Food & Travel, Shopping & Consumption

Conscious Christmas Shopping for the Traveller

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[Part 1 of our 3-part Conscious Christmas Shopping series for the traveller, the fashionista, and the urban dweller; also check out Conscious Christmas Celebrations: Mindful Foodie Feasts and Conscious Christmas Being: A Holiday Self-Check]


When Christmas time comes around, many of us run around like headless chickens to cross everyone off our Christmas list, as if in an Amazing Race to get everyone that matters (and even those that really don’t) something (anything) for the age-old holiday habit or perceived (and poorly conceived) social responsibility of gift-giving, while braving through traffic and mall queues in the least amount of time.

Gift-giving is not among my strong love languages, and I believe that gift-giving should come from a place of gratitude and sincerity, and from a place of understanding what really matters to a person and what can really make their day.

I don’t believe that gift-giving in itself is always a bad thing, but I do when it becomes a chore. Part of the act of gifting someone is giving it with a smile and the hopes of seeing their face light up with your thoughtfulness, and how well you seem to know them through your choice of gift/s.

In this 3-part series, I’ll share some of my ideas of more unique, personal, and mindful gift that your beloved recipient/s may appreciate, and that your local community and the planet would prefer that you support too.


1. Bo’s Coffee travel journal
Unlike other conventional coffee shop Christmas planner gimmicks, Bo’s sets itself apart with a travel journal that showcases their coffee origins from across the Philippines, and encourages journal owners to discover provincial Philippine destinations through an interactive journey through Bo’s branches across the country that if completed, will get you a year’s worth of coffee from Bo’s. Yup.

And more than that, the journal also contains coupons in support of homegrown businesses including many of the brands I’ll be mentioning in this article too.

Learn more about the journal and its contents here.

Bo's travel journal
Bo’s travel journal made with Philippine handwoven fabric and synthetic leather, showcasing Bo’s coffee origins, different Philippine destinations, and different homegrown brands (photo c/o Bo’s Coffee)  

2. Gugu or Gouache backpacks or bags
I enjoy traveling and simple living, and I also like to have items that mean something to me and make a personal style statement with our past Muni Market Day merchants.

Gugu‘s backpacks are made with handwoven saluyot fibers, while their Lakaw totes are made with upcycled cotton fibers, both woven by their partner communities in Bicol. (Coupons available in the Bo’s Coffee travel journal)

Gugu bags
Gugu handwoven saluyot backpack (photo c/o Gugu); author with her Lakaw tote made with upcycled cotton fibers (photo c/o Prim Paypon)

Gouache bags are locally-made waxed canvas items ranging from camera bags (their first product), messenger bags, rucksacks, and lunch bags, assembled by sewers in Marikina. (Coupons available in the Bo’s Coffee travel journal)

Gouache bags (Photo c/o Gouache)

3. Trips to local travel destinations with more mindful tour companies
Whether you’re into the outdoors, cultural trips, or food feasts, there is an itinerary and operator for you from our recommended groups to travel with. And for givers and recipients who are really not that into the whole gift-giving ritual, there’s nothing quite like gifting an experience. (Coupons for Trail Adventours, Culture Shock PH, and Route +63 available in the Bo’s Coffee travel journal)

Travel Local by MUNI

[Editor’s note: Gugu backpacks will be available at the Christmas in the Courtyard pop-up bazaar by Portico by Alveo on December 13, 2014, Saturday, 10AM-8PM. Muni will also have a booth at the event, alongside other selected Muni Market Day merchants. Portico is located at Capt. Henry Javier street (near Valle Verde Country Club), Oranbo, Pasig.]

Related reads:
Conscious Christmas Shopping for the Fashionista
Conscious Christmas Shopping for the Urban Dweller
Conscious Christmas Celebrations: Mindful Foodie Feasts
Conscious Christmas Being: A Holiday Self-Check

Jen HornJEN HORN (@nomadmanager) is a wanderer, writer, and designer out to build the MUNI community, create a culture of caring for self, others, and the planet, and make choosing better a way of life as MUNI’s Chief Collaborator. A graduate of AB-Psychology from De La Salle University, she has always had a fascination with the inner workings of the human mind, though she opted to pursue entrepreneurship, writing, and design after graduation. She is also a lover of handwoven textiles, and aims to keep weaving traditions alive through the use of Philippine textiles in modern fashion with her side project Tala Luna.


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