The season of gift-giving is just around the corner. It can be hard to know what to give a friend or family member going through cancer that’s helpful and appreciated. At a loss as to where to start? Here are some sustainable gifts for people going through cancer that are thoughtful, useful, and appreciated.
To inspire you with some sustainable gift ideas that are appreciated by both your loved one and the planet, we’ve partnered up with wherefrom, a sustainability review platform. They’ve built the world’s first sustainability scoring index that helps consumers compare any company or product on a single scale.
Here are 5 gift ideas for people going through cancer:
1. Soap and skincare products for sensitive skin
A common side effect of cancer treatment or medicine is sensitive skin – whether that be dry skin, rashes, or itchiness. Nourishing and mild body products can help ease these side effects. Make sure the products are unscented or created specifically for sensitive skin, and products developed for babies, like baby soap. Some people can lose hair from cancer treatment, so lotions for a scalp can be soothing and make a thoughtful gift. Look out for refillable products to minimize the use of single-use plastic or choose bar soap that is paper-wrapped.
Wherefrom’s sustainable tip: Unscented Body Wash: Faith in Nature Body Wash + Refillable
2. Reusable hot pack or heating blanket
A reusable hot pack or heating pad can be a soothing companion, whether you’re going through cancer or live in a cold climate. where it gets cold. Plus, if you live in a cold climate, it’s simply a great gift to keep warm. Muscle aches are a common side effect of cancer treatment, and by applying heat, it opens the blood vessels and helps the muscles relax, which can help ease the pain. Cancer treatment can also cause joint pain and stiffness; in this case, heat helps joints loosen up by increasing blood flow.
Opt for a reusable hot pack like a microwavable wheat bag. Or, get creative and make your own with cotton fabric and fill it with dry beans, rice, or buckwheat – it’s easier than you may think!
A heating blanket can help keep your whole body warm, instead of applying a hot pack to a specific area; be mindful of the risks of a heating blanket, such as fires or burns – opt for a safe and verified heating blanket.
Wherefroms sustainable tip: Beurer cozy heated snuggie throw or Terrible Twins wheat warmer
3. Organic hats and scarves
Experiencing cancer may mean that your loved one loses their hair. In this case – especially if you live in a cold place – hats and scarves to keep your head warm are essential.Even if your body is well insulated but your head is exposed to the cold, the body’s core temperature drops quickly. That is even more so the case if you don’t have hair that naturally creates warmth. If you’re in a warmer climate, hats and scarves protect your head from UV rays.
Opt for organic materials, which are not only better for the environment but tend to irritate sensitive skin less. There are all kinds of styles you can go for; pick something that works with your loved one’s style, and if you’re not quite sure what that is, go for something basic and simple – they’ll be using them often!
Wherefrom’s sustainable tip: Organic Basics Recycled Wool Beanie
4. Sustainable, eco-friendly candles
Many people who go through cancer experience negative mental health effects – from a loss of identity to fear of the unknown. It’s important to be aware of and care for our family members’ and friends’ well-being comprehensively (here are a few proven ways to improve your mental health). Receiving a candle can be symbolic of the light amidst the darkness, and receiving a candle from a loved one can be a sweet reminder that they’re not alone, whether they’re at home or in the hospital. Candles make any room cozy and can be used for ambience, meditation, and other practices that can improve your mental health.
Unfortunately, many candles contain artificial fragrances and dyes, and when they burn, harmful chemicals can be released. According to Make It Last, a rule of thumb is to buy candles that are organic and eco-friendly, made from natural, vegetable ingredients like coconut, rapeseed, beeswax, or soy wax. Make sure to opt for candles with wicks made from cotton and wood.
If you know that your loved one is feeling low or isolated, make sure to share the War On Cancer app with them – a place for everyone impacted by cancer to connect with others who know what cancer is like and improve mental health and wellbeing.
Wherefrom’s sustainable tip: The Kentish Soap Co Enchantment Candle
5. Reusable water bottles
Hydration is always important, and especially so when being treated for cancer. Dehydration is a common side effect of cancer treatment, and staying well-hydrated can reduce side effects, such as constipation or nausea, fatigue, and feeling weak in general. Water is key in helping flush toxins out of the body and the best option when it comes to rehydration. Unfortunately, chemotherapy can cause water to taste metallic, so make sure to get your loved one a water bottle that can tolerate both cold and hot beverages so they can make tea or another drink if they grow tired of water.
Opt for a reusable water bottle that is made of non-toxic BPA-free plastic from an eco-friendly company.
Wherefroms sustainable tip: Klean Kanteen insulated bottles or Hydroflask bottles
Another thoughtful gift idea for people going through cancer? Recommend the War On cancer app where they can join a community and meet others who know what cancer is like.
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