Green and serene Christmas gifts


Helen Evans bowl for Planet Ceramics is inspired by Pigeon Point. – Claire Percy

Anjani Ganase Continues To Advocate For Reducing The Use Of Plastics; and challenges us to be creative in this season of giving. These are paths to new habits that should be pursued throughout the coming year.

We should all be concerned about the growing plastic problem (reported in this column last week) and its effects on our environment and on the health of our species. Scientists are observing the effects of microplastics found in our bodies.

Changing our habits with plastic must start with what we consume and individual choices. While some scenarios with plastics may be hard to avoid, such as in grocery shopping and food packaging, this shouldn’t deter us from considering all the choices and looking for opportunities, especially during special seasons and seasons. opportunities to give gifts.

Christmas, for example, is a great time to start shifting traditions towards the meaning of the gift rather than the gift itself. The length of wrapping paper thrown, for example, in the UK each year (365,300 km) is just less than the distance to the moon (384,400 km). In addition, in the United States, around 154 million people will receive at least one unwanted gift this year, adding to the garbage heap. Here are ten eco-friendly gift ideas this year.

Offer a Tobago experience:

Give gifts of experiences that allow us to explore the wonders of our natural backyard. Many tour operators suffered during the covid pandemic. Hotels and Air BnB have been suffocated by the closure of beaches, not to mention scuba diving shops, surf shops, boat and fishing charters, bird excursions.

Future nautical adventures with Radical Sports.

Offer a stay that would also help small businesses get through this downturn or downtime. Find a place you haven’t considered before. Cuffie River Nature Resort; rainforest retreat at Nature Retreat above Parlatuvier (; Castara Retreats are just a few of the places from which to explore the rainforest. Visit of the ruins of old estates. Hike to a waterfall. Join a group of bird watchers.

Visit the Christmas markets:

Well-organized markets across TT offer more dates to reduce congestion, and many advertise on social media so you can make the purchase in advance for quick withdrawal.

In Tobago, you can research places you wouldn’t have been before: The Calabash Carver and Chac-chac Maker in Charlotteville. Planet Ceramics (see Instagram site) will open its store by special appointment. The Shore Things Café offers chocolate and artisanal items.

Even grocery stores, like Penny Savers and Morshead, carry specialties and gourmet items. If you’re going to Scarborough Market, look for some homemade coconut oil. Look for To-bag-o bags made in Tobago. Visit the vendors, listen to their stories, which can be shared with the giveaway. We know TT is full of talent. Share the stories of innovative creators and support them!

Offer your friends ecological utensils:

Reusable beeswax wrapping and storage paper, metal straws, compact on-the-go containers, and a reusable water bottle that all fit in an eco-friendly tote. When presented with these fun reminders to take care of the planet, people are more willing to take up the challenge.

Let your seamstress friend make special clothes for male or female friends.

Jah’by Woodwork is on Moriah Road.

Offer a massage and spa day:

A little luxury goes a long way in improving mental and physical health: consider manicures or pedicures, hair and facials. Most salons and masseurs are already preparing for the hygiene, health and safety of their clients.

With the pressures of the world, and no break-up in sight, think of the little luxuries to reward yourself and those you hold dear.

Support a cause:

Choose a gift that supports a charity or cause. Purchase a subscription to local food gift boxes with weekly deliveries of local and seasonal fruits and vegetables. Purchasing CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) baskets of seasonal produce helps maintain local, sustainable agriculture and environmentally friendly gifts.

Join an NGO: an ornithology club or an environmental organization and share your skills.

Give a plant:

We all love plants, from ornamental orchids and flowering shrubs to kitchen seasonings like thyme, sage, ginger or rosemary. For those who have a garden or even a veranda space, what about a native fruit tree: can we have too much lime, soursop or breadfruit trees?

Visit of the Louis d’Or multiplication station; let the horticulturalist recommend; you may find plants that encourage local wildlife to visit, butterflies, hummingbirds and other birds.

Learn a skill:

There is a lot of expertise in a wide range of sports, arts and skills. Give a lesson as a gift: learn to play guitar or steelpan, learn to cook or train your dog. Try karate or yoga. The swimming pools are open: learn to swim; take diving lessons.

Festive dinner at Kariwak –


For young families, offer the gift of babysitting to allow young parents to go out, have dinner at a local restaurant; a visit to one of the picturesque places around the island. Let’s give young parents a break.

Offer homemade treats:

Bake cakes or cookies; make sweetbread or ponche a cream. For the skilled and well-prepared people, try baking mini black cakes as gifts for your friends and family. Homemade baking is affordable, healthy and adds a personal touch.

Recycle old bottles for cream, sorrel or rum punch.

Take a tour of the earthen ovens around Tobago, discover their cooking times: Store Bay, L’Anse Fourmi, Castara, all have earthen ovens. In your own kitchen, cook a meal for a vulnerable family.

CSA baskets are prepared weekly at Green Market Santa Cruz.

Learn more about gift wrap options:

Many of these options avoid wrapping and packaging. But, sometimes the best part of the holiday surprise is unwrapping the gift. Be creative with old magazines or newspapers. The gift wrap can be a length of special fabric, a nice beach wrap, something with dried leaves, a patchwork of used clothes. Learn how to wrap gifts without using duct tape. Recycle ribbons.

You know the old saying, it’s not the gift but the thought that counts. It’s time to put our thinking hats on and give some wonderful thoughts this Christmas.

Future gifts – reservations at restaurants, hotels, or a date for a picnic on the beach – are always welcome!

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