Five ways to practise conscious gifting

From thrift shopping to making a donation, these are some eco-friendly gifts that are perfect for your friends.

Stacey Tay

When she’s not writing articles, you’ll find her at home using her sewing machine.

Published: 6 July 2021, 12:14 PM

If you don’t already know what conscious gifting is, it is an act of giving ethical and sustainably made presents to another person. 

For beginners, it may take a lot of effort to find gifts with a low-environmental impact. But not to worry, we’re here to help.

From plant shopping to digital gift cards, here are five ideas that may help you find the perfect gift for your eco-conscious friend!

1. Cook a meal

Cooking a meal is a creative gift idea that is just as valued as a store-bought gift. After all, a homemade meal requires a lot of preparation and energy in the kitchen.


Put your culinary skills to the test by cooking a homemade meal for your loved one. PHOTO CREDIT: CONSCIOUS DESIGNER VIA UNSPLASH


The gift of a homemade meal is personal and shows your loved ones how much you care for them. It is also easy on the environment as you can use your spare vegetables or similar food scraps without wasting them. 

If you are not an expert chef, try making these simple and easy TikTok recipes here

2. Purchase a succulent

Is your friend plant-obsessed? Purchase a succulent to add to their collection!

Unlike flowers that wither quickly, succulents are known to be sustainable as their lifespans tend to be longer.


Succulents symbolise strength and eternal love which is a great way to show your unconditional love for the person. PHOTO CREDIT: ANGELE KAMP VIA UNSPLASH


Even if your friend has a busy schedule, succulents do not need extra care except to be watered every few days. They can also help your friend feel less stressed and happier. 

Succulents will make a great gift to show your love and add more positive energy to your friend’s life.

3. Buy second-hand gifts

Despite shopping second-hand for our loved ones, we can still find some preloved items that are in good condition to gift. 

Thrifting gifts is also a unique experience as you can potentially find one-of-a-kind items.


When we shop secondhand, we open up endless possibilities of finding the perfect gift for the person. PHOTO CREDIT: BECCA MCHAFFIE VIA UNSPLASH


Secondhand gifting has the added benefit of reducing waste. Last year, the National Environment Agency reported that 5.88 million tonnes of solid waste was generated, of which 3.04 million was recycled.

If your loved one is an avid reader, you can buy books from secondhand book shops at Far East Plaza. There is a vast range of popular fiction and non-fiction books that fill up the shelves. 

You can also try thrifting clothes from local thrift shops, where you can find something that is fitting for any occasion. 

4. Send a digital gift card

If you are shopping for gifts at the last minute, buy a digital gift card to avoid the unnecessary headache. 

For coffee addicts, the Starbucks eGift card offers benefits such as a free birthday drink. As they earn more points after each purchase, your friends can claim more freebies.

If your friend is a shopaholic, local online store Bare is a sustainable fashion brand that offers minimal yet stylish clothes. They offer camisoles and sleeved tops that are sustainably made. 

You can spoil your friend with Bare’s digital gift card from their website here.


Not only is a digital gift card easy on the environment, your friend can also enjoy their time online shopping. PHOTO CREDIT: KAROLINA GRABOWS VIA PEXELS


The best part? This gift is a waste-free option that does not require any packaging.

5. Donate to a social cause

If your friend already owns everything that they need, you can donate money to an organisation that your friend cares about. 

Consider making a donation in your friend’s name to a non-profit. Some of these organisations include Changi Foundation, Blooms of hope and Lions Befrienders Service Association.


Donating is a thoughtful gift to support those in need especially during this pandemic. PHOTO CREDIT: MELANIE LIM


This gift is a special one as you are making a difference in someone else’s life! After all, conscious gifting is also an act of caring and showing your love.

Although buying an eco-friendly gift for your loved ones may require extra work, rest assured that they will love and appreciate your effort. 

Happy gift shopping!

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