It’s that time of the year, when we are on the lookout for the perfect gifts for family, friends, perhaps even a few co-workers. While everyone has different tastes, most wouldn’t mind an eco-friendly, sustainable, and cruelty-free present. Here are just a few ideas.
Lagusta’s Luscious. Vegans and non-vegans alike have been known to travel from near and far to buy the gourmet, melt-in-your-mouth sweets from this New Paltz, N.Y., chocolatier. From caramels to chocolate barks (all of which are artfully designed and look as good as they taste), there is a palate pleaser for everyone — and everything can be ordered online. Try an assorted box of goodies including truffles, bonbons, caramels, and toffee, and owner Lagusta Yearwood’s new (and first) cookbook: “Sweet + Salty: The Art of Vegan Chocolates, Truffles, Caramels, and More From Lagusta’s Luscious.” ($59) lagustasluscious.com
Tamim Teas. This Arlington-based company handcrafts premium herbal teas with medicinal mushrooms (a traditional remedy for immune system support) and herbs to create organic, caffeine-free offerings that are as delicious as they are nourishing. Tamim Teas partners with local organic family farmers to ensure quality products. The teas — with names like Reishi-Chaga Boost and Chaga Chai — come in cleverly designed, eco-friendly canisters, each of which makes 35-plus cups of tea. Order two and shipping is free. ($17.95 per canister) tamimteas.com
Kripalu Center for Yoga & Health, Stockbridge. Nothing alleviates stress like a spiritual renewal retreat, and what better place to take one than in the rolling hills of the beautiful Berkshires? Re-energize with guided hikes, snowshoeing, yoga, and other activities, or cultivate inner tranquility through introspective workshops and meditation. Indulge in a relaxing massage, and show your body some love with plant-based, locally sourced food. Kripalu is offering a winter special: Stay two midweek nights and get an additional night free. Or, stay three midweek nights and get two additional nights free. Offer is valid Sunday-Thursday nights through Feb. 28 (Dec. 29-Jan.2 excluded). kripalu.org
Doshi. This company makes vegan handbags, briefcases, backpacks, belts, and other accessories. Not only are they sleek and stylish, but Doshi products are made with a non-woven, microfiber base material, which makes them more durable, supple, and sustainable than leather or many leather alternatives. Doshi donates 5 percent of sales to nonprofits working to benefit animals, people, and the environment. (Bags start at $49, with holiday sales up to 50 percent off select items.) doshi.shop
Purple Carrot. What could be better than the gift of health? This meal-kit company dispels the myth that vegan food is boring or tasteless. From tempeh tacos with buffalo sauce to Korean broccoli burritos with kimchi, Purple Carrot packages a variety of colorful and tasty pre-portioned ingredients — as well as easy-to-follow recipes — in a box delivered to your doorstep. Help your loved one kick off the new year with a healthy eating routine. ($71.94 for three meals, each of which serves two people, with other packages available.) purplecarrot.com/gifts
MYRO plant-powered deodorant. A perfect stocking stuffer for someone who cares about the planet. You pick the refillable color-of-your-choice case, the scent (which comes packaged in recyclable deodorant pods), and the plan — a one-time purchase, or regularly scheduled shipments. Vegan, soy- and gluten-free, the scents range from Big Dipper (bergamot, lavender, and vetiver) to Chill Wave (cucumber, jasmine, and spearmint) … or get Open Air, which is unscented and fragrance free. ($10, with limited time holiday bundles available starting at $38.) mymyro.com
Stasher reusable silicone storage bags. Ditch the plastic sandwich bags in favor of these sustainable alternatives that come in a variety of shapes, sizes, and colors. While the nontoxic bags are perfect for snacks and sandwiches, the larger stand-up storage bags are great for leftovers and other storage needs as they’re not only space savers, but thanks to their unique design make pouring liquids and other items into them super easy. Stasher bags can be used for everything from boiling their contents in the microwave to freezing them. ($52.99 for the Bundle Mojave Mix, pictured) stasherbag.com
Zero Waste Starter Kit. The perfect gift for someone who is looking to reduce their carbon footprint and doesn’t quite know where to begin. This (large size) starter kit includes — among other things — a bamboo cutlery set, an organic string shopping bag, a bamboo toothbrush (with 100 percent bio-based bristles) and travel case, a natural loofah, a shampoo bar (three scents from which to choose), and travel tin. All items are sent in biodegradable, plastic-free packing materials. Battle Green, a UK-based company, includes a welcome note, ingredients, and care instructions. Free shipping to the US. ($69.99) etsy.com/shop/BattleGreenBox
Fabgating licensed sports footwear, apparel, and accessories. Founded by animal-loving identical twins from Virginia Beach nearly a decade ago, this company – where “fashion meets passion,” its website states — is for women, by women. With National Football League and National Hockey League licenses, this line has a variety of styles of durable, high-quality, animal-free products (with and without sports logos) including a line of boots that look like Uggs, only without sheepskin or wool. ($59.99-$89.99 … HSN boot, pictured, $79.99) fabgating.com
Mini Cube Pop-Up Garden Kit. Buying a gift for someone with a green thumb? Look no further. This limited edition garden-in-a-box by the New Jersey company Farm-Based Foodie contains fully pasteurized and dehydrated reusable soil products (packaged in paper, so no single-use plastic), and includes easy-to-grow seeds (basil, kale, and green beans), recipes, and plant-care instructions. Plant veggies, herbs, and/or flowers for years to come in this less-than-one-square-foot trough. ($99) farmbasedfoodie.com
The RealReal gift card. This high-end resale website not only has vintage, classic, one-of-a-kind, and other very cool finds, but it helps the environment, in part, by keeping items out of landfills and extending the life cycle of luxury goods. A recent company survey found that more buyers and sellers than ever are citing environmental impact/sustainability as a motivating factor for turning to consignment. therealreal.com
Escape To … tours by Fairkonnect. This Cambridge-based company helps travelers connect the dots between travel, culture, ecological systems, and animal welfare on vegan tours of India, Sri Lanka, and Brazil. Small groups spend between eight and 11 days learning about indigenous cultures while focusing on zero-waste travel. A Vegan Adventure in Sri Lanka (Jan. 25–Feb.4) offers an action-packed itinerary that includes yoga, vegan cooking classes, workshops on medicinal plants and marine conservation, hiking in a tropical rain forest, and a visit to an elephant rehabilitation center (pictured). A portion of this trip’s fees will be donated to the center. ($2,375 includes everything except for airfare) escapeto.in
Save the Duck. Since 2017, this line of high-end outerwear company has saved the lives of more than three million ducks, thanks in large part to its innovative PLUMTECH padding, which was created to imitate the fluffiness of down with a recycled polyester that, unlike traditional down padding, absorbs high levels of humidity and dries quickly. Because of the density of its fibers, the material traps large quantities of air (the best type of thermal insulation), which preserves the body’s natural temperature for optimal comfort. Save the Duck jackets and coats come in a variety of men’s and women’s styles, including the women’s faux sheepskin hooded jacket and the men’s Giga ultra light hooded puffer jacket (pictured, $178). www.savetheduckusa.com
Solgaard luggage. Not only are these suitcases designed with travelers in mind, but they feature a sustainable interior lining made from recycled ocean-bound plastic bottles. For every product purchased, a company with which Solgaard has partnered removes five pounds of plastic waste from the ocean. The suitcase, which has a durable polycarbonate shell that Solgaard says is “virtually indestructible,” (the company offers a 10-year warranty) comes in two carry-on sizes, as well as full-size for check-in. It also includes a USB port and pocket, as well as a TSA-approved lock. The company also makes sustainable backpacks and accessories. (Suitcases start at $245, but the Cyber Monday deal is 35 percent off plus free shipping.) www.solgaard.co
Juliet Pennington can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.