SAIL Blog

Sustainable Gift Ideas: Giving Outdoor Equipment

SAIL

October 26, 2022

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offering outdoor equipment

Offering a gift is an opportunity to see the joy sparkle in the eyes of others. It can also be a bit of a headache if you have a sober approach to the holiday season and see gifts piling up under the tree in mountains of non-recyclable packaging. The possibilities of mixing pleasure and durability do exist, however, and you might find yourself taking pleasure in being creative with these sustainable gift ideas to offer to your loved ones who enjoy the outdoors!

This article was produced in collaboration with Earth Day.

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In this article, you will learn more about:

  1. Combining Utility and Pleasure: Recipe for a Successful Sustainable Gift!
  2. Offering Equipment with an Emphasis on Experience
  3. Demonstrating Wrapping Inventiveness

Combining Utility and Pleasure: Recipe for a Successful Sustainable Gift!

gift ideas The secret of a sustainable gift lies above all in its usefulness. An object that does not end up gathering dust in a closet is a step in the right direction, especially if it facilitates an eco-responsible lifestyle and its life cycle causes fewer greenhouse gas emissions. Make sure if possible that the person you are celebrating does not already have the item you want or, if in doubt, that he or she can exchange it! The list of options is long depending on favourite hobbies! For example, you could offer durable accessories such as a water bottle, a solar lantern or a BioLite CampStove.

second hand clothingAnother often overlooked idea is the thoughtful second-hand gift. If you have quality equipment lying around in your shed, you can certainly make someone close to you happy. Whether it is a nice The North Face sweater you are not wearing, a quality burner lying around unused, or a pair of skis in good condition, it is worth taking a quick tour of your stuff!

If there is one area in which we sometimes need new things, it is our wardrobe. From merino sweaters to ski pants, the range of technical clothing offered at SAIL is packed with great gifts for women, men and children, which, if well chosen, will not fail to be worn for many years. Think here of sustainable and local brands that have eco-responsible manufacturing processes!

Finally, if you know that your loved one dreams of buying slightly more expensive equipment that would take his or her outdoor experiences further, for example a fishing sonar, why not ask other people to contribute to buying a beautiful group sustainable and long-desired gift?

Offering Equipment with an Emphasis on Experience

Beyond the pleasure (often furtive and fleeting) of being well equipped, it is the outings as such that give us our most intense emotions, whether in front of a landscape, with beating temples from having surpassed ourselves or the simple satisfaction of inhaling fresh air while holding a nice catch in your hands.

So depending on your budget, why not direct your sustainable gift towards an experience rather than an object? The pleasure of your company and your varied expertise are worth their weight in gold! You could thus offer the necessary equipment for a bike refurbishment with your help, or snacks and dehydrated meals for a getaway that you have been told about, for which you will plan all the logistical details! To present your sustainable gift, nothing better than a beautiful card (homemade if you have a creative soul), accompanied by the elements chosen to give hints about the proposed activity.

Demonstrating Wrapping Inventiveness

You have your precious sustainable gift in hand, the question now is: how to wrap it without wasting all your efforts by unrolling metres of disposable wrapping paper? Let’s start by examining the situation in a few figures: is it so bad to use disposable wrapping paper three times a year? Well, to keep using the number 3, it seems that if every Canadian only wrapped at least three gifts with recycled materials rather than buying new wrapping paper, we would save enough paper to cover – drum roll – 45,000 hockey rinks! So that’s a lot of hard-to-recycle paper (due to the mixed materials) that just aims to create surprise and excitement for the few seconds it takes the person to unwrap it. So how do you recreate the excitement without the associated greenhouse gases?

If you have not heard of it yet, your first ally will be furoshiki, the Japanese wrapping technique that consists of wrapping your gift in a reusable cloth. The packaging is part of the gift and will continue, we hope, to be passed from hand to hand to offer other sustainable gifts. No need to buy new fabrics! A scarf, a shirt or a thrifted fabrictwis will do the trick. The tricky part here is to figure out how to wrap your gift when it has a large volume like a cooler, a tent or a paddle. This is when creativity takes over; think of a nice sheet or a tablecloth (which you can reuse once the gift is unwrapped!).

Another easy option is to reuse your old boxes, road maps, children’s drawings (graciously donated for the occasion) or even newspapers that gather dust: their colours can create creative packaging that you can always enhance with collages or decorations. For the final touches, embellish with natural elements like pinecones, spruce branches or a wedge of dried orange. You will definitely be packing with style and delicate scents without the waste. Finally, ditch the duct tape in favour of bits of string that you can reuse over and over again!

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