Layne always enjoys researching earth-friendly products and dabbles in veganism and vegetarianism.
How to Pick the Perfect Gift
If it's that time of year; perhaps you are going down your list of family members, friends, and significant others to gift to. Maybe you have a vegan on your list! You may have a basic idea of what to give, but there are many consumer products that vegans choose to live without for the greater good of the planet!
Here's a gift-giving guide to some of the hottest seasonal trends—gifts that your special someone will surely appreciate and delight in.
What Kind of Gift Do You Give to a Vegan?
If you have a vegan friend, you may be curious about what they do and do not consume, purchase, or wear. Many animal products are hidden in items we consume every day, so it does take some research. Vegans do not consume immediate animal products (meat), and anything produced by animals (wool, beeswax, silk, eggs). As a general guideline, this is what you should avoid:
- Animal products: gelatin, honey, beeswax (candles), lanolin
- Materials: silk (made by silkworms), wool, leather, fur
- Shellac (produced by the lac insect)
- Cochineal (red dye derived from insects; found in skittles, lipstick, juice, yogurt)
- Makeup and bath and body products that have been animal-tested or contain ingredients like squalene (derived from sharks)
- Accessories with feathers or pearls
- Bone china
- Alcoholic beverages that have been filtered with animal products (egg whites or fish bladder)
Great Gift Ideas for Vegans
1. Donate to an Animal Shelter in Their Name
Clearly, this is not just for vegans! Any animal-lover will delight in this gift. Consider submitting a donation to an animal shelter in your person's name. The shelters often send a confirmation and thank you note to the individual. Be sure not to sign them up for news blasts (unless you think they'd like it). Some shelters, too, offer a gift in return. This is sure to bring about that seasonal joy!
2. Waste-Free Eco-Friendly Coconut Bowl
One of my favorite gifts of all and something I use daily (see below), these coconut shell bowls are perfect for your zero-waste friends. They are lightweight and pack up well for use on the go. They clean easily with mild soap and water. Did I mention they are biodegradable, sustainable, and compostable? The bowl even comes with a reusable spoon. This item is an absolute favorite. I pack mine with me when I travel abroad. It's a great travel addition for snacking on the go.
Kalea Coconut Bowl
3. Essential Oil Diffuser
NEXGADGET makes a super sleek looking 400 mL BPA-Free ultrasonic aromatherapy essential oil diffuser. I purchased one last holiday season and gave it to my yogi friend. I love its awesome features. Its bamboo-style design is aesthetically pleasing and offers 7 alternating LED colors to enhance the mood and has an automatic safety shut off and timers. You can carefully select your essential oils according to your friend's personality—choose either mood-lifting EOs like orange, or refreshing scents like lemongrass, or seasonal scents like fir. Just be sure to encourage EO oil safety—especially if they have cats, dogs, or children in the house.
4. Vegan Wine, Beer, Cider, Liquor
The Barnivore website is excellent for looking up vegan-friendly alcoholic beverages, and most individuals will always appreciate a nice bottle of wine or champagne for a special occasion. It may be surprising, but many wines are processed with animal products. During the fining process, a fining agent is added to the wine to help accelerate precipitating out particles in the wine. These non-vegan agents include: casein (milk protein), albumin (egg whites), gelatin, and isinglass (fish bladder protein). Activated charcoal or bentonite is typically used in vegan alcoholic beverages.
5. Organic Earth-Friendly Meditation Pillow
Perhaps your friend is not only interested in saving the planet through actions but also takes time for self-exploration, self-care, and meditates. This meditation cushion is absolutely fantastic and is one of my favorite gift items. It's filled with buckwheat hulls and is easily washable. It also comes in a bunch of earth-friendly tones—plum, orange saffron, grass, and burgundy. I bought my Waterglider International cushion in twilight for only $30. It also comes in earthy colors like plum, orange saffron, grass, and burgundy. It would make a wonderful gift for your meditative friend.
6. Happy Light
I was gifted the Happy Energy Health Light last holiday season, and I absolutely love it. It's easy on the eyes with its wooden stand and petite size, but it certainly does the job at 10,000 lux (also adjustable). I use mine in the winter seasons and it really boosts my mood—especially during rain spells and sunless days. This is perfect for the colder months and areas prone to less sunlight, rain, and snow. If you know someone who is often bright and cheery but prone to Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD), a condition that affects an individual's mood due to decreased vitamin D levels, this is a perfect gift! It's an instant mood booster.
7. Vegan Cosmetics
Elf Cosmetics are absolutely vegan-friendly, cruelty-free, and affordable. Considering the excellent selections of eye, lip, and face makeup, you can throw together a wonderful gift basket of trendy makeup. Also consider Everyday Minerals, Milk Makeup, and Kat Von D Beauty—Kat Von D is a well-known tattoo artist, glam wizard, and has been a key figure in the vegan community for years. My favorite eco lipstick is "beach goth" by Pacifica. It's 100% vegan and cruelty free, and it only costs10 dollars.
8. Toms Women's or Men's Classic Vegan Shoe
Everybody loves a good pair of Toms classic slip ons, so go check out their website for their vegan shoe styles. The great thing about Toms is that the company is founded on giving back to the planet and the planet's communities—with their One-for-One mission, they provide 60 million pairs of shoes to children in need. You can get away with a little guessing for size on these cute styles—a benefit of the slip-on. This is a fun gift for adults and kids.
9. Marimo Moss Ball Pets
This is the perfect gift for kids! The Marimo moss ball is a totally fun concept—it's a living, vibrant-green ball that is easy care and lives in its own habitat or terrarium. This is a fun introduction to caring for a living thing for young kids. Check out various sources for premade kits. You can visit the Moss Ball Pet website for more browsing.
Etsy is the ultimate go-to for unique vegan gifts, from handmade gift baskets to screenprint Ts. Simply type into the search bar "vegan gifts," and you will have hours of happy searching. You can specify whether or not you want handmade items and you can search within a certain price range. This is an excellent resource to find that perfect, unique gift for your friend. There are plenty of "his" and "hers" ideas, too.
A Beginner's Guide to Veganism
© 2018 Layne Holmes