A collage of three objects: a spork, water bottle, and a BAGGU bag, with the text "A Practical Gift Guide of Reusable Objects"
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A Practical Gift Guide of Reusable Objects

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I mentioned in a recent Instagram post that I’m not big on gifting just to meet a deadline. You see, I don’t want to buy something just for the sake of buying something. I like coming upon something that reminds me of someone and then gifting it to them, even if it’s not for any particular occasion.

But yes, sometimes, you do need to get a gift for a specific occasion. And when that’s the case, I like to shop at Nordstrom. Why? Mostly because if the recipient doesn’t like what I’ve chosen for them, they can exchange it for something else. Nordstrom has a large selection, from apparel to beauty, and even home items. You could even enjoy a spa service. They also have a great return policy.

Seriously, when I get a non-experience gift for my mom, I get it from Nordstrom because she is super picky. I’ve been traumatized in the past for buying her a handbag from a neighborhood store, which didn’t work out for unexpected reasons. (Long story). This is not a judgment on neighborhood shops. (I try to shop local when I can.) I’m just saying that if you’re gifting something to a super picky person, better to utilize a place that’s convenient for them to access and has easy returns.

I’m also big on getting gifts that are practical. (Trying not to contribute to clutter and gift something that’s going to get KonMari’d down the road.) So here are a few things I picked out, with an eye towards encouraging environmentally-friendly behavior. These are (mostly) practical gifts, which I think will get lots of use.

Standard BAGGU – $10

Y’all know I love me some BAGGU. I wrote a whole post on why it’s my favorite reusable bag. In my quest to encourage family and friends to cut down on plastic bags, I’ve gifted quite a few of these. In fact, my very first BAGGU was a gift to me! Cute prints sure don’t hurt in nudging someone towards carrying their own reusable bag. This polar bear print is new for winter.

BAGGU 3D Zip Nylon Pouches, Set of 3 – $32

I’m also a big fan of BAGGU’s 3D Zips, which are ethically made out of ripstop nylon. They’re great for organizing stuff that you need to carry around and for packing when you go on a trip.

Swell water bottle in a wood grain pattern.
S’well Water Bottle – $35 to $45

Ever since learning how horrible bottled water is for the environment, I’ve been carrying my own water bottle. One of my favorite brands is S’well because their bottles are insulated and keep your cold water cold and your hot water hot. They also make many pretty designs that are worthy of gifting. I mean, look at that wood grain pattern! They’re priced at $35 for 17-oz bottle and $45 for the 25-oz size. However, I don’t recommend this $1,500 one covered in Swarovski Crystals because that’s just ridiculous. (By the way, S’well also makes a line called Sip by S’well, sold at Target, and those 15-oz bottles retail for $25.)

A ramen spork, which looks like a spoon with 4 tines sticking out the top.
MoMA Design Store Ramen Spork – $16

I love that Nordstrom is collaborating with the MoMA Design Store for its Nordstrom Pop-In this season. I enjoy shopping the MoMA Design Store for interesting, well-designed gifts. And now they’ve joined forces! In addition to carrying my own reusable bag and water bottle, I also carry my own utensils. And by utensils, I mean a spork. This particular spork with long tines was designed by Japanese ramen chain Sugakiya specifically for ramen — its tines are great for twirling noodles. But, really, you could use it for many other kinds of meals. I think it’s a unique gift for a noodle lover (or that eco-conscious person on your list ready to take the step of forgoing disposable utensils).

MoMA Design Store Rainbow Chopsticks – Set of 12 – $38

These are not particularly eco-friendly compared to other chopsticks. I just love the colors in this set. I do sometimes carry my own chopsticks, as well.

MoMA Design Store 4-in-1 Travel Adaptor – $25

For the world traveler on your list, here’s a practical gift: a travel adaptor. I like how colorful it is, not just because it’s playful, but because perhaps you’ll be less likely to overlook it and leave it behind in your hotel room (which I’ve totally done).

MoMA Design Store Shimmerware Set of 4 Highball Glasses – $60

OK, this isn’t particularly eco-friendly, but it’s cool! These iridescent glasses are made from lightweight electroplated glass and they claim to be durable. (I hope so, because if I had these and they broke easily, I might cry.) Check out the matching set of rocks glasses and bowls, too.

American Atelier Daphne Decanter & Whiskey Glasses – $60

Since we’re talking about barware, I just want to call your attention to this gold-colored decanter and whiskey glass set. How cool is that metallic honeycomb pattern? It also comes in a gold confetti pattern, copper or silver honeycomb, and a round version. Decisions, decisions! Whichever one you choose, it will look amazing on a bar cart. (May I suggest a few here?)

Kikkerland Crab Multi Tool – $20

If you’re going to use a multi tool, why not use one that is fricking adorable, like this crab-shaped one? Sometimes things are cool-looking but don’t work well, so I checked the reviews for you and they’re good. (Kikkerland also makes a cute elephant corkscrew, but that one doesn’t get good reviews for being functional.)

By the way, if you are a Nordstrom cardholder, don’t forget that you can schedule a personal 10 points day! Level 1 members have from now until December 17, and Level 2 and up members can choose a date through December 24. (Details here.)

This post is not sponsored by Nordstrom. I just really like shopping them because of their return policy.

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