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Enjoy twenty of my favorite gift ideas — for 2020 — most are eco-friendly and/or health conscious. These gifts are designed to restore, bring joy or make someone happy. The gift ideas below are categorized by functionality: Wellness, Food and Kitchen-Related, Natural Apparel and Kids’ Gifts. Enjoy!
Online shopping in 2020
With Covid restrictions, many more of us are buying our gifts online this year. I am dividing my purchases between small shops owned locally, here in Eugene, OR, and other vendors when I need or want a specific item. My guide for you includes the “other vendors” category, which includes Amazon for the items they’re the best at providing and smaller companies that sell specialty items.
For 2020, I’m sharing with you items that I’ve received and loved in the last year. I also include some gifts I’ve purchased for loved ones recently. I hope you enjoy these choices, and that some of them are helpful as you shop for loved ones, or add to your own wish list!
Most of the items I share in this collection are sustainable in one way or another — either healthier for your body than similar products, made from eco-friendly materials, or both.
- DefenderShields are something I use and appreciate every day! This last year, I have LOVED the portable exercise shield I bought for my phone. I chose the one I wear on my arm (the DefenderShield EMF Radiation Protection Running Armband), and it goes with my favorite Radiation-Free Air Tube Earbud Headphones! — to go for walks or runs with! I listen to podcasts, talk to a dear friend on a weekly basis and occasionally enjoy music — all on my walks and all without EMFs affecting me. I bought mine for full price, but right now these items are 20% off. I also have the DefenderShield Laptop EMF Radiation Protection & Safety Sleeve. Find all of Defender Shield’s products HERE. (Note, I was very glad the website alerted me ahead of time: iPhone 7 models and newer require a lightning cord adapter for compatibility with the DefenderShield Earbuds. I found mine on Amazon here. It’s so nice to get it all at once, so the pieces are ready to use when they arrive.) If you’re not familiar with these concepts and technology, the DefenderShields protect our bodies from harmful EMFs — about which most people are unaware when they use Bluetooth devices or wear/constantly hold their phones or other devices. I can actually feel the EMFs from by phone and can’t hold mine, so this solution has been incredible for me. If you want the duo I love, get the Armband + the AirTube Earbud Headphones.
- Portable Red Light — Red light therapy is a big gift to get for yourself or someone else. We finally budgeted the purchase of ours, and it’s just the right time of year to start using it. In addition to stimulating the production of the happy hormones that real sunlight provides, SaunaSpace (the best red light sauna company, I’ve concluded, after much research) red lights encourage collagen production, cellular regeneration, wound healing (including internal!) and energy production. Find all of Sauna Space’s sauna’s HERE, but look at the Photon model, specifically, if you want a portable and affordable option.
- Have a friend or loved one who’s on the fence about eating meat and still wanting to learn more? The book on this topic I’m the most excited about this year is: Sacred Cow : The Case for (Better) Meat: Why Well-Raised Meat Is Good for You and Good for the Planet. From the authors, “We’re told that if we care about our health—or our planet—eliminating red meat from our diets is crucial. That beef is bad for us and cattle farming is horrible for the environment. But science says otherwise.” Here’s a gentle, direct way to share the truth about sustainable farming, ruminant animals and the risks of long-term vegan eating.
- 100% Mulberry Silk Pillowcases contain 18 amino acids which have the ability to fire fine molecules, also known as “Sleep Factors”— touted to improve sleep quality and slow aging. Silk pillowcases are as lovely as they are healthful. We gave these to my in-laws last year for Christmas, and it was fun to see how much they loved them and how touched they were to receive such a special, nice and useful gift. Classy but affordable!
- This cork and natural rubber yoga mat is the very best of yoga mats. Non-slip, made from only natural materials!, tested and loved by pros!, what an amazing gift for someone who loves to stretch and work out on the floor. Much nicer than most yoga mats.
Food & Kitchen-Related Gifts
- This year, we sent some friends Fair Trade chocolate in the mail, as a thank you gift — because it’s a “safe” gift for anyone you love: Who doesn’t love chocolate? — especially a variety pack, so you can try lots of different flavors of great quality, sustainable chocolate? The sampler we sent is now unavailable, but you can choose single flavor 4-packs here, which are more affordable too. Hu chocolate bars are fantastic quality chocolate. Our friends loved the Crunchy Mint one most!
- The prettiest and most fun tea to make and enjoy with loved ones is Pique’s. Each little pouch is uniquely magical to stir into hot water. And their quality is THE highest for great taste and actual health benefits (high polyphenols!). For the tea lover in your life, choose one box, or the most fun is to do a sampler, which is how we enjoy sharing tea in our family — talking about each one as we sit around the table on weekends. Find Pique’s teas HERE. By using this link, you’ll automatically get 5% off at checkout. (These make great stocking stuffers, too! I like to buy enough to get free shipping.)
- There is nothing like holding a real cookbook in your hands! I still love giving really useful, fun, pretty cookbooks — ones that will get used over and over again and create good memories. This year, I’m recommending Sweet and Savory Fat Bombs because it not only shares fun, reliable recipes, but these healthy treats can be made so fast and then nourish everyone over the coming week — perfect for all of us with busy lifestyles who still want to make goodies. A loved one who receives this book can try so many different fat bombs never considered before (I highly recommend the savory fat bombs!). These recipes are Keto, Paleo and Gluten-free.
- Anyone in your life without a spiralizer yet? This is the one to get, and I’ve purchased and tried out the three leading brands! Paderno brand wins. We love noodles for dinner, and our digestion after eating veggie noodles!
- For a really special big gift, who doesn’t want a stainless steel dehydrator? This is the one I ended up getting last Christmas. We use it weekly for homemade beef jerky, granola and sprouted nuts, as well as dehydrating bone broth. This model offers 1000W of power (or see the 600W for less money). An amazing gift.
- For the frugal beef jerky lover in your life, I LOVE this little gadget for making my homemade beef jerky! I researched so many beef jerky guns before choosing this one — all metal parts, no plastic touches the meat, and it works great!
- Been longing for a cheesecake pan that isn’t non-stick? I’ve been waiting YEARS for this product to be developed: a stainless steel cheesecake pan with no coating! This one also fits in the Instant Pot, so it’s a fun accessory gift for someone who loves using their IP.
- All other Instant Pot accessories also make a GREAT gift that’s super affordable! Last year, I got my mom the clear lid for hers, because I use mine all the time. Find a bunch of IP accessories HERE, and the clear Glass Lid HERE.
- Enjoy a huge selection of 100% organic cotton clothing from PACT. If you shop through this link you will get 20% off your first order. Last year I bought several gifts for loved ones: sweatshirts, cozy shorts, a sweater, a long-sleeve t-shirt and pants. My sister loved the sweater I bought her! Many of you used this link last year and loved these products! I’m so glad, so I’ve included the link again for you this year. It’s just so hard to find truly eco-friendly clothes! (Most are made from recycled polyesters, which are terrible for our waterways and possibly our skin. Yay for organic cotton!)
One of my favorite things about parenting is books! Through them, children learn empathy. They learn about the world, and its people. They learn vocabulary. They dream and imagine. And, kids bond with the person reading to them. I share with you here not only some of my favorites but ones that kids love to receive. The first two items below are books.
- If you’re a parent, you know the value of books on audio. Such a calming way to break up a day, give down time, improve reading skills (by listening to books read aloud) and instill beautiful values. One of our favorite book series has been made into a great radio theatre: The Chronicles of Narnia Collector’s Edition. Your kids, grandkids or other loved ones may love this gift for years and years. Great for littles but also the whole family.
- For books with a dragon-based magical theme, my son LOVES the Wings of Fire series. I had no idea they’re even “Teacher Recommended”, but I can assure you they’re captivating. My youngest can’t wait to start the next book whenever he finishes one. Now he’s waiting for the author to write more.
- I bought this canvas bag with pockets for one of my sons years ago, and as a teenager, he still uses and loves it. GREAT for art supplies or any kind of tools, depending on a person’s interests. My younger son is hoping for one too.
- With so many of us homeschooling these days, one of the most exciting educational tools is an affordable microscope kit. I couldn’t believe how much my 11-year-old son loved this gift. I bought it for him at the beginning of the school year, and it’s been so much fun for us to share. He loves going outside to find petals and leaves and preparing his own slides.
- Looking for a fun and exciting gift? Especially during the quarantine, nerf guns are great for inexpensive and exciting family bonding! This nerf gun is the only plastic gift I recommend. We purchased these a few years ago and have hours of family fun chasing each other around our house and outside too. These guns are affordable enough to buy for more than one person, for family bonding! SUPER fun for all ages, these are the best nerf guns out there.
- For ages 5-12, you can’t find a better or more fun SCOOTER than this one! It’s got a 2-year warranty!, is super smooth, stable and can get going fast. I love this option to help keep kids active, especially during the quarantine. Super safe, great customer service and amazing all 5-star reviews, what a perfect Christmas present for most kids. You can also find the Micro-Mini version for kids ages 2-5! HERE.