2022 Low Tox Gift Giving

Gifts. A source of great joy and appreciation but also can be annoying, miss the mark and wasteful, leaving people thinking ‘does my friend/family member even know who I am?’

When we go low tox our values change, That ‘gorgeous apple pie scented candle’ becomes a toxic fume that affects fertility and is the reason you finally figured out why you get headaches, the ‘easy entertaining’ single-use plates everyone thinks are genius, just make you want to cry. Your values have changed – or rather you’ve gotten in touch with your values more deeply and there’s a truth to the difficulty for a while there, of being who you are, in touch with what really matters, and being in the world, often pulling us into hyper-waste/consumption and the opposite of natural goodness.

Now I am most definitely NOT anti gift – especially for people transitioning to low tox every day options, moving their bigger ticket items like fry pans and mattresses into low tox territory as and when it’s time to make the swaps, plus the situations like when you have realised you need to bring the humidity down at home and need dehumidifiers or want to reduce your blue light exposures which we are drenched in in the modern world – there are just times where we need to buy stuff and we can’t op shop (I can’t op shop at all for example because of the mould exposure in a room full of things from people’s random houses with water damage or dirty air cons).

Everyone has their story and so to poo poo buying things or buying something new, is I think, to shame people who are just trying to do their best. As long as we work hard to receive the memo that we absolutely don’t need as much as we’ve always bought or think we needed, and we transition to better quality items and then start to work on broadening our ‘shopping is fun’ to ‘walking in the sunshine is fun’ and ‘catching up with a friend is fun’ then please don’t pile on the guilt when you need something, or want to get someone a special gift.

So when it comes to gifts, without a doubt, less gifts overall is the go and less pressure for people to give each other things in general – especially in a time where things are inflated in their cost in many areas. We don’t want our relatives and friends to feel pressured into spending money they need to spend elsewhere – imagine us all secretly feeling we can’t ‘buy all this stuff’ when most of it is stuff we don’t need or want from others. Crazy town, right? I always remind my son that a drawing from him and some lovely words on a card are still enough for me – action and heart still mean the most and there’s so much we can do that doesn’t cost a thing – or costs very little such as DIY gifts – to show people we care.

According to the University of Sydney, Australians typically spend 60% more of our income and generate 30% more household waste during this period of giving and celebration at the end of the year with scholars even calling Christmas ‘the world’s greatest annual environmental disaster’.

 

How to get what you actually need/want

I always say to people in our community struggling to make those low tox swaps for bigger ticket items, this is the time of year you need to be direct and spell out what you need. This can be especially helpful if family members have noticed your preferences change and it’s an area they have no idea how to shop for you in – they will be relieved when you’re direct about what you need.

If you’re trying to think about how to word an email to your family about your (perhaps new-found) gift-giving/receiving philosophy, then here’s a little template for you to copy, paste and add your own flair to.

___________________________________________________

Dear Auntie Betty,

I’ve had an interesting year of learning and one of the biggest things I’ve learnt is how much waste we send to landfill each year as a country with Christmas/New Year being the biggest time. Isn’t that icky? It has got me to thinking about what I really need and could do with some help getting and the answer is not much, so I thought I’d pop you a note to say…

(choose your own adventure here between 1,2 and 3)

  1. You always get me a gift and it’s so generous. I never expect anything but if you were going to again this year, I’m saving for a rather expensive cookware/electrical etc item with my new “Buy once, buy well” motto, and a little voucher from XYZ store, where I plan to get it from, would be great to put it towards.
  2. I truly don’t need a thing this year but if you really want to get me something, how about booking us a nice lunch or a coffee+walk date in for the new year as it’ll mean we get more time together.
  3. I need nothing, but there’s a gorgeous puzzle I’ve wanted to get for Oscar from this divine shop online and something for him is something for me, so that’s an idea if you really wanted to get us something.
  4. I don’t need a thing – why don’t you bring us a champagne/ rocky road/ your favourite cake to enjoy over Christmas together.

In turn if you want to spell out anything you need, send it on over – I’m so looking forward to seeing you at Christmas!

Alexx x

A note here too, is to ensure we’re making it clear no one has to buy anything for anyone, of course, if you have a relative or friend who normally likes to buy gifts but is doing it tough this year – Maybe they need a note to say “We’re not doing pressies this year, but we are doing a cookie kringle” and everyone makes their assigned person a batch of cookies. Thoughtful, from the heart, inexpensive and no need to spend a second in a crowded shopping centre which I think we can all agree is the worst place to be this time of year.

 

My low tox suggestions for those who are looking to give gifts or send helpful links to family members for what you need. 

If you need some help finding lovely low tox things, I had the pleasure of looking through some of the wonderful low tox companies we work with over the year, as well as selecting a few special faves from online retailers – and in the list, there’s something for everyone so I hope you enjoy having a look through and getting an idea spark for that person you’ve been wondering about getting something for. Remember if you’re on a budget, there’s nothing more delicious than popping a few homemade cookies or salted caramels in a little jar with a ribbon and a card wishing your special peeps well. My vanilla shortbreads are always a hit for Christmas and Hannukah!

A FEW THINGS FOR KIDS

Now, a lot of the things below come from BIOME one of my favourite online stores so I have a special offer to help you with your present purchases. Sound good?

Biome

Ooh I have a special offer for you for Biome which some of the gifts mentioned about come from!! 10% off sitewide* | GOLOWTOX2022

*Offer expires 11.59 pm, 31 December 2022. Excludes shipping. One use per person. No minimum spend. Not to use with sale/special ites.

Your Wild Memory Card Game

These are adorable nature-loving cards to play memory with and perfect for exploring the names of different creatures, fungi and plants as you turn the cards over or before you play the game with your little person. The creator also happens to be an alumnus of the Go Low Tox program – I love seeing what people get up to after completing the course over the years. Amazing!

EverEarth Musical Bench

Ok so yes this will make noise but exposing little people to music and creative expression is so wonderful for development – this is a lovely wood-based multi-sound station for toddlers to enjoy. Gorgeous.

Bush Shack Bush Painting Kit

I got my 5 year old nephew this set and he loves it. It’s the kind of art that still makes a mess but somehow is much more calming for the nervous system because, well, just look at it?

Get your paint on and do a painting project right there along with your little giftee!

Opinel Le Petit Chef Complete Set

My son used this wonderful Opinel set which keeps little people safe while getting the hang of chopping and peeling –

He loved having grown-up-looking tools and I loved that he was safer while using them!

Planet Finska Wooden Tossing Game

Is anyone else wildly competitive when it comes to games? My tennis coach laughs at how competitive I am “It’s not Wimbledon” they say, to which I reply “there IS such a thing as the ITF seniors tour, you know!!” (Fully aware my friends reading this will laugh at me) Anyhoo, family games are such a great way to get laughing together, be silly, trash talk and accuse and defend, all in the safe space of family fun – kind of like rough play for men and little boys to learn the physical boundaries in life, games can do the same for social interactions. I’m a big fan and a big fan of Finska – hope you enjoy it!

Kinfolk Pantry Bubble Wand Koala

Love the bubbles but hate the garish cheap plastic that’s used to make the fun? Enter this gorgeous Kinfolk Bubble Wand – much better!

A great example of “you don’t have to stop having fun that way, we’re just going to do it a little differently!”

Planet Finska Travel Ludo

Ludo takes me back to being a little girl. Did you play it? What a gorgeous wooden option for hours of fun.

Poppy & Daisy Let’s Create – Handmade Paper Kit

Crafting and DIY paper can provide hours of fun for creative souls who live to create, design, write and draw – 2023 could be the year that they make their own cards for friends and family for special occasions.

This is a gorgeous handmade paper kit to make someone very happy in the holidays.

Play To Learn

Play to Learn is a gorgeous online store for all things children and low tox – gorgeous handcrafted toys, low tox dolls – it’s absolutely worth supporting this business – Lisa is so passionate about providing these beautiful things for kids thanks to a big personal journey of health in her family where what they used day to day made such a difference – passion-led small business just feels so good to buy from, right? Happy shopping for the special little people in your world!

Nature Hunt

Animal Movements

 

FOR EVERYONE

 

Operation Crayweed Hoodie

A hoodie made entirely from seaweed, to help raise funds to restore crayweed to the Sydney coastline and in turn, the biodiversity of species and sequestration of carbon – SO MUCH WINNING!

If you have the cash to give something that costs $500 this year – let this be that thing! Want to understand more? Listen to the show I did with the professor, Adriana Verges,

who is behind this incredible regeneration project that is already proving successful!

 

Ausclimate

10% off their already discounted prices with code LOWTOXLIFE – My favourite mould prevention strategy is having enough dehumidification power in your home to keep the indoor humidity below 60% – you can test what yours is with a hygrometer from your hardware store. Ausclimate are an awesome aussie business that have a range of dehumidifiers and air purifiers (Winix) to suit whatever your layout or house size is. You can find what you want online or give them a buzz to discuss which type/size you might need but do it before the humidity of the summer kicks in and then – provided you don’t have water damage – you can prevent mould growth inside instead of worrying about it after it turns up!

Applicable to both online and over-the-phone purchases. Valid until end of December 2022.

Block Blue Light

Amber Sleep Lamp​ example – this lamb is a fabulous lamp that’s easy to travel with and perfect for reading or using as a bedroom light in the evenings without exposing yourself to melatonin-suppressing blue light. You will be more likely to be able to go to sleep, the less blue light you’re exposed to in the evenings. I love many of the products in the Block Blue Light range – the sweet dreams or full spectrum light bulbs, the computer glasses, reading light and red light panels – a great range to treat yourself or your low tox friend with this festive season.

The Natural Bedding Co.

10% off Latex mattresses & Latex pillows and Low Wool Pillows. These mattresses are gorgeous, luxurious and a big fave of the low tox community. Have you read my piece on pillows? Maybe it’s time to swap yours!

NATBEDLOWTOX22

Low Tox Life Food Book – Personalised and Signed

I’m making everyday trips to the post office at the moment and all the way through to December 15 to send you a personalised copy of Low Tox Life FOOD, my second book, or you could also get the book bundle of both my books – anyone who gets two or more books also receives my organic GOTS certified Real Food Manifesto tote bag which everyone says is the best bag they’ve ever owned for groceries – it’s all in the shoulder strap length and thick wide base, I tell you!

NEW Worm Factory®

I LOVE MY WORM FARM – We’ve been running our worm farm for a year and a half now and it’s truly amazing how much these little wrigglers eat from our scraps. We simply don’t waste food – If you need some inspo about getting started, Costa wrote a little chapter in my FOOD book on composting and worm farming, and you could also have a listen to the wonderful Hannah Churton on my Low Tox Life podcast 

Having a worm farm is a brilliant way, especially for city peeps, to connect to the life cycle of food, of worms, of waste prevention and of healthy soil – it’s a brilliant way to get kids closing the loop and having the responsibility of feeding the worms, too. I’m a huge fan and I really think this would be an epic Chrissy gift!

quality gardening tools

If you have a gardener in your life, or you’ve just moved to a place where you can spread your wings and get planting, then quality, durable garden tools are a great pressie – take a listen to my permaculture episode, designed to inspire the smallest of spaces with Nicole Shauder here if you want some food growing inspo to accompany your snazzy new tools!

I love this wonderful business that sell all sorts of seedling-sized medicinal herbs for you to take over the growing of and plant your medicinal garden – great gifts! medicinal herbs

 

LOVE EARTH’s Yoga Mat

This is an excellent yoga mat with really good grip, by a wonderful Aussie business, Love Earth. Definitely worth receiving or giving!

 

WATERS CO. WATER FILTRATION RANGE

My love for Waters Co filters runs deep – from the large benchtop options to the littlest one that I take with me everywhere when away from home – the mini waterman filter. Whatever you choose from the range you’re backing their brilliant technology that filters very close to 100% of contaminants out, while also remineralising so that you don’t lose electrolyte imbalance as you often do with filtered water options.

GIFT SETS

3 Piece Starter Pack With Noni™

Solid teknics are a fantastic low-tox multi-century durability guarantee cookware range in either cast iron or nickel-free stainless steel. This starter pack is fabulous and if you manage it get it or something else from the Solid Teknics range before the 16th Ddecember, valued at over $279, then you’ll also receive a free 18cm cast iron skillet as a gift with the code LOWTOX so maybe this is finally the time to invest in your low tox cookware!

KOALA ECO’s Best Seller Collection

Sometimes trying a new cleaning range is daunting, and Koala eco have put together their best sellers to save you a few $$$ + let you try the range. We love this local Aussie business and use their Laundry wash and stainless steel cleaner  – smells delicious!

BioFirst Bundle and Save

Biofirst has helped a LOT of people in the low-tox community this year with their skin solutions – I’ve loved hearing the feedback from low tox peeps and their kids whose skin has improved so much using the Manuka Skin Saver and there are exciting new products in the range, now, too. Again, bundle options are a great way to try a range and save a few dollars.

Mukti Essential Hero Collection Skin Care Kit

Mukti’s Skin-resurfacing exfoliant is one of the most rejuvenating products I’ve ever used and I swear, it takes the tiredness away from the face on those days you need a healing, high-performance pick me up. In this collection it’s bundled with the best of the range to suit the purpose of “I want my skin to look and feel fabulous” and I genuinely cannot recommend you try this enough! I want to hear your reports after you’ve sent this link to your mum and said “get me this please, thank you!” hehe. It’s not cheap but as someone who uses the exfoliant, I can vouch for how long it will last you. I’ve had it 6 months and counting, using it 1-2 times per week.

Dr Bronner’s Adventure Soap Gift Set

There are very few companies that continue to grow at the speed of naughts AND maintain the highest level of ethics in procurement, production, company operations and sales. Dr Bronner is one of those companies, and it’s been such a pleasure to watch them grow to be a household brand around the world for low tox families. Sometimes people ask me “but why are you promoting an overseas company when there are local soap makers” and that’s a fair enough question. I do so because the way ingredients are produced matters and Dr Bronner’s commitment to supporting and growing stability and prosperity for communities around the world with their coconut and ethical palm partner programs on the scale that they’re able to do so as a big company, is all kinds of awesome. Take a listen to the show I did with Lisa Bronner and, more recently, with Gero Leson, their global head of sourcing, to understand just why they’re one of my favourite brands. This adventure soap pack is a great intro pack for the uninitiated or for those who

Bush Medijina Calming Gift Bag

This awesome little bundle of Aussie goodness is inspired by the wisdom and power in indigenous ingredients. The soap smells delicious and for the Aussie-proud friend or family member it will no doubt go down super well.

Weleda Calendula Baby Love Gift Set

I’ve lost count the number of times I have given this set to people for their new bub – in fact, I have one tucked away and ready for my acupuncturist when he’s back from Paternity leave next month. Calendula is a soothing, healing plant and the Weleda calendula range harnesses its power for the delicate little bub in your life. My son used this as did all of my nephews. Weleda is a global leader in sustainability, regeneration and economic fairness in the farming supply chain and their products are just gorgeous.

Vanessa Megan Pure Botanical Fragrance MINI Collection

I’m often asked what the absolute No1 change to make is when it comes to going low tox, and I always answer with eliminating as much synthetic fragrance as possible – the easiest items to ditch are the scented reeds, candles, fresheners (plug in, bathroom, auto-timed) and fabric softener and from there we get to the personal fragranced products like perfume and deodorant and this is often a game of trial and error just as it was when we first shopped the mainstream items, so give it some time and try some different brands or even dabble in your own essential oil blending – one of my all time faves is to dab 1 x drop of vetiver and 1 x drop vanilla with 1 x drop lemon for a DIY vibe. But if DIY isn’t your thing, then discovering your next natural favourite fragrance could be made easier with collections like this one! I love Vanessa Megan and the mini collection means you can try a few and share them with friends if they’re not all your thing which gives you a chance to gently educate/suggest, with the power of the free gift instead of a ‘fragrance is toxic’ lecture that no one wants. Perfect!

Luk Beautifood Luxe Lip Trio Light Nudes

I still remember sitting around Cindy’s dining table chatting with a bunch of us start ups at the time (Irene from Nourished Life was another!) and Cindy unveiled her new lip nourish range to us. They were delicious then and are delicious now. Gorgeous, natural lip care and cosmetic that’s safe enough to eat! Again, a coffret like this allows you to explore the range or tap into different moods. 

Black Chicken Remedies Mansome Pack and Love Your Face Pack

Lucky last! I still remember when my sister in law was doing the PR for Chey’s brand new product range “Black Chicken Remedies” and said, “This is totally up your alley!”. She was right, Chey and I met and the rest is history. She was the first to bring a deo paste to the market and revolutionise natural deodorants, and then skincare is divine – the skin polish is still one of my all-time fave low tox products. Chey uses the highest quality ingredients from ethical sources and it comes through when you experience the products, all responsibly packaged. The Balm of Ages is a brilliant cure-all protective, healing balm that everyone needs in the handbag, too. The packs are a great way to discover the range and see what you might then want to get in full size. Enjoy!

Wow – well we’ve come to the end of a little selection of my gift suggestions for now and into the future. Remember to not be shy about what you need, and give truly useful and delicious things that will be valued, or not at all. I’ve just finished a masterclass today on Christmas gifts, DIY, food prep and to-do timelines to keep the focus on friends and family and less on the ‘mountain of stress’ one can easily slip into – it was such a lovely chat with the club family – if you ever want to join us there you could maybe give yourself the gift of joining the club this chrissy for just $49 a year where you get our lovely Facebook group, a member masterclass each month with a special guest, Q&A’s with me and 50% off all our courses.

 

 

Have a lovely festive season and time to unwind even if just for a few days,

Alexx x

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