Metro Gift Guide: Local And Sustainable Picks For An Eco-Conscious Lifestyle
This Christmas, give the gift of sustainability and education. Inspire yourself and your loved ones to make the eco-conscious choice now
Every little thing we do adds up—and in reality, our consumer society is contributing heavily to the debilitation of our planet.
According to The World Counts, if we do not transform the way we consume and harm our earth, it will only take 29 more years for the Earth to run out of food,19 years until we run out of fresh water, 79 years until the end of our rainforests, and 27 years until there’s no more fish in the sea.
These are hard-hitting realities that give us an idea of how much pain our planet is in.
This is why we must be more conscious of the way we consume and the things we use in our lives. One less plastic that we use, is still one less plastic that takes hundreds of years to degrade.
This Christmas, give the gift of sustainability and education. Inspire yourself and your loved ones to make the eco-conscious choice now. Here are some local stores and their products, which you can give as gifts this Christmas, to make your everyday life more sustainable and eco-friendlier.
Based in between Singapore and Manila, this local brand started out with selling pins for a cause. Now, they have expanded to offering items made from recycled plastic.
You can shop for their Kalinga Towels, which are microfiber beach towels made from at least 20 recycled plastic bottles. The designs are all inspired from native weaves, and are meant to celebrate the indigenous Habi patters from Cordillera.
You won’t believe these towels are actually made from plastic bottles because they are so soft to the touch, and feels just like your regular microfiber towels. They’re also quick-dry, absorbs water fast, and sand-proof. This particular design is an origami representation of the butanding.
They also have eco-friendly smartphone cases, made from recycled plastic and biodegradable wheat straw. Also inspired from traditional Habi designs, these cases are drop-resistant and do not affect your phone’s wireless charging.
The Eco Shift
There are at least 4 billion plastic microfibers per square kilometer that litter our deep seas and if this goes on, it’s estimated that by 2050, there will be more plastic than fish in the ocean.
This reality was what inspired Irene Mejer to start The Eco Shift in 2018. The mission is to influence at least a million people to shift to lead a plastic-free life.
Apart from plastics, chemicals present in the items that we use—such as laundry and dishwashing detergents—also harm our clean waters. This is what pushed The Eco Shift to come up with these 4-liter vegetable-derived detergents and fabric conditioners for home use.
They come in bigger 4-liter containers so you can help cut down on the plastic that is thrown into the oceans and the dumpsters. And instead of giving you a new bottle every time, you can also swap your current shampoo, conditioner, and laundry detergent plastic bottles for a refill.
Most laundry and dishwashing detergents that are commercially available are actually harmful to the environment. Made mostly with phosphates, the waste water from these detergents can cause algal blooms in waterways and bodies of water, which can kill aquatic organisms.
As a solution, this company developed the Soluball—a gentle and earth-friendly cleaning solution that comes in a single dosage biodegradable pod. No more non-biodegradable containers and harmful chemicals!
This Soluball dishwashing pod, for example, is
made without phosphates and comes in a biodegradable container. You can dissolve
1 pod in 5 liters of water, and then use that to wash the dishes.
The Soluball laundry detergent is mild, gentle, and hypoallergenic so it’s safe for babies. It’s also chemical-free, made without phosphates, and one pod can be used for 4-5 kg of laundry.
Loop is a marketplace born from the original Sip PH store. It brings together brands that can help you transition into a healthier, mindful, more sustainable lifestyle. Apart from offering sustainable goods, they are also a drop-off location for recyclables such as PET bottles, electronic waste (chargers, batteries, dead phones), newspapers and paper bags, and ecobricks.
To make your laundry day more eco-friendly, use this Cora ball for your washing machine loads. What exactly does this laundry ball do? Well, most of our clothes are actually made of synthetic and plastic materials such as nylon and polyester. These microfibers shed every time we wash them, and when the water is drained, these microfibers end up in the ocean as microplastics. The Cora ball helps catch all of these microfibers so they table and bundle up on the ball. After a few weeks, you’ll noticed the fibers building up on the ball, which you can then place on your ecobrick.
For cleaning your dishes, surfaces, and the toilet, you can check out this coconut husk infinity scrubber from Eco Switch Shop. Instead of non-biodegradable plastic, the bristles are made from natural and compostable coconut husk and recyclable metal wire. They’re locally made from Batangas and are naturally anti-bacterial. If you’re worried about the scrub damaging your pots and pans, don’t worry because this scrub is non-abrasive. They also have a bottle brush variant for cleaning hard-to-reach bottles.
For a gentler sponge for your more precious wares, get this hand-knitted jute sponge. Made by Knitty Gritty By Chiara, this is a more eco-friendly alternative to the usual plastic sponges.
This Filipino brand also offers simple but innovative home solutions that are more thoughtful of the environment. One of their most popular products is the Earth Sponge, which is a 100% plant-based sponge that’s biodegradable and free from bleach and chemicals. It’s non abrasive and oil absorbing, and can clean out grease and grime just as well as your regular sponge.
Do you also find yourself reaching out for cling wrap to protect your leftovers in the fridge? Instead of using those plastic wraps, use these reusable Zippies Lidz instead, which come in different sizes for your different containers. You can even use a big one to cover a watermelon half!
The Earth Cloth Towel, on the other hand, is an alternative to your paper towel needs. Instead of encouraging the cutting down of trees for paper goods, this cloth towel is made from natural cotton and wood-based cellulose pulp that’s equivalent to using 15 rolls of regular paper towels. These cloth towels can be washed and disinfected up to 100 times.
Instead of zip locks for storing your food, travel items, or small accessories, get these Zippies reusable bags. They’re made from food safe, PEVA material that are PVC-free, lead-free, and BPA-free, and can be used to store meats and food in the freezer.
Started by friends Cel and Maan in 2018, Simula PH is an online space dedicated to making sustainable and zero waste products more accessible in the Philippines. They feature their own products and a collection of their favorite local partners, to help you switch to a more sustainable and eco-friendlier lifestyle.
Cleaning your fruits and vegetables have become even more crucial this pandemic. And instead of relying solely on running water (which can’t kill or rinse off all bacteria and dirt on the surface), you can get this Fruit and Veggie Wash from Simula PH. It’s available in a 1-liter amber pump bottle or a 1.5-liter recycled soda bottle. And you can also book an appointment with them for a refill.
For a vegan, fragrance-free, sulfate-free, and plastic-free alternative to your dishwashing liquid, check out this Dishwashing Brick from The Little Green Home PH. All ingredients used are ethically sourced and harvested, and comes packaged in recycled paper.
Do you find yourself throwing filter after filter for your morning coffee? Use this reusable coffee filter from Keeping Coffee instead. This coffee filter is made from food-grade stainless steel mesh that’s suitable for conical coffee drippers.
When you’re buying fruits and vegetables in the grocery, instead of reaching for the plastic bag before weighing, you can use this mesh bag instead. It’s breathable, washable, and perfect for storing your fruits in the fridge.
Kool is a brand that focuses on making sustainability fun and stylish. Their goal is to provide beautiful solutions to influence consumers to become more mindful about today’s modern throwaway habits. This is why they are focusing on pushing for sustainable and low-waste alternatives.
Disposable cups, for example, are posing a real threat to the environment. Half a trillion disposable cups are being duped each year, and if you look closely you’ll notice how much you add to this problem when you buy milk tea or coffee or taho in the morning! Next time, instead of asking for plastic or paper cups, order your next drink in these Kool reusable silicone cups and tumblers. They’re collapsible so it’s easy to store before and after use, and can hold both hot or cold beverages up to 60C.
The Good Cloth Co
Another great alternative to plastic: reusable cloth wraps coated with beeswax and virgin coconut oil. Called the Beeswax Cloth Wrap, this wrap is a natural and eco-friendly alternative to clingwraps and food bags.
Use it to cover leftover food for storing, wrap breads and pastries, or store your snacks. To clean, wash using water and mild soap. This cloth wrap can be reusable for up to 12 months.