A good gift is one that inspires people to live healthier lives, makes the world a better place, supports good people and companies, doesn’t create excess waste…and of course, makes your getters really, truly, very happy! Remember that your money is your power and every penny you spend is a vote for something. Spend wisely, and buy from your own local businesses that support good values.
The reason you may be having so much trouble choosing the perfect gift is because we already have too much stuff, so think outside of the gift box and give a gift that is sure to be appreciated!
There are many things we’d all love to try but don’t make time for in our day to day routines, or don’t set aside the budget to indulge in ourselves. That’s why we think the best gifts encourage new experiences that inspire, educate, entertain, nourish, pamper, and leave lasting impressions.
Cooking Classes. A great way to get excited about real food is to learn about it, what to do with it, and delicious ways to enjoy it. Whether it’s a class on a specific region of cuisine, a class based around a specific ingredient, or learning knife skills, this is a gift someone can truly enjoy over and over and over again.
Try this: In Toronto, we love Chef Doug McNish’s plant-based classes at his Public Kitchen. Search online for great cooking classes in your area, or check out some of the amazing classes now offered online.
Healthy Facials. Give the gift of beautiful, glowing skin, naturally. When your spa only uses products with the purest organic and natural ingredients, you can actually relax into a deep cleanse, steam, massage, and mask knowing you’re balancing your skin naturally and getting a truly healthy glow.
Try this: We’re lucky to have some of our favourite healthy spas right here in Toronto, but it’s likely there is an organic spa or aesthetician near you (google is your friend!).
Family Photo Session. Before we know it, this holiday or special occasion will be a distant memory. Help your loved ones remember it beautifully with a professional photography session, and capture the true essence of these precious moments in images they’ll cherish forever.
Try this: We love Catherine Farquharson, a “documentographer” who took the photo on our homepage, and many more of Lisa (and against all odds, she didn’t hate the experience!). Regardless of the photographer you choose, check out their website first to get a feel for their personality and style to make sure they’ll be a good fit.
Workshops + Lessons. Give someone the gift of learning something new! The options are endless and it’s something your receiver will always appreciate every time they use their new-found skills.
Try this: Have you heard of the Rosetta Stone programs to learn a new language, or the makeup lessons from Faced MUA? Or consider something super cool and on-trend like mindfulness coaching from MindShift Ninja.
A Special Dinner. Pick up the tab and send your loved ones for a delicious night out. The experience of eating and sharing good food + drinks together is always something fun to celebrate. Send people to your favourite spot, or take them with you!
Try this: Check out our short list of restaurants in Toronto that feature menus that are local, organic, and veg friendly, or search for a restaurant in your area with a commitment to real food.
Floating. When you’re not fighting gravity or constantly taking in information, your body has a lot of extra resources at its disposal. A float session sets your mind free to navigate without distraction, while your brain pumps out dopamine and endorphins, and your body gets to rest, de-stress and heal.
Try this: Try Float Toronto, or search online for float tanks or sensory deprivation tanks in your area. There are more and more opening up all of the time!
Subscriptions. This is literally a gift that keeps on giving! Consider your receiver’s special interests (cooking, music, current events, pop culture, etc.) and search online for subscription packages they’ll be sure to be thankful for.
Try this: Perhaps an organic food delivery service, like MamaEarth? A CSA membership? A online magazine or news service subscription? Or a music service like SiriusXM or Spotify?
For the person who has everything they could possibly need and want, consider supporting someone else’s needs in their honour. There are some incredible people doing amazing work to make our world a better place, and there’s a lot we can offer to show our appreciation and support. We encourage you to take a moment to learn about these charities and help them help our communities.
Shoresh. Rooted in Jewish wisdom and practice, Shoresh’s environmental programs respond to contemporary food and ecological issues. In 2009, Shoresh opened the Kavanah Garden which hosts over 1400 community members annually through educational and hands-on programs, workshops, and events, producing over 500 pounds of fresh vegetables each season for community members in need. Donate towards many amazing initiatives including planting native wildflowers, purchasing beehives, or helping to build an outdoor kitchen at the garden! shoresh.ca
Project Giveback. This passion based program is designed for grades 4 and 5 students to develop empathy, build character, and ignite community minded citizens. This individualized curriculum based program is aimed to enhance responsibility and develop a deep seated feeling in one’s self to make a difference in the lives of others. Donating to Project Give Back is investing in future philanthropists. projectgiveback.com
Turning Green. This student led global movement devoted to education and advocacy around environmentally sustainable and socially responsible choices. The organization engages youth in the transition from conventional to conscious living, empowering them and mobilizing action to sustain a healthy planet. Donations help TTG to develop and ground programs on campuses and digital platforms, expanding the reach to mentor strong, passionate, articulate young leaders as they take action in their daily lives, on school campuses, and in local communities. turninggreen.org
FoodShare. This non-profit organization works with communities and schools to deliver healthy food and food education. Since 1985, FoodShare has pioneered innovative programs like the Good Food Box, impacted what kids eat in school, and improved the way people eat and grow food across Toronto every day. Purchase a ShareBasket that is filled with home made goodies, sourced from local farms and prepared with care in FoodShare’s kitchen, and help them serve a high quality, low cost, healthy school lunch to 10 students per ShareBasket! foodshare.net
If you do give stuff, remember that your money is your power and every penny you spend is a vote for something. Buying made-in-China, lead-laced toys or buying an organic piece of clothing made in Canada tells the maker to make more…what do you want more of in our world? Spend wisely, and buy from your own local businesses that support good values.
Real Chocolate. Only the sweetest for your sweeties. Our top picks are not only incredibly delicious, they’re also guilt-free, whole foods made with some of the most nutritious and ethical ingredients on the planet (no bad stuff!). And it goes without saying that these treats are sure to satisfy your sweet tooth.
Organic Booze. Whether you’re bringing to a party or giving as a gift, note that just like conventional food, most alcohol is loaded with synthetic ingredients and preservatives that could turn you off altogether. Luckily, there are some better options that meet our standards, as well as everyone we serve them too. Cheers to that.
Clean Cosmetics. Our skin is our largest organ, and absorbs what we soak, spray, and rub on, so it only makes sense to give someone you love something as safe as it is luxurious. To be an eco-responsible beauty, you no longer have to stick to pumping out hemp soap and dabbing on hippy fragrances. There are brands for every body, every face and every demographic, without having to compromise anything – not convenience, quality or selection.
Conscious Socks. The gift we never ask for, but always hope to be surprised with. It’s on trend to make a statement with your socks, so show off a colourful + eco conscious personality with a pair that’s well designed, well made, and takes good care of your loved one’s feet, and our world.
Cookbooks. We think that learning how to transform simple real food ingredients, into inspired, delicious cuisine is one of the best gifts ever. Each of these is more than just your average cookbook. They’re the best place to begin for great information and delicious recipes to encourage a healthier way of life.