What do you get someone who has it all? It’s the same old chestnut every single year. This festive season, we say it’s time to switch things up and gift experiences instead of things. From tree planting and adopting animals to festival tickets and eco-retreats, we’ve got you covered.
Consuming less is a #LittleGreenStep that’s easy to get on board with. But at Christmas, it’s easy to throw good habits out the window and go all-out extra with gifting new things. But with a few tweaks to your shopping habits, it’s easier than you think to stay sustainable. We’ve already given you the lowdown on eco-friendly stocking fillers and given you some quick and easy green gift swap ideas. But our favourite way to keep things conscious is to shift from gifting new things to gifting experiences. Not only does it reduce waste, but your friends and family will be delighted with their extra special, thoughtful gifts. Here are 10 unique experience gifts that you need to know about.
Let’s get physical
It’s everyone’s New Year resolution to get fit and shape up, right? Give the gift of a personal training session and help someone get 2020 off to an ass-kicking start. We’re huge fans of GreenCurve; Singapore’s first-ever eco-friendly fitness centre which champions a ton of awesome sustainable practices. It’s the perfect gift to help burn off those extra Christmas calories.
We all know that person who never seems to slow down. For those who need to stop the world and get off, a meditation session or course is the ultimate gift to get them back on track. The Golden Space is a global holistic health and wellness organisation that run multiple meditation classes to restore balance into even the most frantic of lives.
Help reforest the world
Because who wouldn’t want a pet tree? Adopt a single sapling, or plant a whole forest for your nearest and dearest who’ll become part of the tribe helping to reforest the planet. EcoMatcher is our platform of choice that makes purchasing and gifting trees easy. The recipient of your green gift will even be able to virtually visit their tree and find out more about who planted it thanks to its genius TreeTracker app.
Relax and unwind
In our book, you can’t go wrong with a massage. Firstly, because how often do you get the opportunity to take an hour out of life to recharge? And secondly, because “I hate massages”, said no one, ever. And when it comes to pampering no one does it quite like Banyan Tree. Founded with the core value of driving sustainable development, you can give the gift of zen while also knowing your pennies are contributing to sustainability initiatives.
A tropical weekend getaway
Treat your partner to a little slice of sustainable luxury with a trip to Nikoi or Cempedak Island. Both are located a short boat ride away from Bintan making it the ideal weekend retreat to slow down after the craziness of the holiday season. Each dreamy, jungly island is surrounded by azure waters that gently lap at a white sandy beach. Food is freshly prepared and locally sourced. The accommodation is the epitome of jungle chic, and did we mention both islands put sustainability at the top of the agenda? Best Christmas present ever? It’s up there.
Go plastic neutral
The average person creates 53kg of plastic waste each year. Yup, really. And despite your best efforts, it’s tough to avoid plastic altogether. So why not sign your peeps up to become Plastic Neutral Citizens with The Plastic Collective? For $55 it will offset the 53kg plastic footprint, plus the recipient will also gain access to My Plastic Plan where they can learn to reduce, reuse, and recycle plastic to become a better plastic citizen. Your $55 helps not only the environment but also remote and vulnerable communities who will benefit from projects like these.
Set someone a challenge and sign them up for a GreenRace running event. TGR organises trail runs mainly in Hong Kong and Thailand which would make the perfect gift for the runners in your life (there’s always one). The GreenRace work hard towards delivering zero-waste events and support several worthy charities. Meaning you can give a gift and give back at the same time.
Adopt an animal
If you love a sustainable festival as much as we do, snap some tickets up for Garden Beats 2020. This year’s festival is set to rock Fort Canning on 29 February 2020 and highlights include headline act Foals. Early bird tickets are still available (until 4 December). Get ‘em now and avoid the last-minute panic present buying scrums on Christmas Eve.
Retreat, refresh, reconnect
Feeling particularly generous? Escape to beautiful Bali and treat your bestie or SO to a 2020 rejuvenating retreat. Ubud is the ultimate destination to restore your body and mind to start the new year afresh. In particular, we love Being Sattvaa; from digital detoxes to meditation weekends or reconnecting with yourself in the rainforest, its retreats will recharge your (sustainable) batteries. What’s more, the resort is plant-based, making this the ultimate jungly eco-experience.