The Nitty Gritty

I always enjoyed science at school, but I’m no scientist. Neither am I an environmentalist or a graduate of international studies. It would perhaps seem that I am woefully lacking in the skills to put together a site that has any authority on what would consist of a better gift, but I do have (at least some!) common sense, an instinct that tells me ever-increasingly-laden landfills are not the way and a passion to help make a difference. I then started reading and talking to people.

This resource is not going to be perfect. Because it involves humans and we just aren’t good at perfect – not in the neat, precise sense that we have come to understand perfect to be. There will be gifts that one person can appreciate and another will question, but that’s OK. What you need to know is that there are core values behind this site and there are some guiding principles. These may be developed over time (and I encourage your feedback and input), but for now they are the basis for how gifts are selected and promoted on the site. Whether you agree with them or not, there is a rationale we’re trying to stick to!


  1. I believe that gift-giving should be fun, not feared.
  2. I believe that gifts should bring joy.
  3. I believe that gifts should not harm – people or the planet.

Criteria which I think would help to make a ‘better’ gift:

  • Less packaging
  • Less wrapping
  • Options for group purchasing
  • Less end of life waste
  • Less consumption
  • Sustainable manufacturing
  • Sustainable/responsible business (treats employees well, triple-bottom-line accounting or B Corp companies)
  • Fairtrade products
  • Products that don’t contain the’ Dirty Dozen’ – chemicals in cosmetics as per the David Suzuki Foundation
  • Local products
  • Small or independent businesses
  • Less shipping (incl. direct ship gifts)

Let’s be really clear!

Featured gifts are intended to be promoted for a small fee. Their inclusion in the site has to be congruent with the values/criteria above, but their prominence is based on an advertising model.

Recommended gifts are not influenced by revenue; they selected on an editorial basis purely on our own information, experience and/or testing. If you have a gift that you would like us to review, please contact us.

Finding what you want and the categories!

Hopefully the site is fairly intuitive in terms of the ability to search by different criteria. The header bar allows you to select by certain characteristics of the gift (type, recipient, interests, occasion, price, location) and there is also the opportunity in the side-bar to do a drill-down search (show me, experience gifts, for Mothers, interested in house & home, for Under $100, in Vancouver – just saying!). If you know more specifically what you are looking for, then you can also use the keyword search box at the top (e.g Search: horse-riding).

Some gifts might be interpreted in different ways and so have been categorized accordingly. For example is the gift of home organization with a professional organizer an experience (you get to work with her) or a service (she helps to organize your space)? You will find it listed under both.

Where a gift certificate is provided for an experience or a service (e.g. house cleaning), it is not, however, listed under gift cards. This category is intended to provide ideas for retail gift cards.

Caveat Emptor!

Apologies, but many moons ago I did a Law degree and this latin phrase stuck with me. Buyer beware! While I attempt to ensure that all the information included in the site is up-to-date and accurate, I repeat that I am human (this is a good thing is it not!) and as such, can make mistakes.

Similarly, while we do our best to research the gifts suggested, unless it is a recommended gift, then we have not necessarily used the services ourselves and cannot speak to their credibility. We are merely letting you know of their existence and making recommendations of where they would fit in terms of gifting. If you are aware of any misleading information, any gift providers that you know not to fit within our core values for any reason, or problems with any gifts/gift providers that make you feel that it should not be included in the site, please contact us.