Have a foodie in your life that seems impossible to shop for? Is that foodie you? No matter who you’re shopping for or why, Mandy Wright gives us a roundup of some eco-friendly products that you can gift this season - or keep for yourself!
When I first thought to write about foodie gifts to give during the holiday season, I hesitated. I didn’t want to encourage the hyper-consumerism that crops up this time of year, the spending of money on things people don’t need or will throw away in a matter of weeks. So, I decided to follow this rule: make a list that will contain eco-friendly or sustainable products that are good for more than one use. And honestly, since we’re talking about gifts in the kitchen, there are so many great options for cooking gadgets that can last you (or the person you’re gifting them to) years!
Small Compost Bin
For all your kitchen scraps! As a kid, my dad had a giant composter out behind our house that we enjoyed throwing eggshells and banana peels into, and watching my dad churn the handle to get it all mixed up. And while living in Scotland, a small compost bin was something I always had - but not everyone is consistent about it, and not everyone may live in a city/state/country where their locale composts for them. This is definitely multiple gifts in one: not just a compost bin, this reuses all the food bits you would normally throw away and also creates great fertiliser for your garden!
There’s no link for this one as it would be easier and cheaper to buy your own seeds and herbs (along with a compost bin to make fertilizer at home perhaps?) and other tools to start a home herb or vegetable garden. You could include a cute planter or plant markers so that the ‘giftee’ never forgets which herbs they planted where!
Bamboo Cutting Board
I can personally vouch for this one. I received a bamboo cutting board as a gift a few years back and I refuse to use any other cutting board! Mine is sturdy and heavy, which makes it stay in place as I chop things rather than slip around like all of my plastic cutting boards do, but it also has handles that make it easy to pick up and move around. I certainly recommend purchasing a larger one (so you never run out of space), and don’t be afraid to buy one that’s thick - that’s how you’ll know it’ll stay where you set it! It could look quite decorative sitting out on your kitchen counter….
These are all the rage at the moment. Billions of straws are thrown away in the UK every year, and this obviously contributes to all that plastic piling up in landfills, especially considering straws are only meant for a single use. A set of metal straws (with a cleaning pipe) is the perfect gift for that friend that loves smoothies, milkshakes, or simply the nostalgic feeling of using a straw.
Reusable Non-Stick Baking Mats
This one may not seem like your typical holiday gift, but it is certainly useful in the kitchen! These are environmentally friendly because they replace parchment paper underneath your cookies or other baked goods, and you can use them multiple times thanks to easy clean-up. If you know someone who loves to bake, this gift is a no-brainer!
They’re reusable, you can store just about anything in them, and they’re better than purchasing plastic containers. If you feel that mason jars are too plain a gift, they’re also quite decorative items than can be turned into other things. You could stuff mason jars with candies and other goodies, or fill a jar with a pre-measured dessert mix. One mason jar gift my family gets most years is homemade hot chocolate powder! Check out the recipe here. (These are US measurements, but the recipe is simple enough to follow by proportions. Alton Brown is my favorite.)
Don’t underestimate the value of a re-gifted present! Pretty plates, bowls, or other serving dishes, barely used ‘specialty’ baking items (like a springform pan or ramekins), or simply that one thing in your kitchen your friends and family always tell you they LOVE - why not give them a new home if you’re not using them? This is a great way to save money and the environment by not throwing away your unwanted items or contributing to the demand for single-use and plastic materials.
BONUS Bonus Gift!
If you or your loved ones live in certain parts of the United States, like California or bits of Texas, then a box from Imperfect Produce will make for a great gift! They fight food waste by sending you fruits and veggies that supermarkets might normally throw out, or that consumers might not usually buy. Check out their website: https://www.imperfectproduce.com/join.
Love from Label: We hope you enjoyed reading this piece! To support the work that we do, please take a look at our SHOP of body positive clothing - all sustainably made and gender neutral. Proceeds go to support the running of this magazine, to fund Label's shows and to the charity, BEAT