Beautiful Gifts that Give Back

As you think about the gifts you’d like to give this holiday season, consider gifts that “give back.” It’s a unique combination of giving someone something fun and doing something charitable. While perusing this year’s gift sets, I found a few eco-friendly offerings that help make our world a better place from Pangea Organics, Lush, and the new Teens Turning Green line.

Plant a Tree and Support Sustainability

Pangea Organics has a variety of ways you can to support the environment this year. You can plant a Christmas tree with their three gift sets ($30-$40)  and new holiday bar soaps ($8). The biodegradable, compostable molded fiber boxes that the sets and soap come in are embedded with spruce seeds. If everyone plants the boxes from this year’s sets and soaps, it would be like taking 2,455 compact cars off the road for an entire year. Extra bonus: a portion of all Pangea Organics purchases support the Pangea Institute, a non-profit dedicated to teaching and researching sustainable living and business practices. I love Pangea products because they smell amazing. My favorites are the Pyrenees Lavender with Cardamon body lotion and shower gel, which get their fragrance from organic extracts and essential oils, and are included in this year’s “Peace” set. I also love that Pangea products are very eco-friendly. They’re organic, fair trade wherever possible, cruelty-free, and never contain petroleum, sulfates or detergents, synthetic preservatives, genetically modified organisms, or artificial colors or fragrances. They’re available online and at a variety of stores, including health food stores and Nordstrom.

Support the Environment, Conservation, and Animal Welfare

Lush donates $20.45 to environmental, conservation, and animal welfare groups , like the Ocean Conservancy and the International Fund for Animal Welfare, every time someone buys their Charity Box Gift ($59.95). The set includes their Charity Pot Hand and Body Lotion (made with fair trade cocoa butter and fragranced with ylang ylang, geranium, and marigold essential oils), a buttery Nutts Massage Bar and a minty Fair Trade Foot Lotion (both made with fair trade and organic cocoa butter), an Olive Branch Shower Gel (made with fair trade olive oil and fresh juice from mandarin oranges), and Karma Soap (because surely, you’re getting some good karma from giving this gift). It comes nicely wrapped in red raffia ribbon and what certainly appears to be handmade paper. Lush products are 100% vegetarian and 74% vegan, with no animal testing on products or ingredients. Available at Lush’s 550 shops worldwide and on their website.

Support Green Teens

If you buy the Teens Turning Green Collection Holiday Gift ($125), 10% of the proceeds go to the TTG Campaign. TTG is a national coalition of teens who educate about how to make safe, healthy, sustainable choices in schools and communities, and advocate for policy change to sustain the earth and protect our right to health. The TTG line is a wonderful line that launched a few months ago. The products are made by some of the best eco-friendly companies, work really well, and smell heavenly. My younger sister really likes the Pomega5 Perfectly Pom Moisturizer, because it does a great job of hydrating her skin, which is usually oily but gets dry in winter. The Alaffia Mango Body Butter is rich without feeling too heavy and truly smells just like mangos. This holiday collection includes the entire TTG line, nine face and body products: body butter, purifying mask, soap, facial cleanser, sanitizing spray, blemish cleansing bar, toning mist, facial moisturizer, and deodorant. They’re made with a holistic approach and hand-selected by teens for safety, sustainability, and practicality. Available online and at Whole Foods Markets.

This holiday, why not give a gift that does some good?

SonjaBeautiful Gifts that Give Back

Comments 9

  1. Sonja

    ❤ WendyB, I know what you mean. I love the thought of monetary gifts. But I just don’t think they’re as fun for the recipient. I like that these combine the fun of a gift and doing something charitable.

  2. Ramona Russell

    Thanks for putting out this list! Ironically, I just saw some of these products at Whole Foods today. I created a company in memory of my 28 year old sister, Liz, who died from breast cancer. Uptown Liz (www.uptownliz.com) promotes products from companies whose proceeds go to charity. You can shop on this one-of-a-kind Web site by charitable cause or product category, knowing that every time you make a purchase you are making a difference. There are many great art, clothing, jewelry, house wares, beauty and eco-friendly products (just to name a few) that benefit charities all over the world.

  3. Sonja

    ❤ Thanks, Rinda! Pangea rocks!
    ❤ Ramona, I’m so sorry to hear about your sister. It’s wonderful that you’ve created this site in her honor — what a great place to shop and do something charitable. Thanks so much for sharing!

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