Plastic-free gift ideas from sustainable companies

‘Going zero-waste.’ This expression has exploded over the last few years, but can people really commit to this way of life?

Some may find it daunting, judging by the amount of plastic found in the landfills and the country’s waters, most especially our ocean and seas. Others question why do we have to go zero-waste and if buying your essentials sealed in a protective layer really that bad?

How big is the plastic pollution problem? Almost all plastic produced after 1950 is still sitting in wasteyards. Single-use plastics use a material made to last forever but are designed to be thrown away. Over time, these fragment into smaller pieces and become microscopic that last for centuries on end.

While news organizations have shown how deadly plastic can be for marine wildlife—particularly fish, dolphins, seabirds, seals, and turtles—that mistake them for food, people are also consuming these waste plastics.

Studies found traces of microplastics in danggit, galunggong, talaba, tahong and other seafood that are caught for human consumption. Microplastics are causes for concern on human health. These were found to degrade into smaller pieces called nanoplastics that can migrate and enter a man’s body resulting in internal risks to health.

Zero waste does not happen overnight. Things and attitudes change. Small steps need to be taken. So why don’t we start with sending out plastic-free gifts this Christmas? Oceana curated gift ideas from its #DiNaSingle partner establishments:

The Eco Shift: Plastic Free Essentials

Frustrated by the few options available in the market for plastic-free products, The Eco Shift partners decided to launch their brand of personal care essentials with the mission to influence people to shift to plastic-free products. That happened in December 2018. Since then, the company has grown its product offerings made of hand-made and all-natural plastic-free essentials with the mission to help shape a world wherein the use of plastic becomes the exception rather than the norm.  

To achieve this, The Eco Shift has engaged resellers based all over the Philippines, all with the mission to provide plastic-free essentials that are effective and affordable to assist people to seamlessly shift into a new kind of lifestyle.

This Christmas season, the company is offering its “Catch Me If You Can” gift packs made by sugarcane-bagasse boxes that contain either five conditioner bars or five shampoo bars for P935 per set, up to 14 regular-sized soaps, shampoo bars, and conditioner bars all for P2,380.

Limited-edition Christmas bundles priced at P600 are on offer, containing a shampoo, conditioner and body bar—all nicely packaged in a be-ribboned box with a card.

Link: https://theecoshift.online/

KatHa Lifestyle Store

KatHa Lifestyle Store features a carefully curated range of products: a tea library, specialty coffee, all-natural and locally handcrafted skincare, and much more. The store aims to be there to help each person transition to a more sustainable lifestyle that is suited to their pace and budget.

On offer for this Christmas season are the:  Gentle Reminder Gift Set (P540) that contains a bamboo toothbrush, tongue cleaner, tooth tablets, and bamboo charcoal floss, and the Bath And Shower Set (P700) that features a shampoo & conditioner bar, tea tree facial soap, Neutra Organics body soap and facial clay mask.

Links:

·       Gentle Reminder Gift Set: https://www.instagram.com/p/CHuOAriHATL/?igshid=1164hau3otj0a

·       Unwind Shower Set: https://www.instagram.com/p/CHuNec4H8fW/?igshid=1t8urhquq7s0a

Akbayanihan Ecostore

Just like the tienda (general store) in the olden days, Akbayanihan Ecostore offers all the basic food, cleaning, and personal hygiene products—but with a twist. Its first physical store in Tandang Sora promotes unpacked and wrapper-free food and non-food items that are locally sourced from reliable suppliers and organic producers. Customers can either bring containers to the store for refilling or swap with in-house packages. The establishment guarantees high-quality yet cheaper cooking oil, fish sauce, soy sauce, vinegar, dishwashing liquid, and laundry soaps that are locally sourced, earth friendly and reliable. These can be bought either by bulk or even smaller quantities like 100 grams or milliliters. Reusable containers can also be picked up and delivered by store representatives.

This Christmas season, Akbayanihan is selling gift packs containing honey, cashew nuts, eggs, coffee, virgin coconut oil, lavender aromatherapy oil, all-natural body soap, and bamboo toothbrush—all tidily packed in baskets and small boxes made of pandan leaves or abaca gift bags.

Links:

·       Shampoo & conditioner bars: https://www.facebook.com/akbayanihanecostore/posts/216739889909050

·       Soap: https://www.facebook.com/akbayanihanecostore/posts/212413750341664

Back to Basics Ecostore

Another refillery is Back to Basics (BtB) Ecostore that offers household and personal care products without the unnecessary packaging. While other establishments were adversely affected by the Covid lockdown, this Ecostore managed to continue operations, thanks to their home delivery service system that proved simple and convenient during the pandemic. BtB offers refilling of basic household essentials like powder and liquid detergent, dishwashing liquid, fabric conditioner, and kitchen and toilet cleaner. They also carry kitchen staples like coconut cooking oil, soy sauce, vinegar, fish sauce, oyster sauce, muscovado and coco sugar, and wild forest honey.

From just a few items offered when they started in 2019, BtB now features 78 well-curated products from 17 local brands. They also pride themselves on carrying mostly local and environment-friendly products. Aside from deliveries, they also just opened their hub in Maginhawa St. in Diliman, Quezon City for drop-off and pick-up. They expect to increase online deliveries now that they partner with Drive Manila, a logistics service that supports plastic-free delivery. The founders say they have been receiving queries to replicate the system from parties in Marikina and Mandaluyong to even as far as Davao and Palawan.

Since October, BtB has been offering Christmas gift sets ranging from P275 (Kalinga Coffee and Muscovado Sugar Set in recycled glass containers) to P1,650 (Cleaning Set that contains one gallon each of laundry detergent, fabric conditioner, dishwashing soap, and hand soap packed in a wooden crate). Apart from the coffee-sugar set, their best-seller gift sets also include the Immunity Booster Set (P700) that features 350 grams of wild honey and 250ml of VCO; and Honey-Muscovado Sweetener Set (P475) that includes 140g muscovado sugar and 250g wild forest honey – both sets nicely packaged in a small wooden table crate.

Links:

·       Food gift packs: https://www.instagram.com/p/CGpm8pIBo7r/?igshid=zlf9sxq11txk

·       Non-food: https://www.instagram.com/p/CGpnaUohq6t/?igshid=155rhmd7wyr43

The Bamboo Company

This establishment capitalizes on the multifarious ways the resilient and sustainable bamboo can be used in everyday products like toothbrush, fountain pen, mugs, tumblers, wristwatches, and even earbuds. Its unique and distinct products have been used as corporate giveaways by quite a few companies in the Philippines, among them: LBC, Food and Agriculture Organization, UNICEF, Unilab, Dell, Accenture, Volvo, and even the Department of Environment and Natural Resources.

Best-sellers are the Eco-friendly Coffee Set Buddy that contains a coffee press, mug, and jar for P2,199; the Breakfast Buddy Set made of a mug and coffee tumbler priced at P1,699; Lakbawayan Tumbler 2.0 Thermos sold for P1,699; and the Bamboo Fountain Pen priced at P649.

Links:

·       Coffee Set Buddy: https://www.thebamboocompany.ph/products/eco-friendly-coffee-set-buddy

·       Breakfast Buddy Set: https://www.thebamboocompany.ph/products/breakfast-buddy-set

·       Lakbawayan Tumbler 2.0 Thermos: https://www.thebamboocompany.ph/products/lakbawayan-bamboo-tumbler-2-0-with-handle

·       Bamboo Fountain Pen: https://www.thebamboocompany.ph/products/bamboo-fountain-pen

Lush

Lush products have been well-loved by conservation-conscious Filipino buyers who want fresh cosmetics and other natural handmade products that are 100-percent vegetarian and animal cruelty-free.

Since its establishment 19 years ago in the Philippines, Lush Fresh Handmade Cosmetics has pioneered beauty products like the fizzing bath ballistic, shower jellies and solid shampoo bars. It places emphasis on fresh ingredients like organic fruits and vegetables and operates a strict policy against animal testing and supports Fair Trade and Community Trade initiatives.

Lush also leads the cosmetics industry in combating over-packaging by running public awareness campaigns and developing products that can be sold ‘naked’ to the consumer without any packaging.

Its Christmas Gift Set offerings feature the Season’s Greetings Set that contains a cleansing soap and moisturizing cream for P1,699; Oh, My Clementine Set (P1,995) that comes with a fruity trio of shower and body products made from real apple, orange, and pear; and the Fairy Christmas Gift Set (P4,595) that contains a bath bomb, bubble bar, shampoo bar, body, dusting powder, body spray, shower gel and body conditioner with the sweet Snow Fairy scent. 

Link:

·      Fairy Christmas Gift Set: https://lush.com.ph/products/fairy-christmas-gift-set

·      https://lush.com.ph/products/oh-my-clementine-gift-set?_pos=1&_sid=7c417812a&_ss=r

·      https://lush.com.ph/products/seasons-greetings-gift-set?_pos=1&_sid=2803de8d5&_ss=r

“Let’s make this holiday season  even more memorable in a positive light. Sharing precious moments even virtually with our loved ones and exchanging ideas  to reduce our carbon footprint and best to go for a minimalist lifestyle can also be a chance to render our own way of keeping our oceans healthy, vibrant, and sustainable. This is for our young loved ones who will tend to our planet for the next generation to come,” said Gloria Estenzo Ramos, Oceana Vice President.

Oceana is an international advocacy organization dedicated to protecting the world’s oceans. Since 2014, Oceana has been working closely with national and local government agencies, civil society, fisherfolk and other stakeholders to restore abundance of Philippine fisheries and marine resources. 

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For More Information:

Joyce Sierra, Communications Manager, Oceana

Mobile: 09178214430 E-mailjsierra@oceana.org

Facebook: www.facebook.com/oceana.philippines

Twitter: @oceana_ph Instagram: @oceana_ph