8 Ideas for Sustainable and Conscious Gifting this Christmas

The start of December means three things here in New Zealand. Time to break out the jandals (flip flops, thongs), head to the beach for the start of summer and time to start seriously thinking about Christmas and all that entails.

If the idea of a whole heap of 'stuff' has you heading for the hills to hide from humanity for the foreseeable future, we've given some thought to some gifts that are lighter on the planet so you can participate in the festive fun without a side of consummerism.

1. A Piece of Nature to Keep: Forest Scapes

Buying for someone who appreciates nature and art? Forest Scapes are botanical art sculptures of foraged native flora and fauna from the native forest, Velskov, in Waitakere Ranges and are completely ethereal and unique gifts. They are ever-evolving art pieces that transition through the seasons to remind us of the beauty of native New Zealand forests.

This approach is new to both conservation and botanical sculpture, where botanical artist Mamakan has imagined a whole native forest landscape: sand becomes volcanic rock, mushrooms become mountains, and foliage becomes giant trees. Each sculpture is unique and can be made to order.


2. For the Gin Lover: The World's Best

Check out this limited edition, Christmas Spiced Gin from Awildian, made in Thames, New Zealand. With wild pepper, cardamom, nutmeg, grains of paradise, and no less than nineteen others, this will go down a treat with the gin lovers of Aotearoa. Coromandel Distilling company are home to the world's best gin and their trophy shelves are packed with accolades and awards for their small batch gin.

This special drop is sure to get the lucky receiver feeling jolly these holidays, especially when you read the special Christmas poem on the back label. And best of all, one percent of all Awildian gin is donated to conservation!


3. An Inspired Gift for Generations to Come

A mountain that is close to our hearts, Sanctuary Mountain Maungatautari is one of New Zealand’s most important and ambitious conservation projects. You can give an inspired gift by signing your loved ones up to become 'Inspired Kaitiaki' at Sanctuary Mountain.

The membership contribution helps to reverse the Western brown kiwi decline, help bring kākāpō to the mainland, help increase takahē and kōkako populations for as little as the price of your weekly coffee in town.


4. Made by the Earth, Good for the Earth

Seriously, if you don't own a keep cup by now and you're a hot beverage drinker, it's time. Earth Ceramics offer reusable ceramic cups that are made by hand, glazed individually and then fired to stoneware temperature.

Earth Ceramics started in 2019 in Auckland, with the vision of helping create a more sustainable world by making reusable, handmade ceramic travel cups. We're all about it.


5. A Magical Experience to Impress Your Significant Other

For those that live or plan on visiting the Waikato this year, this is an unforgettable experience (we are speaking from experience!). A Twilight gloworm kayaking tour from Riverside Adventures is a unique and conscious gift from Qualmark Gold Sustainable operators.

Paddle along the southern edge of Lake Karapiro, over the old submerged Horahora power station that produced electricity for the early Waihi goldfields. Learn the history of Horahora village as you travel back to what feels like a pre-historic time.
Enjoy the twilight and silence of being on the water as the day draws to an end. As night arrives over the lake, you will paddle slowly up the Pokaiwhenua Stream, through the canyon carved out by water over hundreds of years. Native ferns and trees drape over you, bird life is all around.
When darkness falls float silently back downstream, being guided by titiwai on either side sparkling like Christmas lights.


6. Care about Climate Change? Trees Count

It's hard to beat a more perfect gift for the earth than a tree. A $10 native tree is the perfect thoughtful, waste-free gift. You can send a whole lot of love while making a little change toward a greener New Zealand for generations to come. 

Trees that Count will email your loved one a beautifully designed gift certificate, personalised with your message. You’ll also both receive an update email to let you know which community-based planting projects around Aotearoa New Zealand will plant and care for your native tree on your behalf.


7. For the Outdoor Lover who's also a Bit of a Foodie

Do you know someone who's perfect day involves a hike on a secret track, a gourmet picnic lunch and some gin tasting? Our Coastal Spirit Experience might be just their ticket to festive cheer!

This one day guided tour explores endless stretches of turquoise coastline on a 9km picturesque trail in Waihi and visit a local award-winning gin distillery. Transfers from Hamilton.

Everything I love about New Zealand!
"We had an amazing day doing the Coastal Spirit Experience. Everything I love about New Zealand from the breathtaking scenery of our coastline to the yummy local food. Our guide Kylie made the day even better. I cant wait to try one of Nature & Nosh's other experiences" - Anne (Auckland)


8. For the Person Who's Serious about Less Stuff

Do you know someone who's always complaining about how much stuff there is in the world? This book by mindful consumption expert Nicola Turner will give them something productive to channel their energy to and make positive changes.

How do you reduce your impact when you don't want to compromise your lifestyle? How do you live lighter when you're juggling the motherlode of life? How can you become more mindful of how and what you're consuming? In a previous career, Nicola Turner's job was to convince us to buy more - and now she uses this insight to help us consume less. With her unique ability to keep it real, Nicola shares how her family now lives with less stuff, less waste and less impact. It's made life simpler, saved heaps of time and money and created a healthier, happier family.



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