Gift guides: Minimalist and almost-zero waste gift ideas for eco-conscious moms

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We have started to give gifts the minimalist way, which means only 5 gifts per person. That seems many, even as I am typing this I am doubting if this won’t end up being more than what we normally give. But then I remembered the number of things we give the kids over the course of the Christmas season, hiding behind feeble excuses such as they needed it or it was on special. So they end up getting A LOT more than just that one gift under the tree. And then of course we have to give them something from Santa, and from each other, and maybe even from the cat… yeah 5 gifts only will be an improvement. But that means us, the parents, must also comply with the rules. Only 5 gifts, with nothing else bought or given under the excuse of “it’s Christmas”. This is going to be tough, since both Husband and myself love spoiling other people, but we will fight the urge! I have made it easier for you, if you want to try this system for yourself. Here is my gift guide, with suggestions in each category, of gifts that you can buy for an eco-conscious mom. All the gifts are minimalist (things she will need or get pleasure from, or edible, or practical, or experiences) and almost zero-waste. You can further enforce these values by buying ethical, organic and fair trade.

Without further ado, the 5 categories you want to fill are:

  1. Something they want

  2. Something they need

  3. Something to wear

  4. Something to read

  5. Something to do together

I will explain each category followed by a few suggestions now:

·         Something you want

This category includes anything that she has been asking for or something that she can use to treat or spoil herself. If you buy something for her home, keep in mind it needs to take up little space, not be messy, and you should be ok if she re-gifts it (one of the minimalist principles - donate or re-gift)

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Candles

Candles are always a good idea. They are practical, romantic, and you use them up. If you want to give candles, choose ones that are made from soy instead of artificial wax, that are naturally scented and bonus – ones that the container can be used again, like this candle in a glass jar from Faithful to Nature

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Turkish towel

One of my recent finds, this will definitely be on my list until someone buys me one – a Turkish towel. Made from long cotton threads that are flat weaved, it is super absorbent and becomes softer with use. What is great about it is the multiple uses – from bath towel to beach towel to picnic blanket, even throw. This brightly coloured one is from A Place to Shop

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Bath products

Bath products. Every girl (and boy) needs nice things to add to their self-care ritual (read my post on self-care here). Again, natural and preferably hand-made is best. Support local artisans, but if you are in a hurry or pressed for time there are some great commercial alternatives. My favourite is still Lush

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Subscription boxes

Subscription boxes. This one, a gin box from The Gin box, is the perfect gift for any gin sipping mom. Enjoy the gin, with nothing to keep unless you want to reuse the bottle.

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Diffuser jewelry

For the natural health momma, an essential oil jewelry piece should be more on the need list than the want list. If you want to give this gift, that keeps on giving, look for absorbent natural materials, sleek designs, and something that speaks of the receive. I love this wooden necklace from A Place to Shop

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Wooden board

For the entertainer momma, a beautifully thick wooden chopping or bread board is the perfect gift. This one is from Fine and Fabulous

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Pot plant

Almost all eco-moms have plants and plants in their homes. You can add to the collection with a beautiful pot plant, complete with plant. Just remember to buy a plant that is suited for indoor life, preferable one that doesn’t need a lot of sunshine. This one is from Native Decor

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Candle holder

Another candle find, I love this one because I love love love proteas. If I get something similar, it will go on my night stand where I can light the candle at night when I am lying in bed reading. This one I saw on Faithful to Nature

·         Something you need

This category includes gifts that your mom (or friend or partner) need to get, i.e. they need the item for a hobby or a new skill, something that they need for work, or it is a décor item with a practical use, e.g.

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Weekend bag

A nice new bag. This can be a travel bag, overnight bag, laptop bag. Every mom needs a bag at some point. Get the perfect one from Candy Bags

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Solid perfume

Solid perfume. So much better than commercial, chemically laden, perfumes. And much cheaper! You get a wide range, but again my go-to shop for anything natural is Faithful to Nature. Isn’t the container just darling? And she can reuse it!

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Phone pouch

For the fit mom, you can get a smartphone pouch to use with her runs. Having more than one is preferable, then you can wash them between runs, so even if she already has one this is a nice gift. This one is from Move Pretty

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Pencil set

Journal pencils are a thoughtful gift for the bujo momma. I use mine for bible journaling, so even if she isn’t into bujo she can still use them. These ones are from Cum Books

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Tea

Tea lovers! Give her a tin of loose leaf tea, in the style that she prefers. I love The Tea Merchant, and this tin is from Tealyst. Check both of them out!

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Tea cloth

No kitchen is complete without a dishtowel or tea cloth, especially if you are trying to go paperless. Give her one with a beautiful design. This one is from A Place to Shop

·         Something you wear

This category is for that special outfit, or something more practical that Mom might need, like a swimsuit or new jacket. You can also include shoes and accessories, making this category very easy and fun to fill.

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Funky socks

Funky socks. Choose ones that are different and unique. These ones are from Socks for Africa but there are numerous other shops, brick and mortar or online, that have wide varieties.

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Beautiful shirt

A flouncy shirt. Oh so retro has a stunning variety.

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Scarves

Scarves! The secret accessory for any capsule wardrobe-loving momma. With a simply scarf she can change her entire outfit. And I don’t think you can ever have too many, even for a minimalist… This one is from YDE, so it is locally made by a local designer.

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Jumpsuit

I must warn you, giving clothes to someone is much like giving a book – it is a personal gift that you only attempt if you know the recipient well enough. If not, more general clothing gifts must rather be considered. If you do know them, picking a stunning item like this jumpsuit from the most gorgeous material is a winning gift. This one is from Why Hello

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Earrings

Jewelry. A great gift since if you choose the piece right it can look a lot more expensive than what it actually was. Plus you get the joy of seeing your gift being used every time Mom wears them. Choose something that fits her style and personality. These earrings are from Why Hello and I think they go especially well with the floral jumpsuit.

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Kimono

A piece of clothing that is beautiful, practical and versatile, such as this kimono from Sassy Chic. She can wear it over shorts out and about, over her swimwear on the beach, with sandals for a casual night out, and more! Also perfect for a capsule wardrobe-lover.

·         Something you read

My favourite category! I love books, and one of my biggest desires is that my kids will love them as well. A love for reading is cultivated from a young age, so never think that they are too small! For this category you can either give them a single book, or a literature inspired item, or subscribe them to a book club, which I think is better. Some of the awesome possibilities:

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Secret book box

The Secret Book Box is one of the best subscription boxes you can sign up for. Each box has a theme, and you get more than just a book. The extra spoils and merchandise is tailored to fit the box, but always gorgeous. There are other subscription options out there, especially if you don’t want extra merch. You can even give a digital or Audible subscription.

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Interactive map

I think this is a genius gift, and couldn’t decide if I should list is here or under “something to do together”. I guess it depends on the mom. This is a map of the world on which you can write. So on it she can tick of the places that she has been, and mark the places she would like to visit. She can make notes, even use the map as a sort of bucket-list cum goal-list. I saw this one online at Big Blue

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Notebook

A pretty notebook, for her bujo or Bible study notes, or anything else she would like to write down. This one is from Cum books

·         Something to do together

Not traditionally one of the 4 categories of gift giving, I added it because spending time together is actually the best gift you can give, or receive. For this category, give anything that will allow you to spend time together, either as a family or you with your mom, or the kids with their siblings, etc. Because the only requirement is time spent together, you can get anything to fill this category, from a voucher for a weekly family date night to an outing at the zoo, or a new hobby that you can try together. Some of my suggestions:

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Sprouting bag

Planting the seeds of love and hope, then watching them sprout. A fun activity to do with the whole family, even if she doesn’t like gardening. Getting the satisfaction of growing something, even something as simple as sprouts, is the actual gift that you are giving. Coupled with precious family time – pricelist. Get yours from Faithful to Nature

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Card games

Make games night a tradition. You get the coolest and fun-est games, perfect for any blend of partners, siblings, kids, friends, family… these ones are from Fine and Fabulous. For a real (grownup) hoot, check out Cards against humanity.

And those are all of my suggestions. Did you find that one special gift for your toddler girl? Then please share!