New Delhi: Friendship Day is celebrated on August 1 and with time, has evolved into an opportunity to show some genuine love to those who extend unconditional support to us through life's ups and downs. With growing awareness about climate change and irresponsible consumption patterns, it seems but natural to not turn this day into another excuse to buy meaningless gifts. Why not instead show some love to your pals and mother earth with these eco-sensitive gestures?
Here is our pick of five sustainable and eco-friendly ideas:
Ethical beauty products: There are many high-profile and lesser-known brands in India today creating zero-cruelty and ethical beauty products and you can take your pick according to your budget and preferences. Check out sites where every product is genuinely handmade with certified organic ingredients. Look for ingredients where there is an organic certification to ensure that everything from the soil to the water used has no adulteration. And then choose from goodies for face, hair and body, spa treats and gifts for him and her to green home products like laundry and dishwashing bars and organic towels. You will for sure find something online that is just right for a friend who worries about environmental conservation and whether or not a gift is biodegradable.
A thoughtfully made garment: Sustainable farming practices are the bedrock of slow fashion and green clothing brands. Such brands are responsive to the plight of Indian farmers who are struggling with debt, poverty, high costs of modern farming techniques, genetically modified seeds and weather irregularities. Support companies that swear by organic and fair trade farming practices. Many brands are also going not just vegan but carbon-neutral too. So pick up something special for a special someone and help the planet and a farmer in the bargain. Fast fashion is no longer in style. Thoughtfully created, eco-sensitive garments are the way forward so do a little research and you will find multiple options that are kinder to the planet.
Greet with trees: Why not choose a living and breathing gift that significantly benefits the planet? Why not gift trees to honour a cause or a loved one? Surprise a friend with a green gesture and inspire others to do the same. Check out Grow-Trees.com which is a movement to expand green cover, nourish wildlife habitats as well as forests with afforestation drives. It engages and benefits local communities and involves corporates and individuals as well. Grow-Trees.com will carry your greetings via an eTreeCertificate® to the person you are honouring to let them know about your heartfelt gesture. You can also gift trees to several people at once. This social initiative is pioneering a web-enabled, cost-effective service for individuals and companies so that they can easily plant trees globally. Go on, be a part of this mission while showing a friend that your love for them is evergreen.
Earth-friendly utilities: Big changes begin with small gestures so why not initiate a friend into a more sustainable way of living by offering them a gift hamper packed with earth-friendly goodies like bamboo or a neem toothbrush, exfoliating loofahs and other zero waste and eco-friendly personal care products? Check out sites that offer guilt-free gifts and promote slow living, resource conservation, biodegradable packaging, fair trade, ethical sourcing, plant-based utilitarian products and a lot more.
Eco-friendly stationery: If your friend likes to journal, visit sites that offer quirky, sustainable and upcycled stationery, notepads, diaries, pouches, newspaper pens and pencils. Make sure that the products are made with 90% upcycled materials and are handcrafted. Opt for reversible, washable and organic face masks, veggie bags and home accessories ranging from furnishings, glasses, planters, coasters and a lot more upcycled stuff. Support eco-friendly brands that use waste, offcuts and extra fabric and shop for a gift that is truly green.
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