Environmentally-friendly gift ideas for your loved ones

Many of the decisions we make are affected by our awareness of the climate crisis, including something as simple as gift-giving. We all want to appreciate our loved ones, but at the same time, we don’t want to contribute to the further decay of the environment. 

Pick from our list of eco-friendly gift ideas ranging from collapsible silicone cups to upcycled travel pouches. Many of them are practical gifts that your significant other, friends, or family members will be able to use on a daily basis.

1. Earrings from leftover fabric

Earrings from leftover fabricImage credit: @imaji.studio

Imaji Studio is a clothing brand that plays its part in taking care of the environment by not letting any of its unused fabric go to waste.

Instead of throwing away leftover fabric, Imaji Studio makes edgy accessories such as earrings from it. They’re great to get for your friends or family members who love being stylish but are also conscious of the environment.  

A pair of Round Weaving Earrings are Rp. 250,000 (~USD18.34), and they come in blue and green. You can go on the brand’s website to see other accessories made from pieces of leftover fabric.


2. Collapsible silicone cup

Collapsible Cup
Image credit: Demi Bumi

These days it’s almost impossible to get through the day without purchasing a cup of hot or iced coffee, but thinking about all the cups and straws that pile up as a result of the boba and iced coffee craze can weigh on the mind.

Demi Bumi’s BPA-free collapsible silicone cup is the sort of gift you’d get for diehard fans of bubble tea and es kopi susu. It’s also safe for hot drinks. When not in use, it can be folded down into a compact shape that fits in a small pouch or bag, and it even comes with a silicone straw. The cup can hold up to 470 milliliters of liquid.

For Rp. 225,000 (~USD16.50), you can make a boba or coffee-loving friend super happy with this reusable cup.


3. Beeswax wraps

BoeknkusImage credit: @boenkus

Cling wrap is used so frequently that we don’t even think about it anymore, which means we also rarely stop to think about how much plastic waste this habit has resulted in. Beeswax wrap is a sustainable alternative. 

Boenkus offers beeswax wraps that won’t only protect and preserve food and produce, but will also beautify your kitchen and fridge as they come in eye-catching colors and designs. These wraps can be reused by gently washing them with cool or lukewarm water. 

Each pack is Rp. 100,000 (~USD7.33) and includes three wraps of three different sizes and cute designs. For friends who frequent food stalls or pack their own food often, beeswax wraps make for a practical #adulting gift. 


4. Wooden cutlery set

Wooden Cutlery
Image credit: @nakedincjakarta

In an age where food is increasingly delivered because many working adults no longer have time to pack lunch or cook dinner, the problem of waste from plastic cutlery grows as well. This is why reusable cutlery that’s not a hassle to carry in our bags can be a great solution. 

Naked Inc.’s cute wooden cutlery set comes with a spoon, a fork, a knife, chopsticks, as well as a bamboo straw and its cleaning brush. It’s good to know that bamboo is naturally heat-resistant and eco-friendly products made from this material don’t release harmful chemicals like plastic does. 

The set costs Rp. 85,000 (~USD6.23) and it comes with a muslin pouch so that all the utensils stay organized. It’s a useful gift any busy working adult would surely appreciate. 


5. Soothing body balm from natural ingredients

Pure Bliss Balm
Image credit: OWELLNESS

Living in a busy and packed city like Jakarta can have negative effects on the mind and body, so it sometimes helps to get soothing balms that reduce stress. Though this might not be a conventional gift, it goes to show that you care for the wellbeing of your loved ones.

The Pure Bliss Body Balm by Owellness contains frankincense, lavender, and bergamot orange, and helps relieve muscle tension. The best time to apply it is right before bed to improve the quality of sleep.

This balm costs Rp. 50,000 (~USD3.57) and it comes in recyclable packaging.


6. Market bag from recycled plastic

Si Jali
Image credit: @hagialiving

Weaving is a traditional art form that hasn’t fallen out of fashion. In fact, handwoven goods are quite popular in fashion and home decor.

Hagia Living doesn’t only use traditional weaving techniques in its eco-friendly products, but it also makes use of recycled plastic. It’s roomy and will fit all daily essentials.

The modest yet stylish Si Jali Mini market bag is Rp. 150,000 (~USD11), and it’s available in blue, red, and green.


7. Upcycled travel pouch

Upcycled Pouches
Image credit: @zerowaste.id_official

If someone you care about brings a lot of make-up or small gadget accessories everywhere but doesn’t quite have a proper pouch to store them, you might want to get them Misenio’s upcycled travel pouch made from used plastic bags and plastic straws.

The lining is waterproof, so there’s no need to panic about anything leaking through and making a big mess. It comes in multiple colors and it’s priced at Rp. 69,000 (~USD5.06).


8. Water-resistant snack bag

Snack Bag
Image credit: @untukibubumi

A water-resistant snack bag is a good gift idea for your loved ones who pack their own snacks on a regular basis. 

Untuk Ibu Bumi’s BPA-free snack bag is 25 cm by 20 cm and has a water-resistant lining to prevent unwanted leaks. The material used for the exterior is made from leftover fabric and is 100% cotton. It’s only Rp. 40,000 (~USD2.93).

To care for this bag, wash it with detergent by hand. If it’s been used to carry greasy food, let it soak in detergent solution for about 15 minutes before gently cleaning it.


Environmentally-friendly gift ideas for your loved ones

Eco-friendly gifts that won’t make you and the recipient feel guilty do exist. There are numerous local brands with eco-friendly products that will help you care better for the environment. What’s even better is that the products these brands make are super functional, so they won’t end up collecting dust on your loved one’s shelf.

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Cover image adapted from: @imaji.studio and Demi Bumi

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