Gifts That Won’t Go To Waste: Unsettled’s 2019 Gift Guide for the Conscious Traveler

By: The Unsettled Team

When you’re a conscious consumer, the holiday season can be a bit challenging (and we’re just talking about gift giving here). This year, don’t even bother with the wrapping paper, if you’re not gifting experiences of course, and let us put on our environmentally-friendly thinking caps for you. Here are some of our holiday gift ideas that are not only a gift to your loved ones, but also a gift to the planet we call home. 

1. Give the Gift of Turtle Guardianship 

The Sea Turtle Conservancy has a really awesome program where they track endangered sea turtles to research their migratory patterns in order to better protect them. Your loved ones can become turtle guardians thanks to you, where they can track via satellite telemetry what their shelled friends are up to.  

Carrie the Sea Turtle via The Sea Turtle Conservancy

2. Give the Gift of Revitalizing the Amazon Rainforest 

The Amazon Rainforest, one of our favorite corners of the earth at Unsettled, needs our help. Through organizations like One Tree Planted, for as low as $1 you can plant a tree in the Madre de Dios region, specifically the “buffer zone”, which continues to be in high risk of deforestation and degradation. 

3. Give the Gift of Eco-Conscious Travel Favorites 

Both practical and principled, there are tons of environmentally conscious brands that we love to buy, gift, and travel with. Some of our favorite items are Trek Light Gear hammocks (founded by an Unsettled alum!) and blankets, Patagonia zip-ups, recycled polyester Fjallraven backpacks, BPA-free reusable water bottles, and anything and everything Dr. Bronner’s (if it’s not too offensive to give someone soap for the holidays). 

Hammock from Trek Light Gear

4. Give the Gift of Animal Conservation 

Who doesn’t want their own Narwhal for the holidays? What about adopting your loved ones’ favorite animal in their honor? The World Wildlife Fund has been protecting endangered animals for almost 60 years. Your adoption comes with an awesome WWF gift set for your loved one, including a (plush) animal of their own. Celebrations all around! 

Are you in the holiday spirit?

5. Give the Gift of Carbon Footprint Reduction

Do your friends and family travel as much as you do? Give them the gift of offsetting their carbon footprint from all that mileage. Using this carbon calculator, you can calculate your loved ones’ CO2 emissions and then donate that dollar value into one of the many carbon reduction projects out there, from gifting fuel-efficient stoves to rural women in North Darfur to clean water programmes in Central America. This is a gift that keeps on giving.

6. Give the Gift of Elephant Fostering

The David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust, known as Sheldrick Wildlife Trust, is one of East Africa’s pioneering conservation organizations that has worked for the protection and conservation of wildlife and wild habitats in Kenya for over 40 years. Working with local partners, including the Kenya Wildlife Service, in areas where wildlife and ecosystems face existential threats, the not-for-profit organization implements innovative and proven solutions to tackle wildlife poaching, human-wildlife conflict, habitat destruction and drought. The Sheldrick Wildlife Trust rescues and rehabilitates orphaned elephants, while also being the first organization in the world to successfully hand-raise, orphaned milk-dependent elephants and reintegrate them back into the wild through its Orphans’ Project. This holiday season, become a foster parent, and adopt an orphan elephant – an ideal gift for your niece and nephew.

7. Give the Gift of Experience 

For a gift that is constantly being unwrapped and revealed, what about giving a loved one the gift of intentional time to design a life and career of meaning in our Lifestyle Incubator? Our second virtual retreat begins on January 3rd! And as expected, we are always in the mood to give the gift of embracing the unknown. What about an Unsettled retreat in 2020? 


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Happy Holidays, Unsettled family! 

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