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20 Eco-Friendly Basket and Gift Box Ideas

20 Eco-Friendly Basket and Gift Box Ideas

If you’re ever stumped about what to get someone as a gift, a basket or box filled with fun stuff is always a great fall-back plan. Here are a few ideas that might inspire you:

1. Celebratory “Just Because” Gift

Sometimes it’s just lovely to surprise someone with something special, and a little gift basket full of a few cute things can do wonders to make someone smile. A small basket with some chocolate or homemade cookies, a hand-written card or letter, and a mix CD with some great songs is sure to make anyone smile… and this gift can be for any reason at all.

2. Wedding Present

You can spoil the lucky new couple with a variety of items, or you can aim for a themed gift:

  • Bathroom items like organic loofahs, soaps, lotions, and soft towels
  • Kitchen equipment such as bamboo utensils, placemats, and cutting boards
  • Living room accoutrements like a soft woven throw blanket, soy candles, and a potted plant

3. New Baby

That little bundle of bliss is so fresh and new, you don’t want any gross chemicals touching its sensitive skin! If you’re putting together a gift for a baby shower (or a newborn), get yourself a re-usable bag so the parents can haul the kid’s stuff in it, and fill it with items that will make the wee one as happy as its parents. Items like an organic cotton onesie, a sustainable wooden teething toy, organic baby bottom balm, and a Waldorf doll would be sweet for any kidlet to receive.

4. Items for a New Mom

New moms need all the pampering they can get (considering how much they’ve just been through!), so be sure to put together something sweet that the special lady will appreciate. A re-usable tote bag can be filled with things like post-partum/lactation support teas (like the ones from Traditional Medicinals), as well as organic nursing bra pads, Shea Moisture raw healing lotion, and even a “baby and me” yoga DVD. A bit of dark, raw chocolate is almost always welcome, and a hand-written letter would brighten any new mom’s spirits.

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5. Heading off to college

Leaving home to go to college is a huge, life-changing step for many young people, and it can be a bit intimidating too. For them, consider a basket of vegan/organic personal care products—such as facial scrub, toner, moisturizer, shampoo, and deodorant—a bottle of multivitamins (because you know they’re going to eat a lot of junk food), bamboo plates and cutlery, and a soy candle for some warmth and comfort.

6. Housewarming Present

For a person or couple who’s moving into a new space, a metal or BPA-free plastic bucket with environmentally-friendly cleaning products and household items would be a great idea. Toss in some essential oils like lemon, grapefruit, lavender, and tea tree, along with a package of soap nuts for laundry, and some beechwood and agave fibre scrubbing brushes.

7. Young Child

Kids love to explore and use their imaginations, so why not give them ample fuel to do just that? There are Waldorf toys to suit every age group imaginable, so why not take a small ethically-made backback and pack it with a toy or two, a book, a handmade hat or pair of mittens (depending on the season), and some organic/vegan kid-friendly snacks—that you’ve cleared with the parents beforehand, of course.

8. The Anniversary Gift

What better way to get a couple to celebrate their anniversary than to send them off on a picnic with a bunch of great, natural accoutrements? You can find an ethically-sourced picnic basket and plate set and tuck in a couple of re-usable cutlery sets and cotton napkins as well. A bottle of organic wine and a pair of recycled glass or BPA-free plastic glasses would be lovely, and you can also add an assortment of nibbles, like whole grain crackers, veggie pate, olives, dried fruit and nuts, and free-trade chocolate.

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9. Teenager

Teens have such a wide variety of tastes that it’s difficult to buy for them. Aim for gifts that are sure to be used, even if they’re accepted with a sullen shrug: a large vintage lunch box or tote bag can be filled with items like a recycled journal with a few pens, a stainless steel or glass water bottle, some eco-friendly earbuds, and maybe a growing kit for their own tea herbs.

Note: Stay away from skincare products unless you’re really close to the teen (like, if you’re an older sibling), as you don’t know how sensitive their skin might be, what their preferred fragrances are, or whether they’d be creeped out by you giving them stuff for their face and hands.

10. The Knitter

If someone in your life is a knitting fiend, see if you can find a cute, ethical knitting basket for them and fill it with items they’re sure to love. Sustainable, free trade wooden needles are absolutely gorgeous, but stainless steel ones are always good too. Add in a few skeins of organic bamboo or cotton yarn in their favourite colours, and let them loose to work their magic.

11. Summer Fun Kit

For those who live for warm weather and can’t wait to hit the beach, pack up a tote bag with some organic/vegan sunscreen, insect repellent, after-bite balm, after-sun soother made with organic aloe vera, a sun cap (or wide-brimmed hat for women/girls), and a reusable water bottle.

12. Breakup Soother

I think we’ve all helped friends through breakups at one time or another, and putting together a gift with a few things to cheer someone up will hopefully brighten their spirits a little. An assortment of organic and/or vegan/non-dairy mini ice creams and sorbets can bring at least a bit of joy to the one hoovering them into their face, and a toy voodoo doll set might help to get some frustrations out. Toss in a journal for working out negative emotions, a copy of Pema Chodron’s book “When Things Fall Apart”, and let the healing begin.

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13. For the Avid Gardener

Some people are just born with a green thumb, and for them, you can fill a large metal watering can with heirloom organic seeds, sustainable bamboo-handled garden implements, vegan/organic sunscreen, compost tea powder, organic cotton gardening gloves, knee pads, and even a handful of seed bombs. Actually, add one more: soothing cream for hands that get chapped from working the soil for hours every day.

14. Bibliophile

Most of us know at least one person who’s a total book fiend, and fortunately, gifts for these folks are super-easy to put together. Grab a literary-themed tote bag and toss in a tome from their Amazon or Goodreads wish list, a decorative metal or sustainable wood bookmark, a mug, pack of assorted teas, a journal for notes, and a pen.

15. The Bath Enthusiast

Does someone you love spend all the time they can soaking in a tub? If they do, can you blame them? Fill a re-usable wicker basket with an assortment of organic, vegan, scented bath bombs, salts, bubble bars, and oils, along with a loofah, bath pillow, and some soy candles, and you’ll provide them with the kind of R&R most of us will only dream about.

16. Foodies and Gourmets

Food can indeed be a celebration, and people who enjoy tasting and experiencing new, comely comestibles can be super-fun to buy for. A beautiful basket can contain items like gluten-free organic crackers, vegan caviar, organic/free range charcuterie, local cheeses, free trade chocolate and coffee, and locally-produced jams and preserves. Introducing friends to things like ox eye daisy capers or birch syrup can be life-changing for them, and if you’re really nice, maybe they’ll share with you.

17. For the Pet Parent

For many people, pets are beloved family members and they spoil their furry/feathered kids rotten. If your friends live for their pet, you can put together a little basket of treats, toys, and even a little framed picture or outfit, depending on what kind of animal it is. If you have any doubt about what kind of foods are appreciated by the little feathery or furry beasts, ask in advance.

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18. The Jetsetter

The person who travels a great deal, either for work or pleasure, can sometimes miss the comforts of home. For them, you can fill a small carry-on bag with travel-sized organic care items (toothpaste, shampoo, hand cream), natural bristle toothbrush, hand sanitizer, and bamboo utensil kit. You’ll get bonus points if you also add in a bean-filled neck pillow, book light, and vegan leather luggage tags.

19. Artistically-Inclined

To fuel the imagination of the creative type in your life, consider a small bag that’s filled with a recycled paper sketchbook and sustainable wood pencils, a set of eco-friendly paints or clay, and a hand-written note of encouragement.

20. Condolence Basket

When someone has lost someone important to them, they need care in any form possible. A journal and pen to work out their thoughts and emotions often helps, and a mug paired with a container of organic hot chocolate can be of immense comfort: warmth both inside and out. A heartfelt letter letting them know that you’re there for them would be lovely, as would a small plant, and if the recipient is a child, some sort of stuffed animal. If the one they lost passed on because of a disease, a card that mentions your donation to the charity that funds research for that illness would likely also be appreciated.

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Catherine Winter

Catherine is a wordsmith covering lifestyle tips on Lifehack.

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Last Updated on May 28, 2020

10 Success Principles for Living Your Dream Life

10 Success Principles for Living Your Dream Life

Are you stressed out and overwhelmed, wishing you had more time to do the things that really matter? Are you ready to do something better, something special in your life or your career?

You were born with a gift that no one else in the world can express like you. When you dance to your own music, you naturally develop your innate abilities and excel in work and life. You are a total rock star. But when you live someone else’s idea of who you should be, it throws off your groove.

Many people—maybe you—stopped following their dreams way too early in life because their talents were ignored, minimized, or shamed. They didn’t have the chops to win an American Idol competition or nab an Olympic gold medal, so they stopped expressing their inborn gifts altogether.

You don’t need to be an award winner to rock your life. Living your dream life is about discovering your superpowers and feeling vibrant and joyful when you use them. It’s about owning what makes you unique and finding like-minded people to support you.

Here are 10 success principles to help you live a rich and rewarding life on your terms that have worked with thousands of people in my workshops and will work for you, too.

1. Get a Hobby to Move Closer to Your Dreams

If you never became a professional dancer or a world-renowned author, it does NOT mean you should stop dancing or writing! These activities make you come alive, even if you “only” do them as favorite pastimes.

Engaging in a hobby is one of the most important success principles you can follow to move closer to your dreams.

When you try something creative for the first time or in a long while, you begin to see opportunities at work and in life that you were unaware of before. You also feel happier and more energized, according to a recent study from New Zealand.[1]

Some of my most burned-out executive clients reinvigorated their careers by discovering a creative outlet that refueled them after the workday ended. Research at San Francisco State University shows that having a hobby lowers stress and helps you succeed at work.[2]

So, give yourself permission to try new things and revisit old passions you gave up long ago. Setting aside just one hour a week for personal exploration can significantly change your life.

Who knows? Your creative outlet could transform into a thriving business or lead to a new profession down the road.

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2. Focus on Your Strengths, Not Your Weaknesses

Did you know that you are more likely to succeed when you develop your natural strengths rather than work on your weaknesses? The problem is that you probably don’t know where your true talents lie.

Here are a few options to help you discover your unique strengths. You can:

  • Take the VIA Character Strengths Survey[3]
  • Try Gallup’s CliftonStrengths Assessment[4]
  • Answer a few Superpower Questions

Once you understand what makes you tick, you can use these skills at work and your personal life to get more done in less time. If you boost your unique abilities through practice and study, you can accelerate your career and become a leader in a field that matters to you. It’s worth investing in yourself this way.

3. Jumping off a Cliff is NOT Required

Here’s the deal: most people are too afraid to change. When participants first come to my workshops, they tell me they have mouths to feed, bills to pay, and fear that if they follow their dreams, someone will get hurt.

The old saying “leap and the net shall appear” does not comfort them. Because they are hesitant to plunge into the unknown, they believe their only option is to stay put where they are in life. Can you relate?

You do not have to sacrifice the life you have now to start a new one. I was a psychology professor by day and singer by night for years before I transitioned into a full-time music career.

Just take a little time out each week to do what enlivens you through a hobby, volunteer work, etc. Get a feel for it.

Is it what you really want? If so, increase the time you spend doing it and make the transition when the time feels right.

4. Give Your Inner Critic Some Love

The main culprit that keeps you from stepping outside your comfort zone and getting the life of your dreams is KCRP or K-CRAP – the radio station that plays 24/7 in your head. The moment you try to do something interesting with your life it slaps you down with such chart-topping killer hooks as “Who do you think you are?” and “You’ll never be good enough!”.

Have you ever noticed that KCRP’s mean-spirited DJ sounds like your parents, teachers, bosses, and other authority figures who shut you down creatively? These folks don’t need to stifle you any longer (although they often still do) because your inner critic does it for them. That keeps you stuck in a rut.

To break free, try thinking of this DJ as a gruff old grandfather who gives you crap to keep you safe. Remember, this grumpy grandpa is woefully out of touch with the times. So, his stern opinions don’t really matter much, do they? Give him a pat on the back for his good intentions, and put your focus back on what makes you come alive.

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This success principle will give you the courage to venture into the unknown where you can dance to the beat of your own drummer.

5. Embrace Your Inner Weirdo

Many of us don’t go after our dreams because we’re afraid folks will find out how odd or strange we are. But our little eccentricities often turn out to be our greatest strengths. Yes, it’s good to be quirky.

Odds are, you lost track of your true passions and talents before you were even old enough to know you were getting off-track. You became slowly “adulterated” by learning to:

  • Take on family roles that don’t match who you really are.
  • Spit back what teachers taught you in school rather than risk getting bad grades for being original.
  • Hide parts of yourself that don’t seem acceptable to certain social groups.

The price for fitting in is that you may wind up leading a life that doesn’t fit you all that well. Your true calling becomes clear when you embrace what makes you different from others and allow yourself to stand out from the crowd, even if it feels awkward.

Often, the very qualities you view as your flaws are your greatest gifts.

6. See the Bigger Picture to Find Your True Calling

I cannot stress the importance of this success principle enough. Your true calling is right in front of you. But you may miss it because you’re looking for it in the wrong place.

To “see” it clearly, try widening your point of view.

Case in point: Maria felt she needed to retire early from being a police detective, so she could travel abroad. I encouraged Maria to think of ways that she could continue to serve as a law enforcer (a career she loved) and travel overseas at the same time.

A few months later, Maria landed a job with the United Nations in Bosnia training the local police force to understand and embrace human rights procedures.

Like Maria, you are an everyday rock star capable of accomplishing greater things than you can imagine. Is what you’re looking for right in front of you, too? Do you have an inkling of what it may be?

Look beyond your day-to-day activities, your current job, and even the town you live in. View your life from an eagle’s perspective and be open to new possibilities.

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7. Try a Little Wish-List Magic

Pretend I’m your fairy godmother and I give you permission right now to be your most magnificent self. What kind of life would be music to your ears? It doesn’t matter whether it seems unattainable or even downright crazy. Write it down on a wish list.

Get quiet. Be honest. Think big.

What would you like your career, your relationships, your health, your finances, and your spiritual life to be like? Jot down enough details so that your wishes seem tangible to you. Then, look at this list every morning before you start your day and every night before you go to sleep.

Sounds silly? It’s not. It works! Permitting yourself to daydream about a rich and fulfilling life is the first step to manifesting it.

8. Take Breaks to Get Clues About Your Ideal Future

Did you know that working straight through to a deadline leads to diminishing returns? Research shows that taking a break for 15 minutes every 75 to 90 minutes can help you recharge, refresh your focus, and get more done in less time.[5]

Wait, it gets better! A Stanford study shows that walking increases your creative output increases by 60 percent. Doing repetitive activities such as walking, running, riding your bike, swimming, and sweeping allow solutions to problems to pop into your mind out of nowhere.[6]

What does this success principle have to do with creating your dream life?

These mini-breaks allow you to get vital clues for what to do next to attain your ideal future. Plus, you won’t waste precious time and energy getting lost in other people’s agendas.

9. Take Action on Your Inspired Ideas

Once an inspired thought pops into your mind, take action.

This is one of the most powerful success principles for turning your dreams into reality; the sooner the better. Whatever it is—from calling an old friend to taking a new route home—be sure to do it!

Pay attention to your oddball hunches. You need to go after what you want, not just dream about it. As comedian Jim Carrey warns,

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“You can’t just visualize and go eat a sandwich.”

10. Count Your Rockstar Moments

Still not sure you have what it takes to get your dream life? This final success principle is guaranteed to help.

Make a list of everything you’ve ever accomplished. As you read back through it, put a star next to each item, and let it sink in.

You’ll be pleasantly surprised by how good you’ll feel about yourself afterward. You’ll also see how effective you’ve been in the past at getting what you want. You’ve succeeded before, you can succeed again.

You already rock. You just need to own it. Trust me, you’ve got this!

Final Thoughts

Eleanor Roosevelt said,

“The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams.”

Following these success principles will help you find the time and energy to do the things that really matter and live with clear intention.

By spending just one hour a week doing something you love, focusing on your strengths and achievements, embracing what makes you different, and acting on inspired ideas, you can create a life that is a perfect fit for you, step-by-step.

If you don’t have a clue about what your dream life could look like yet, don’t worry. Your heart knows. It has been “talking” to you for a long time. It’s just being muffled by KCRP, buried under a lot of “shoulds” and fear.

This article can also help you figure out the life you truly want to live: How to Get Motivated and Be Happy Every Day When You Wake Up.

Stand still, get quiet, and listen. It’s constantly telling you what you need to do to realize your own rockstar potential. It may be just a whisper now, but the more you pay attention to it, the louder it will get, and the easier it will be to follow.

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Featured photo credit: Rahul Dey via unsplash.com

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