fibers are hollow, moving air and moisture naturally. It is valued for its ability to keep cool in the summer months and trap warmth in colder weather. This is all achieved through the natural properties of the fiber itself. Love Linen is a great brand to checkout with their simple yet elegant style.
15: Bamboo Underwear: Everyday essentials are perhaps the most important pieces in your wardrobe. All Boody garments are made from organically grown bamboo and produced adhering to the highest standards for both the planet and our workers.
We hope you enjoyed our top 15 list. For those of you who live in Melbourne, head to Etica Collective and pick up some of these products for yourself. If you have received any presents that you enjoyed which aren’t on this list we would love to hear what they are in our comments section.