It’s mid December, which means the stress of holiday gift shopping is in full swing. You know the drill. The hours spent running from store to store (or scrolling from site to site), all to find gifts that might end up in the trash bin before next year’s Christmas anyway.
Wait, isn’t this supposed to be fun?!
That’s why we’ve put together this little guide. Because we want you to actually enjoy the holidays. We want you to find super cool, meaningful gifts for your loved ones without spending too much time searching for them. We want you to buy presents that support local businesses and the environment, so you can feel good about spending your money.
We want you to give gifts that matter.
To start things off, we’ve put together a little list of craft markets happening this weekend, so you can bunch a lot of shopping done all in one place (and support some of Austin’s amazing local artisans). After that, you’ll find our official “Super Cool, Super Green, Super Local Holiday Gift Guide,” showcasing gift ideas from some of our partners and other green businesses that we just love.
First up, Craft Markets
Saturday, December 15th from noon to 5pm, all along South First Street.
Over 15 businesses will be offering in-store discounts and goodies throughout the afternoon. Expect complimentary beverages, snacks, and good times!
Saturday, December 15th from noon to 5pm at Circle Brewing Company
The event will feature tons of low- to moderately-priced vegan holiday gifts for friends and family. Vegan food vendors will also be onsite.
Saturday, December 16th from 11am to 3pm at Plaza Saltillo
Live music, local craft vendors, and fresh local food.
The Austin EcoNetwork Super Cool, Super Green, Super Local Holiday Gift Guide
For the person who hates traffic even more than you do…
1. The Most Beautiful Electric Bike Ever
MOD Bikes is a new electric bicycle shop that just opened its doors in Austin earlier this year. With a bunch of different models (including a foldable one), MOD Bikes has lots of ways to help people ditch their carbon-polluting vehicle in favor of a bicycle.
And, they’re running a special sale for Christmas! If you purchase an electric bike between now and Christmas Eve, you’ll receive a free basket filled with lots of goodies, including a helmet, bike lock, phone holder, & MOD t-shirt — a $250 value!
Not quite ready to splurge on an electric bike? They also sell gift cards and plenty of bike accessories, so you can find something that fits in your budget.
For the foodie…
1. Local Food, Delivered Straight To Their Door
By now you’ve heard about all of the different meal kit delivery services out there – Blue Apron, Hello Fresh, etc. But what makes Lettuce different is their commitment to sustainability. Based right here in Austin, Lettuce sources its food from small farms in Central Texas and packages their meal kits in reusable, zero waste containers. Plus, they even have vegetarian and vegan meal plan options available.
2. The Gift Of Good Cooking
The Sustainable Food Center (a local nonprofit organization) has recently released their list of 2019 cooking classes and they all look delicious! Sign your loved one up for a class and they’ll learn how to make everything from Italian soups to plant-based meals. A full list of classes is available here.
3. A Taste Of Some Of The Best Vegan/Vegetarian Restaurants In Town
Austin is home to a long list of excellent vegan and vegetarian restaurants. Pick up a few gift cards for the plant-based eater in your life.
For the Moms-To-Be…
1. A healthy body
Treat your favorite mother-to-be to one of Castle Hill Fitness’ amazing classes. From Mama Strong Yoga to prenatal classes, Austin’s eco-friendly gym has got it all. You can look through their full list of upcoming classes (including ones for non-mothers) here or you can purchase them a Castle Hill Fitness Gift card here.
PS – Castle Hill Fitness is running a special promotion on gift cards right now. If you buy a $100 card, you’ll get a $10 gift card for free!
For the kiddos…
1. A Love For Our City’s Parks
Help your niece/nephew/child/grandkid develop a love for the outdoors with the Austin Parks Foundation’s Little Hummingbird Society. As a member of the society, they’ll receive seasonal activity kits in the mail, as well as invitations to special kid-focused volunteer opportunities. You can sign them up (for just $10 a month) here.
2. The most fashionable clothes around
The local clothing brand Classic Childhood creates beautiful clothes for babies and toddlers out of gently used men’s shirts. They also seek to empower women who are struggling either socially or financially by giving them a flexible job on their production team. You can shop their online store here.
For the artist…
1. A Spark Of Creativity
Austin Creative Reuse is truly unlike any other arts and crafts supply store. That’s because everything they sell has been rescued from the landfill, which means shopping there is good for the environment and great for hunting down unique finds. If it’s at Austin Creative Reuse, you probably can’t find it anywhere else!
For the gardener…
1. Whatever Their Little Green Thumb Desires
When to comes to gardeners, you can’t go wrong with a gift card to Austin’s own Natural Gardener. They sell everything from plants, to seeds, to soil. Plus, they’ve got one of the most knowledgable team of employees around.
And one more thing! They’re running a Christmas special on their gift cards right now. For every $100 in cards that you purchase, you’ll receive a $20 card for free! You can get yours here.
For the homeowner…
1. A Clean House
Help your friend/neighbor/parents start the year off right with a freshly cleaned house from It’s Cleaning Time! This family-run, local company has a strong environmental commitment, using only natural and eco-friendly products on their customers’ homes. Click here to schedule an appointment for your favorite homeowner today.
2. Home improvement
At the Austin Habitat for Humanity ReStore, you can find anything you could ever want for the home. They’ve got tiles, sinks, furniture, tools, doors, windows, gardening supplies, lighting… you get the picture. Plus, everything in the store is material that otherwise would have been sent to the landfill, including a lot of surplus and reused supplies from local contractors and builders.
Oh and the best part? Everything at the ReStore is super unique and can be bought at a fraction of the price of what you’d find at a Home Depot or Lowe’s.
Not quite sure what your homeowner friends might want? If you stop by their store at West Ben White Boulevard, you can always pick up a gift card 🙂
For the fashionista…
1. A One-Of-A-Kind Look
Sometimes the best-dressed can be the hardest to shop for. After all, what do you get for someone who already has a killer wardrobe? That’s where the Austin Reuse Directory comes into play. Check the directory for a list of some of the best thrift stores in town and pick up a vintage purse or out-of-this-world jacket that your bestie will love.
For the nature-lover…
1. Access To One Of The Most Beautiful Places In Travis County
With its collapsed grotto, waterfall, and cave, Westcave Outdoor Discovery Center is a treasure trove of beauty and nature. For $75, you can buy your favorite nature-lover an annual pass, allowing them to explore the preserve year-round. Plus, pass-holders are able to bring up to three guests to the preserve along with them, making this the perfect gift for families. You can purchase an annual pass here.
2. A Year Of Fun In The Great Outdoors
Give the gift that keeps on giving with the Travis County Parks Pass. For $125 the parks pass allows for unlimited entry into 11 local parks, including Reimer’s Ranch and Pace Bend. Perfect for the rock climber or boater in your life! Information about how to purchase an annual pass is available here.
For Fido, Spot, or Clifford The Big Red Dog…
1. Delicious Biscuits From Your Favorite Brewery
You love your dog, so why not make sure their holiday is extra special? Pick up a package of Hops & Grain’s Brew Biscuits at their tap room in east Austin. The biscuits are made from the grains leftover from their brewing process, helping to keep waste out of the landfill and providing a delicious treat for our four-legged friends at the same time.