Eco-vouchers for heritage rice, organic produce, and home care. Here are gifts you’re sure they won’t return
The last few years have not only seen the rise of the ‘conscious’ consumer, but also one who gifts differently. Be it saplings, earthenware diyas or plantable cards and crackers, there is a noticeable shift in the way we share — goodbye plastic lights and synthetic idols that are either dumped in the loft or passed on to a neighbour! Now, the gifts are cherished and actually put to use.
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Also finding place in our local markets are zero-waste stores (Jonah Fernandes and Eldridge Lobo’s Ecoposro in Goa, Pune’s Adrish, Bittu John’s plastic-free 7 to 9 Green Store in Ernakulam), entrepreneurs crafting everything plantable, and home bakers dishing out edible fireworks.
So this year, sweets hampers aside, here are our picks for those looking to give their festivities a green twist:
A new app @ Eco Indian, Chennai
One of Chennai’s earliest zero-waste stores that made us revisit the concept of taking our own containers to shop for rice and pulses (stored in canisters), oil (in steel dispensers), and other everyday products sans the plastic packaging, has a lot in store this festive season. Aside from launching their Ecoindian – Zerowaste Organic Shopping app (to be available on Android), they will be launching a four to six week subscription service for organic vegetables, fruits, and in-store products across the categories of home care, natural foods, grains, etc. Co-founder Prem Antony says they will maintain standard prices throughout the season, and customers can choose delivery between Tuesday and Friday every week. Launching on November 12. 08124001177. ecoindian.com
Curated boxes @ Verth, Jaipur
If your company is looking for an offbeat gifting plan, suggest the subscription boxes at this Jaipur-based start-up. They have options available for corporate, personalised and wedding gifting. Each box features a curation of eco-friendly products across home care, beauty, food, and more, from conscious brands White Mountain Collectives, Wild Ideas, Sleepy Owl, and local artisans. Our picks are the Immunity Care Box (₹1,799), including Paul and Mike creamed honey chocolate, plant-based all season body yogurt, and an upcycled eye mask, and the Zero Waste Kitchen Box (₹825) with coconut coir scrubs, organic dishwashing soap bar, beeswax wraps, metal straws, and more. All boxes are upcycled and come with plastic-free packaging. Subscription plans at ₹4,440 for one year, ₹2,280 for six months. verthbox.com. 8879488819
Community plans @ The Eco Store, Bengaluru
Ditch the diyas and mithai boxes, and consider a veggie subscription service instead. Curated baskets featuring organic produce, dairy, breads, spices, home care products, etc, from The Eco Store are a great option for those looking at plans for their local community and/or apartment. The establishment also has a Green Circle Program wherein members earn reward points on each purchase, and a ‘Refer a Friend’ initiative, part of which you and your friend can avail as discounted coupons. A monthly subscription of the Mega Vegetable Basket starts at ₹2,691. 9845689551. theecostore.in
Old man’s hands holding a crate full of fresh and raw vegetables-carrot, tomato, turnib, parsley, dill and lettuce. Field with lettuce plants on background.
Gift cards @ Eco Lyfe, Chennai
The next time you visit this zero-waste store selling everything from organic rice variants and mock meat to biodegradable cutlery and herbal disinfectants, pick up a gift card or two (in denominations of ₹1,000 and ₹2,000). Launched earlier this year by Lyfe by Soul Garden Bistro in Alwarpet, Eco Lyfe also has vegan sweets, edible fireworks, heritage rice, and more for the festive season. @Eko_lyfe on Instagram. 9080062885
Heritage rice @ Spirit of the Earth, Chennai
Since 2017, heirloom grains such as the fragrant sukhdas from Uttar Pradesh, or Orissa’s kalajeera a.k.a baby basmati, the mildly sweet kala bhat from West Bengal, Kerala’s red hued thavalai kanna matta, or Tamil Nadu’s very own kuzhiyadichan have reached rice lovers across the country courtesy Chennai’s Spirit of the Earth. A great way to introduce someone to India’s rich rice heritage is by signing them up for their Heritage Rice of India subscription box (₹3,300 for a year) that features 500 gm of an artisanal rice variant, a recipe card, and a keepsake every quarter. Return the empty tins and boxes every three months and you get 500 gm of a different rice variant complimentary. spiritoftheearth.in