Eco-Friendly Gift Guide for Coders
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The holidays are filled with what Americans do best - CONSUME! But it doesn’t have to be. I’ve posted before about how important I think a minimalist lifestyle is and that applies to the holidays as well. My dad asked me a question that summed it all up for me - “What did you get last Christmas?” I paused as I thought back for a few seconds and sure enough, I couldn’t remember a single thing I received for Christmas last year. I mean, how awful is it that we spent all that money and can’t even remember what we got? Clearly those things weren’t very meaningful because while I can’t remember the gifts I received I definitely remember the time I spent re-watching A Christmas Story for the 2000th time and what we ate for dinner and what movie we went to see together.
Having lots of things that aren’t meaningful not only clutters up our lives, but it clutters up our planet. Think about all of the plastic wrapping paper and bows that end up in landfills just because of one holiday.
Side note: this is why my family almost exclusively uses gift bags and tissue paper. It might not have the satisfying rip of wrapping paper, but we reuse our bags and even the tissue paper year after year saving a lot of paper/plastics from being put into a landfill. If you want to start a new tradition of using gift bags instead of wrapping paper check out this awesome starter set with all different sizes.
Here are some gifts you can give that are eco-friendly && great for devs:
Kindle - I admit I am still someone who LOVES physical real books. That being said, I can’t ignore the fact that a Kindle is incredibly environmentally friendly. Instead of paper, you have one device that you can recharge and read thousands of books on. I’ve also found that due to its size I keep it in my purse and I read way more often than I used to. I even started reading *gasp* for fun and I’ve been checking books off my reading list left and right. Take advantage of this opportunity to pick one up for yourself and your friend and start a good old fashioned book club. And if you don’t know which book to start with, check out my Book of the Month page where I have all my picks listed!
Reusable Coffee Cup - If you’re a programmer who drinks coffee and doesn’t own a keep cup… just why?! Almost every coffee chain now offers some kind of discount to those who bring in their own cup so you will save money in the end, but also think about how much plastic you’re keeping out of a landfill! I challenged myself to keep every disposable coffee cup that I bought in a week and was absolutely horrified by day 3. It’s definitely worth it to stock up on a few really nice ones and then stash them everywhere. I keep one in my car, in my backpack, and in my purse so I don’t have an excuse not to use it. I love my HydroFlask (you’ll see it all over my insta) because it keeps whatever is inside hot or cold for a really long time. I HATE cold coffee and sometimes I get so absorbed in my code I forget to take a sip for a really long time - but no more cold coffee with the HydroFlask! It’s also really easy to rinse out and my favorite part - the little cap over the opening so when I toss it in my backpack I don’t get coffee all over my stuff.
Dev Coffee Cup - If you’re looking for something a little more coder personalized, check out this awesome mug! You can also get a discount by bringing in your own mug at places like Starbucks so the same principle applies.
Reusable Keurig Pod - For those of you (like me) who love the convenience of a Keurig but hate how expensive and wasteful those little plastic K-Cup pods are this is your solution! Giving these as a gift will be sure to put you on your friend’s favorite list. You can easily put grounds into them, pop them in for a brew and then reuse them! I bought these for my parents a few years ago and they LOVE being able to make their favorite fresh ground coffee brand into their own K-Cup pods.
Online Courses - now this is not going to be an easily wrapable gift, but it’s one that whoever you give it to will definitely appreciate. If you know someone who has always talked about wanting to learn a new skill, consider buying them a subscription to Skillshare or an Udemy course. The gift of knowledge should not be underestimated and this is something that is both eco-friendly and minimalist. Skillshare is great if you don’t know what their specific interests are and Pluralsight is also good one. If you’re close to the person and want something more specific, you can purchase Udemy courses based on their interests.
Poshmark - Poshmark is the online version of a consignment shop. It’s full of people selling their new and gently used clothes - many that still have the tags attached! There are incredible finds on here that you can pick up for a fraction of the price you’d pay in store and there are two bonuses to shopping on Poshmark - first of all buying second-hand clothing is way better for the environment than fast-fashion. The other thing I love about Poshmark is that it is mostly women who are selling their clothes. By using your dollars and giving it to another woman, you are empowering women! We don’t have to empower fast-fashion brands that might not be eco-friendly, but purchasing a sweater that someone never wore because it was the wrong size checks both boxes! So go buy your bestie that gorgeous designer purse you wouldn’t normally be able to afford. If you want $5 off your first purchase you can use my referral code to sign up - KAYCOFFEELOVER (can you tell I like coffee?).
WebCam Cover - Ok this the only thing on the list that doesn’t fit my eco-friendly theme but I think it’s such an important one! Webcam hacks are a lot easier than people realize so I always keep mine covered. It gives me peace of mind knowing that even if somebody were to hack my webcam that they wouldn’t be able to see anything. This is one of the best gifts you can give someone - their privacy!
I hope you now have some great eco-friendly gifts for your friends and family - and if you have an eco-friendly gift suggestion feel free to share it in the comments below!