The temperature has dropped drastically, which means only one thing: it’s time to give free reign to that colourful Christmas spirit! Warm chocolate, mulled wine, &nd lots of lots of twinkling lights are just some of the things I adore about this festive season. One thing I’m not so crazy about? That intense (&nd often wasteful) gift hunt. Well, today, I’m here to tell you that leaving sustainable gifts under the tree is possible! So, if you’re a fan of durable and useful gifts, this blog will hopefully make the process a bit easier, and you can concentrate on the things you love. Read on to find out some of my top picks for a more responsible and thoughtful Christmas celebration!
These baskets obviously have to be mentioned first. After all, they immediately make me feel warm and fuzzy inside as they bring back a lot of the memories from my recent Kenya trip. Made by local women, each basket tells a unique story. I get goosebumps when I think of the energy and positivity radiated by those women — even their cheerful bickering!
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I know that lately I've been posting photos about my trip to Kenya (I just can't get over it because it was such a great and inspiring experience 😊). Here's a brief orientation about the organizations who made this trip possible. Ayacucho, @asadventure 's private brand is a collection of outdoor clothing, equipment & accessories produced with respect for people, animals, and the planet. With every Ayacucho item purchased, you support @solid.crafts International, an organization that promotes sustainable community development in India, Kenya, and Ayacucho, a region in Peru where the brand has been named. Ayacucho supports Solid International by giving money which the organization in return invests in some local entrepreneurship projects such as @hadithi_crafts. So instead of doing harmful practices like poaching wildlife and ruining forests for money, this program provides an alternative income generating jobs for the local people. The Hadithi baskets from the above pictures/video reflect the gratefulness of the local women who benefit from this project. Beautifully crafted, each one tells a unique story behind the people it was made by. 🇰🇪 #ayacuchogoeskenya #kenya🇰🇪 #socialentrepreneurship #sustainabledevelopment #womenempowerment #hadithikenya #reizen #duurzaamreizen #kenia #asadventure #ecofriendly #reisblogger #traveldifferently #conscioustraveler #ayacucho #handcrafted #shetravels #powerwomen
LifeStraw offers water filters and bottles that make all kinds of water drinkable, be it H2O from the river, from deep within the mountains, or anywhere else. For every product you buy, you also give a child in a poor country safe drinking water for an entire year! Seriously, how awesome is that? Can anything warm you up more than this kind of good deed?
The LifeStraw range is quite large, ranging from the ‘standard’ straw acts as a filter to fun take-away bottles and products for your home. I have used these products, especially in Asia, to drink tap water safely. And I’ve already placed one under the Christmas tree, but shhhhh.
The Lifestraw products are available online.
Stuff at DreamCATchers VZW
For the cat lovers among us, a visit to the cat adoption café in Ghent is definitely worth it! Essentially, DreamCATchers help cats that have been staying in asylums or shelters for a long time. Besides fluffy kittens, you can also choose from all kinds of gadgets and tid-bits in their shop. So, you not only get to support a super cool organisation, but will also leave with fun gifts tucked under your arm.
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Woody, de kleine spruit die we op reis hebben gevonden en nu aan het introduceren zijn aan WHEETY&MARLIE, was gisteren nog springlevend en overactief. Deze ochtend was het helaas een ander verhaal 🙁 Hij kwam ons niet tegemoet huppelen deze ochtend. Hij bleef gewoon op zijn slaap plekje liggen, we wisten direct dat er iets niet juist was😢. We mochten hem oppakken maar als we aan zijn pootje kwamen was het direct duidelijk dat hij heel veel pijn had. We zijn ondertussen naar de dierenarts geweest en het is nog niet zeker wat er precies aan de hand is. Hij krijgt nu pijnstillers en ontstekingsremmers. Hij slaapt nu in een bench. Hopelijk komt hij er snel terug bovenop 😿.
All info can be found at: https://wearedreamcatchers.be
Away with disposable bottles! SodaStream is a device that turns tap water into sparkling water and, thanks to different syrup flavors, you make the most delicious soft drinks at home. Less storage, less waste and let’s be honest, it looks super cool as well. You’ve probably already seen mine from time to time on Instagram — well, that’s because I absolutely love it and think it’s ideal to put under the Christmas tree!
The SodaStream products can be bought in just about any electrical shop as well as online. All info can be found at: http://www.sodastream.be.
Klean Kanteen launched the very first stainless steel, non-BPA, reusable bottle that is the perfect solution for disposable plastic. You can find all sizes and colors, so these bottles are ideal for every trip and activity. And before I forget, they’re insulated, which means they keep your drinks cold for hours! Klean Kanteen also boasts the well-known and steel straws in their range.
You can find their reusable bottles and steel straws at AS Adventure.
6. Plan International
Do you want to do a heart-warming good deed this Christmas? Support a project from Plan International — in a loved one’s name, it’s quite the thoughtful gift. Through various projects, they strive for a world in which all children have the opportunity to go to school and make their own choices about their bodies and lives. You can support them by sponsoring a project, starting your own action, becoming a volunteer or simply by putting your best foot forward on one of the many Urban Trails in our country!
All information can be found at: www.planinternational.be.
The founder of Water-to-Go was amazed by the towering mountains of waste he encountered during his trips to India, Indonesia and China. Initially, they also developed a technology for NASA, but then the Water-to-Go three-in-one filter was born. Thus, these bottles are suitable for everyday use, outdoor use, and sport activities. As the company grew, it also built strong relationships and collaborations with different charities and projects. Needless to say, with a Water-to-Go bottle, you’re in good shape this Christmas!
You can easily order a Water-to-Go bottle online at http://watertogo-benelux.eu/.
AS Adventure’s own brand stands for high-quality clothing that lasts for years. This collection is produced with respect for people, animals and the planet, which immediately turns us into big fans! All their suppliers must meet strict conditions. With a purchase of an Ayacucho product, you also support Solid (mentioned above). These are two good deeds in one! So, quickly shop for a nice Ayacucho hat or a warm sweater as a gift and give a loved one a thoughtful surprise.
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"One's destination is never a place, but a new way of seeing things." Traveling is more than just visiting unfamiliar places. It goes deep within yourself. It opens your mind to new ideas of living. It develops in you a sense of empathy towards nature. It makes you even more responsible. And when you get home, you kind of have this huge feeling in your chest like, you want to make the world a better place. Sounds cliche right? But it's a good feeling. And it motivates you to take small steps on making it happen. Inspiring other people to do so. That's one of the most positive impact traveling can do to someone. And thats what it did to me. Can you share what effect does traveling had on you? #sustainabletravel #russia #siberia #visitsiberia #fjällräven #ayacucho #solotravellingisfun
Homes for bee colonies
Do you have some space left in your garden, at your company, or anywhere else? If so, why not accommodate a bee colony? Rest assured, if you want to do your part for Beeodiversity, you don’t need any beekeeper skills! The colony is completely installed for you and you don’t even have to give it a second thought. Maybe not really suitable to put under the Christmas tree, but you will get honey pots with your logo, and these can certainly make a lot of family and friends happy!
Of course, there are countless other sustainable ideas that make for great presents, so please do share some with me. As always, I’m always on the lookout for mindful purchase options. Oh, and don’t forget to enjoy this season to the max. Tis the time to be jolly, after all!