Six sustainable gift ideas: Memorable, thoughtful and lasting

Looking for something different and memorable to give your loved ones this year? Here are some thoughtful sustainable Christmas and holiday gift ideas that keep on giving.

Idea #1: A bank bond. (You’re the bank!)

This is a great gift for older children. It teaches the value of delayed gratification and introduces the concept of bank interest in a fun practical way.

See an example here!

Sustainable gift idea

This was something my dad used to give me every year for six years until I turned 18. The first time I received it I had no clue what a bond was. The concept that a piece of paper could be worth more in a year was incredibly appealing. And the joy of cashing in my bond papers + interest was such a memorable experience for me, not to mention the valuable lesson of savings!

Idea #2: DIY encouragement booklet

This was one of my favourite gifts to make for friends and relatives. I would search up inspirational or funny quotes that I believe would be relevant to the person I’m gifting it to and write them in a small notebook.

If you’re not into the whole arts & crafts thing, you can print out your quotes and do a physical ‘cut & paste’ into the notebook.

Not only will your friend be delighted to receive such a unique gift tailored to them, it will be something they can flip through whenever they need cheering up.

Sustainable gift ideas

Idea #3: Love book

Nothing says love more than a love letter!

This is a great little gift for your special someone. It requires a bit of time and effort; but believe me, the response you get in return makes it totally worthwhile.

Essentially it requires digging up old email (or Facebook) exchanges between you and your partner, maybe in the early days of dating. You don’t have to include every email, just the ones you want to feature. Copy and paste the emails into Word. Then print your pages double-sided 2-pages per sheet to create a ‘book’.

You can even create chapters so that the book reads in chronological order or literal ‘chapters’ in your relationship that may or may not be chronological.

(You can print this at a commercial printer such as Officeworks in Australia if you don't have one at home.)

Sustainable gift ideas

The best part of this gift is reading it together and reminiscing about old times. It’s amazing how much we forget. Being able to read past conversations in a physical book is still one of the best gifts I’ve ever received.

PS: this gift also works really well for close friends.

Idea #4: Something old, something new

The concept of this is to give away a relatively precious item that you own that you know this person would like.

These can be watches, electronics, jewellery, sports equipment, accessories (vintage hats, scarves and bags), limited edition goods, and memorabilia.

Sustainable gift ideas

You can re-wrap these items in their original packaging if you still have them. The people I’ve given these items to felt touched rather than offended that I didn’t buy them something new.

This gift is not so much about getting rid of old stuff but more about passing on an item that you cherish to someone who would cherish it too.

Idea #5: Make together for another

Some of the best memories are created when making something together for someone else.

You could give your family a kids’ bike to assemble together without reading the manual (the challenge is the fun part!) and then donating the bike to a local charity for disadvantaged kids.

You could give your family member a basket of ingredients with your ‘special recipe’ to cook or bake together and then share it with your neighbours or the homeless.

Sustainable gift ideas

The gift here is the memory of a shared experience and that feel-good feeling of blessing others. This is one of my favourite family gifting traditions and truly a gift that keeps on giving.

What activities can you think of to do with your family? The possibilities are endless!

Idea #6: Conscious gifting

A recent favourite of mine is to buy GOTS-certified organic cotton bags and stocking them with organic edibles. No wrapping involved. It’s practical, reusable and people simply love them!

Sustainable gift ideas





What I adore about this brand is that we're creating pieces that children will want to wear over and over because they love it that much.

Evelyn Leow, Creative Director of Lily & Lord