With Christmas literally around the corner, it’s peak panic time for people to buy shoddy presents that will inevitably be thrown out by February. There are endless lists of ‘conscious’ gifts out there, but have you considered buying an experience with purpose for your loved one?
Experience gifts can be life-changing, educational or just plain fun and, if it has purpose, it will definitely be a worthwhile gift to give (they also can’t end up landfill). The below are idea suggestions for purposeful experiences to purchase online; bonus, you don’t even have to set foot in a shopping mall to buy it!
Note: For those not based in Australia, just do an online search to find a list of local experiences.
1. A weekend away with Airbnb
There is nothing better than a weekend away, experiencing a new area and getting outdoors. Hotels can sometimes be expensive and wasteful, which is why booking accommodation through Airbnb is the perfect gift. Airbnb is a company based around the share economy, allowing people to rent out people’s existing homes and allowing owners to make back some money.
2. Natural skincare workshop
Last year I was given a voucher for a waste-free skincare workshop and it was one of the funnest experiences I’ve had. Not only do these workshops teach skincare recipes, saving money and waste, but the classes allow participants to take home a range of handmade products.
- Sydney workshop – Handmade Organic Skincare $75
- Brisbane workshop – Natural Skincare $70
- Melbourne workshop – DIY Organic Skincare Essentials $140
3. Life experience
This is a gift for the passionate learner amongst your circles. Life experience workshops are not for those that need help in their lives, it is a gift of knowledge, curiosity and empowerment. There is a magnitude of powerful workshops in every city on a range of topics such as confidence, female empowerment, emotional intelligence, philosophy just to name a few. This is without a doubt my favourite gift to give and receive.
- Sydney experiences – School of Life (multiple themes)
- Melbourne experiences – School of Life (multiple themes)
4. Pottery Class
Pottery is not only for the artistically inclined; it can be enjoyed by ordinary people too because it’s therapeutic and fun. There’s a range of classes you can purchase as a gift, from ceramic pots to advanced sculptures. Most classes allow people to drop in, so even a taster session is an ideal experience to give as a gift to a loved one.
- Sydney classes – The Pottery Shed
- Tasmania classes – Adult Education TAS
- Brisbane classes – Mas & Miek Ceramic House
“Working with clay integrates mental, emotional, and kinesthetic brain functions. It’s a full-on experience, and a great way to get out of a slump.” – Ashley Warner, psychotherapist and ceramic artist
5. Drunk painting
This craze seems to have exploded over the last year and I’m here for it. Drunk painting is literally what it says on the tin, a class of people painting whilst also drinking. It is incredibly fun to do with a friend, especially if you are both terrible painters.
- Sydney class – Cork & Canvas $50
- Melbourne class – Cork & Canvas $50
- Adelaide class – Studio Vino $50
- Perth class – Cabernet & Canvas $65
6. Get cultured with museum tickets
Museum tickets may seem like a boring gift, however, museums and art galleries are really upping their event game. Most museums and art galleries across Australia host late night events, unique experiences and gigs. Check out local museums and gallery programs to give the Xmas gift of a thought-provoking experience.
- Sydney – Art Gallery of NSW (Art After Dark) and The Powerhouse Museum
- Melbourne – National Gallery of Victoria
7. Plant-based cooking class
The cooking class experience doesn’t necessarily have to be vegan, however, it’s good to consider the fact that animal agriculture and raising livestock is one of the top five carbon-emitting sectors on the planet. Learning how to cook delicious vegan food such as vegan cakes and plant-based meat-free curries is a perfect gift for both vegans and non-vegans alike.
- Sydney – My Little Panda Kitchen, Vegan Cake Decorating $149
- Darwin – Gourmet Vegetarian & Vegan Cooking Class $150
8. Natural fabric dyeing
Do any of your eco-conscious friends ever talk about the chemicals from fashion dye? Well, this is the class for them. Natural colours come from food, flowers and herbs, and can easily be used to dye silk. Most classes focus on dyeing a shirt or scarf, which participants are then able to take home with their new dyeing knowledge.
- Sydney – Natural Fabric Dyeing $90
- Melbourne – Eco Printing and Natural Dyeing workshop $185
- Adelaide – Natural Dye Workshop $65
- 100 Ethical, Eco-Friendly and Zero Waste Gift Ideas For Birthdays and Christmas
- 15 Cruelty-Free and Vegan Xmas Gifts For Eco Beauty Lovers
- The Anti-Consumerist Guide to Christmas Gift Giving
- Zero Waste Christmas Gift Guide
- 3 Eco-Conscious Ways to Wrap Gifts This Christmas
- 10 Affordable Eco-Friendly and Ethical Underwear Brands For Women and Men (USD $29 or Less)
Disclosure: The curated list is based on the writer’s research and does not fully take into account all ethical considerations that are unique to each individual. Before making a purchase, we encourage you to do your own research paying particular attention to business and supply chain ethics. For more information on our policies, click here.