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10 Great Holiday Gift Ideas That Won't Kill The Planet

10 DEC 2018

It would be lovely to enjoy all the cheer December can bring: the pleasure of a cozy sweater, the uplifting feeling when you hear a cheery carol on the radio and the warmth of loved ones close by.

Unfortunately, sometimes we can all get dragged down by that pesky holiday gifting list.

Especially for us eco-conscious shoppers! It's hard to stomach the thought of all that waste associated with buying new things (the wrapping paper, the plastic packaging, the transport involved and the physical gift itself!), yet we simultaneously still want to treat the people we care about the most.

Luckily, there are a plethora of beautiful gift options out there with no physical component, so they're great for the Earth (and discounted to soothe your credit card balance too).

We've rounded up the top 10 such gifts from ScienceAlert academy:

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10. Mondly: Lifetime Subscription

Regular Price: US$1199.75

Sale Price: US$69.99

Our Holiday Price Drop: US$49.99

Mondly is the perfect gift for the eco-conscious traveler or anyone you know who's planning a big trip to a foreign country in 2019.

This dynamic language learning system uses state-of-the-art speech recognition to help you memorize vocabulary but, most importantly, perfect your pronunciation.

With a conversation-focused curriculum, anyone you gift this program to will be able to ask directions or read menus in whichever country they're visiting soon.

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9. Scribd Subscriptions

Regular Price: US$107.88

Our Sale Price: US$94.99

This subscription service is perfect either your news junkie cousin or your aunt who always has a mystery novel in her hands.

For less than the price of a paperback each month, your intellectual loved one will get access to an unlimited number of bestselling and award-winning books and audiobooks, as well as all the viral newspaper and magazine articles

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8. Zoolz Cloud Storage: Lifetime of 1TB Instant Vault and 1TB of Cold Storage

Regular Price: US$3600

Sale Price: US$69.99

Our Holiday Price Drop: US$44.95

With nearly everything from our favorite music to our memory-capturing photographs moving to digital, everyone needs a ton of storage space.

But it can be incredibly expensive to house our archives, just ask anyone who has recently added up their monthly cloud storage fees. For the music nerds, photographers, or film geeks in your life who need to own all their favorites, Zoolz offers huge archives for low one-time fees.

Buy them this gift once and they'll feel it like a warm hug in their bank accounts every month they don't have to pay a storage fee.

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7. Kualto Money Management: Lifetime Subscription

Regular Price: US$239.40

Our Sale Price: US$39.99

Okay, this one might not sound like a super fun present, but it definitely fits the old gift-giving adage to buy your giftee something they need but would never buy themselves.

But hey, you also might know a personal finance junkie would just love to get their hands on this sweet, sweet budgeting software. The Kualto Money Management program also helps you save more and plan for unexpected expenses.

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6. Pianoforall: The New Way To Learn Piano & Keyboard

Regular Price: US$199.99

Sale Price: US$29.99

Our Holiday Price Drop: US$10.99

Perfect for nieces and nephews, or anyone in your life who wants to spread their creative wings, Pianoforall turns regular piano lessons on their head by making their beginner lessons in the rhythm piano style, popular with pop artists like Nora Jones and Adele, so the player immediately starts with the fun stuff as a way to bond them to their new instrument.

With hours of content, your loved one can replay over and over until they have the cords exactly right. Pianoforall demystifies sheet music, while making the learning process a pleasant one.

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5. Aura Premium: Lifetime Subscription

Regular Price: US$499

Sale Price: US$99.99

Our Holiday Price Drop: US$79.99

This one is for your high-powered buds who seem constantly on edge from long hours of leaning in or launching their startup. Created by therapists and top meditation teachers, Aura provides quick mindfulness meditation practices.

Unlike other apps, Aura personalizes these daily exercises for each user, using a ground-breaking AI system.

Even your most skeptical Silicon Valley friend will warm up to meditation when you whisper these two magic words: machine learning.

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4. PixTeller Pro: 1-Year Subscription

Regular Price: US$81

Our Sale Price: US$19.99

Design is another field that can have a physical (read: wasteful) element, but not when it's all moved to digital. The PixTeller Pro is the perfect gift for the conservationist creatives in your life.

This online design and photo editing tool has all the same functionality as the most expensive software, allowing designers to create images from scratch or edit their photographs.

The functionality is intuitive, so it's also a great gift for anyone just getting started on their creative journey.

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3. Setapp: 1-Year Subscription

Regular Price: US$119

Sale Price: US$69

For your loved ones who are always telling you about the hottest new app, Setapp offers a huge library of curated apps for everything you need, from productivity tools to addicting games.

You can send your tech-savvy friends every style of app available and pay only a single fee, rather than having to pay for each app up front or pesky in-app purchases if you want to access the actually cool or useful parts of the app.

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2. eLearnExcel & eLearnOffice School: Lifetime Subscription Bundle

Regular Price: US$1198

Our Sale Price: US$49

No matter where your loved ones work, whether they're a freelancer or corporate upper-level management, everyone uses Excel. Unfortunately, many of us did not learn Excel skills in school and without them, a day's work can seem as bleak as a dead winter landscape.

Give your loved ones the gift of universally needed skills and knowledge while this online course bundle is on a 95% holiday discount.

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1. Disconnect VPN: Lifetime Premium Subscription

Regular Price: US$107.88

Sale Price: US$94.99

Our Featured Product Price Drop: US$49

Our number one pick for eco-conscious holiday gift tops our list because it's such a versatile present. Do you know a single person who doesn't go online every day? (Babies don't count.) I didn't think so!

Which means that every single person you love enough to send a gift to this holiday season is vulnerable to cyberattacks and information hacks. Protect them for life with The New York Times' anti-tracking tool of choice: Disconnect VPN.

Easy enough for Grandma to use, this VPN encrypts all the data on any device to keep private information truly private.

As this is our favorite gift option this holiday season, we're offering an extra discount to only US$49 for a lifetime of protection, 93% reduced from the original US$500 price tag.

This is a promotional ScienceAlert Academy post, in partnership with StackCommerce. We carefully vet all courses and products to make sure they're relevant to our readers, and make a share in the profits of any sales.