Blue Briefs: Giving Guide

Investable Oceans Fisheries & Aquaculture Plastics & Pollution

Blue Briefs: Giving Guide
Naja Bertolt Jensen, Unsplash

This giving season we invite you to SHOP BLUE with thoughtful and unique gifts that support our blue planet. These gifts hold meaning and simultaneously support ocean conservation, exploration, or our blue economy. Here are our team’s favorite blue buys!

Good Goodies

The Holidays are a time of sharing and gift-giving, but with all the Holiday cheer also comes an incredible amount of waste. In 2019, it was estimated that Americans spent over $15 billion dollars in unwanted holiday gifts; that same study estimates 4% of those gifts ended up in the trash bin1. Holiday waste is a significant environmental and financial problem; not only are we spending on unwanted things, but the waste created by holiday shopping and food waste is staggering. However, with so many innovative companies and products out there, gestures of care and sustainability are now available and accessible to all.

For the avid snacker, assemble a basket or gift bag with some seaside goodies. Some of our favorites are 12 Tides' Kelp Chips and Akua’s Kelp Burgers. For a variety of snacks, we also love to check out zero-waste grocery stores; they often have unique and delicious snacks that can be assembled in reusable gift bags or baskets.

Zero waste shops are also an excellent source for thoughtful gifts that do no harm to our planet. For example, Protea is a Hawai’i-based boutique that offers decadent bar shampoos, conditioners, kitchen and homewares, and even gifts for children and babies. To locate a zero-waste shop near you, visit Litterless.

If you’re in the market for new clothes or wares, opting for conscientious purchases is something to aim for. In the footwear space, our top pick is Blue View; they manufacture durable slip-on shoes made from sustainable materials and directly tackle competitors who produce shoe soles and footgear from non-renewable, fossil fuel-based materials. These plant-based shoes are made to biodegrade and feed the Earth's organisms under compost conditions.


Beach Bums, Mermaids, and Sailors

On the topic of body care, who doesn’t want to sun those buns?! Did you know typical shampoos, conditioners, and sunscreens can have harmful chemicals that impact marine life and coral reefs? One little-known fact is that most drains lead to the sea2; whether you live in inland Ohio or on an island in the Florida Keys, the products we use and the chemicals in them are often not filtered out by water treatment plants and one way or another find their way to the ocean, rivers, lakes or water bodies nearby. 

Give your loved one guilt-free body care by selecting products from companies like Stream2Sea; they feature some of our favorite body care products that are human-safe and reef-safe. Their mandate is to create luxurious personal care products – like sunscreen, shampoo, body wash, and lotion – that don’t contain harmful chemicals. Easily found at retailers like Whole Foods or accessible online for purchase, gift your loved one an eco-friendly spa day at home or by the seashore. 


Gifts that Give Back

Want to gift a loved one a gift gives back to the planet? There are so many exciting new options in this category, with price points to meet all budgets. For example, a monthly subscription to Only One gets coral and trees planted and plastic removed from the environment. Subscriptions start at $9.00 a month, and the platform is stunning and full of compelling articles, action alerts, and inspiring photos and videos for the nature lover in your life. 


Gifts of Experience

Citizen Science programs and eco-tourism experiences offer much more than just an Instagram-worthy vacation. Citizen science empowers everyday people to engage in research, data collection, and activities that give back to science and conservation in immeasurable ways. They also offer experiences and opportunities that go beyond typical vacation tour options. From tagging sea turtles and billfish in the Caribbean to helping track and remove marine debris in the south pacific, the opportunities are endless, and the impact is significant! If you’re going for a grand gesture this season, explore sustainable travel experiences that inspire and enthrall. Recent studies show that “people tend to be happier when they receive gifts involving experiences versus material ones.” Sustainable travel is defined as travel that empowers local communities and helps the environment. So maybe you’ll be off to the Great Barrier Reef or the Galapagos next year; wherever you decide to go, the Impact Travel Alliance is a robust resource for travelers to better understand their impact when traveling. 

Ditch the plastic waste this and every Holiday season

We all aim to reduce our single-use dependency, so consider reusable alternatives when wrapping gifts this season and during birthdays or other gift-giving milestones. Some options include fabric, magazines, and recycled craft paper. Trash is for Tossers has a great guide to help you navigate the many options out there.

However you decide to celebrate this holiday season, remembering that we can simultaneously have fun, do good and protect our planet helps us create the future we want to see.


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