Whether you’re shopping for a loved one or looking for inspiration for your own Christmas list, why not consider a gift that gives back to the ocean? After all, the sea gives all divers and freedivers so much pleasure throughout the rest of the year, it seems only fair that it should benefit from the season of goodwill as well. In this article, we look at a few novel gift ideas that are sure to bring joy to the recipient while also promoting marine conservation. From swimwear made of recycled plastic to environmentally-friendly craft beer, there’s something for everyone on our ethical Christmas wish list.
Animal adoptions are a great way to support marine charities and appeal to ocean lovers of all ages. Many organizations offer adoptions, with packages differing slightly from one to the next. One of the best charities for cetacean lovers is Whale and Dolphin Conservation, which initiated the world’s first humpback whale adoption program back in the early 1980s. Today, the charity offers humpback and orca adoptions, with a list of individual whale profiles to choose from. All adoption packages include a personalized certificate, a photograph of your whale and specific information about its life history, family tree, and migration path. You’ll receive monthly updates and a newsletter that details how your money is being used to promote the well-being of whales like yours, both in captivity and in the wild.
The ideal gift for beginner and experienced skaters alike, Bureo skateboards are made from recycled fishing nets. Discarded fishing equipment is responsible for approximately 10% of the ocean’s plastic pollution, a statistic that Bureo is hoping to change through their Chile-based net recycling program. By providing fishing net collection points, organizing education programs and providing financial incentives to fishing communities, the company has recovered and recycled 80,000 kilograms of nets to date. The plastic from the nets is used to create skateboard decks. There are two models to choose from: the Ahi Performance Cruiser and the Bureo Minnow Cruiser, both with an ocean-inspired fish-scale grip pattern. You can also buy decks and sustainable skateboard wheels separately. Other Bureo products include sunglasses, apparel, and surfboard fins.
Daniel Glass Water Bottles
Disposable plastic water bottles generate more than 121 million tons of waste every year. By switching to a reusable water bottle, you can reduce that number by 240 bottles annually – and what better way to do so than with the stylish Daniel bottle? Made from BPA-free glass, these 20 oz bottles feature a silicone sleeve in colors with whimsical names like Bali Blues, Caribbean Calling, and Island Love Affair. You can also purchase the sleeves separately, and use them to coordinate your bottle with different outfits. The company donates 10% of its net profits to charitable organizations that focus on reducing plastic pollution. The bottles benefit the user by keeping beverages toxin-free and eradicating the plastic or metallic taste often associated with other types of reusable water bottle.
From the Notebook Craft Beer
UK-based microbrewery From the Notebook caters to ethically-minded craft beer aficionados with its range of wildlife-inspired brews. Each one is associated with a conservation organization, which receives 10p from every bottle sold. The brewery’s Seabird range benefits the Marine Conservation Society, a charity that organizes beach clean-ups, promotes sustainable seafood and works to establish new Marine Protected Areas. The charity also supports specialized conservation projects, including one focused on conserving British shark species. Beers in the Seabird range include the Arctic Tern IPA, the Kittiwake golden ale and the Puffin bitter. Adventurous connoisseurs can also sample the Roseate Tern, a blush IPA whose proceeds go towards protecting the beer’s rare namesake through the Roseate Tern Life Project. Five other brews benefit terrestrial animal charities.
United By Blue Apparel
Founded in 2010, Philadelphia and New York-based brand United By Blue produces outdoor apparel for men and women, ranging from t-shirts and trousers to jackets and swimwear. The company also sells camping equipment, homeware and a range of travel bags – giving you plenty of gift ideas to choose from. For every product sold, the company pledges to remove one pound of trash from the world’s oceans and waterways. Admirably, instead of outsourcing this goal, the company and its employees fulfill their promise themselves through a series of volunteer beach clean-ups. Since its inception, United By Blue has removed over 1 million pounds of trash, collected on 207 clean-ups in 27 states. Their products are also sustainably made from materials including organic cotton, bison fiber , and recycled polyester.
Devocean was founded in 2015 to help raise funds and awareness for sea turtle conservation. The company is also a woman’s best friend, creating beautiful ocean-themed jewelry in delicate sterling silver; as well as a series of colorful ranges made with materials like glass and hemp. Sea turtle charms feature prominently, while the brand’s sustainable sweatshirts, caps and beach blankets also bear the Devocean turtle logo. 20% of net profits are donated to the FAU Marine Research Lab at Gumbo Limbo Nature Center in Florida. As well as organizing education programs and supporting scientific research by the Florida Atlantic University, the research lab is actively involved in turtle conservation. Every year, the team monitor over 800 nests and rescue around 9,000 stranded hatchlings. They also rescue, rehabilitate and release adult turtles.
California-based brand Odina specializes in bikinis designed for surfing, swimming, and diving rather than catching a tan at the hotel pool. Created with the input of female athletes with firsthand experience of the best styles and fit, they’re both fashionable and functional. Fabrics are made from recycled plastic bottles and fishing nets, while the tags are printed on recycled cotton using sustainable water-based dyes. All of Odina’s in-store marketing materials are also made using reclaimed wood and recycled paper or plastic. The brand provides financial support for a number of different marine conservation projects, with a special focus on those that promote women as part of the ocean community. These include eXXpedition (which organizes all-female scientific voyages), and sustainable surf camps run by the Ocean Girl Project.