Top 6 Last-Minute, Sustainable Gifts Ideas for the Traveller in Your Life

These gifts are not only perfect for a true jetsetter, but they have a positive impact on the planet too.

Still haven’t finished your holiday shopping? Even though it is crunch time, there is still time to find that perfect travel-related gift… even for the most-hard-to-shop-for person on your list. And if you’re like us, giving a gift that is useful, is thoughtful and has a positive impact is the ideal combination. Our friends at The Travel Corporation (TTC) and The TreadRight Foundation (a not-for-profit organization dedicated to safeguarding the people, wildlife and planet), here are 6 gift ideas that will support the planet, wildlife and local communities around the world.

Stainless steel straws are a plastic-free alternative.

1. Stainless steel straws
Over 50 million plastic straws are used and thrown out in Canada alone each day. So, whatever we can do to stop the use of plastic straws can really go a long way and make the world a better place. These really affordable straws can be purchased at local shops like health food stores or on e-commerce websites that sell environmentally friendly products.

The perfect cup to take on all your travels.

2. Stojo collapsible coffee up
Around the world each year, over 600 billion disposable coffee cups are used and thrown away. In Canada, estimates suggest that we use between 1.6 and 2 billion. We’ve all been guilty of contributing to this (who isn’t a coffee lover?!), but there is a way to make our impact more positive. Enter the Stojo cup! It’s both BPA and phthalate free and the Stojo company doesn’t use any adhesives during the assembly of their products. Perfect for travelling, these cups are ultra-portable and can actually fit in your pocket or purse. They retail at $14.99 USD for a 12-ounce cup and you can shop for these online here.

These bamboo cutlery pieces happen to be a fave of Céline Cousteau.

3. Bamboo cutlery
The TreadRight Foundation’s global ambassador, Céline Cousteau – the storied filmmaker and environmentalist – recommends lightening our environmental footprint by never using plastic cutlery. It’s a commitment that The Travel Corporation has also pledged – that is eliminating all avoidable single-use plastics across its operations by 2022. One of her travel essentials lightweight bamboo cutlery, including a fork, knife, spoon and a pair of chopsticks. Bamboo is a non petroleum-based material and does not need to be replanted when it is harvested since it will grow a new shoot from its roots system. Céline personally uses a Chicago-based brand, To-Go Ware, offering an assortment of bamboo flatware in colourful holders which are made out of RPET (recycled PET plastic) and are stain and heat resistant. This long-lasting flatware is hand finished, durable and won’t absorb flavours. The retail price starts at $12.00 USD for a set with the holder.

4. Rafiki Bracelets
Perfect stocking stuffer alert! ME to WE is a social enterprise, creating experiences and products that enable caring individuals to do good through their daily practices. Half of all of their profits are donated to support their affiliate, WE Charity, while the other half is reinvested to assist their social enterprise. These colourful and affordable handmade bracelets are part of the of the ME to WE Artisans collection created by talented women in Kenya, who are affectionately called “Mamas”. Over 1,800 women in Kenya as well as Ecuador (who make Amazon Minga bracelets) are making these bracelets, allowing them to generate sustainable income along with the tools of empowerment, to create a brighter future for their families.

Mukluks are the perfect gift that gives back for the stylish friend on your list.

5. Manitobah Mukluks’ Storyboots
The Manitobah Mukluks Storyboot School is another one of The TreadRight Foundation’s projects, where Indigenous and non-Indigenous youth can learn the art of mukluk and moccasin making, an ancient tradition that’s been passed down from generation to generation for thousands of years by Canada’s First Nations. The school originated from Manitobah Mukluks, the Canadian Aboriginal owned company, “The Storyboot Project,” which helps restore this traditional art form by fostering partnerships with artisans and elders from across Canada who handcraft moccasins and mukluks the traditional way. For every Storyboot item sold, the Indigenous artist receives 100% of the proceeds. Through the support of The TreadRight Foundation, the school has been established as an educational and work space at The Bata Shoe Museum in Toronto where Indigenous artisans provide weekly sessions to interested visitors and local Indigenous students. You can view and purchase these beautifully crafted Storyboots on the Manitobah Mukluks site.

Give the gift of travel (kind of the ultimate gift, we think!).

6. Handwoven Peruvian ancestral textiles and the gift of travel  
What better gift to give than the gift of travel? Even better – sustainable travel that gives back to local communities. The TreadRight Foundation also supports a project in Peru by helping Nilda Callañaupa Alvarez, the indigenous Quechua weaver who founded the Centro de Textiles del Cusco, maintain her cultural and artistic heritage which has been lost over the past couple of generations. Nilda’s goal is to promote the empowerment of weavers and revitalize her community with income, which will be needed for future housing, education, and medical care. Travel companies such as Luxury Gold, Trafalgar and Contiki offer its travellers the opportunity to connect with this women’s weaving collective on their guided trips where they will meet these artisans and have the ability to purchase their beautifully woven items as a way of supporting their cause. If your budget doesn’t allow to offer the gift of travel, consider gifting these unique and authentic Peruvian goods including bags, capes, ponchos, shawls and chullos (hats), by visiting their online store.

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