Compassionate Gift Guide

by | Dec 9, 2020

​The holidays are upon us, and while 2020 means adjusting our typical holiday celebrations, that doesn’t mean the gift-giving has to stop! This year, choose compassionate gifts for everyone on your list!

Compassion encompasses not just the animals, but also the planet. Provided below are a few gift suggestions for friends and family:

Reusable Tote Bag
Tote bags are a gamechanger. They help reduce the use of plastic bags, meaning less end up in our waterways and landfills. While many stores and companies offer free ones, a custom bag to match a gift receiver’s personality can be found in many shops on Etsy. We also have one in our shop!


Reusable Utensil Set
Plastic waste from dining out, especially now in the times of Covid, is unnecessary and,  again, ends up in waterways and landfills. Lower your friend or loved one’s plastic usage by gifting them a reusable utensil set like the one found here.

Loose Leaf Tea
Tea is calming and soothing, a perfect accompaniment to a cold wintry night. For the tea lover in your life, loose leaf tea is the way to go. Loose leaf tea is steeped through a diffuser, eliminating the use for a tea bag. There are many companies who offer loose leaf tea packages for gifting, including Millvale’s own Tupelo Honey Teas. While the shop’s tea counter is not open right now, you can still order from their website everything from teas to accessories, including many custom blended teas unique to the shop.

Gift Cards
Gift cards are a great way to support local businesses especially as they have lost revenue over the past year. It’s also a great way to treat someone to something special.

Local vegan restaurants such as B52AptekaOnion Maiden, and Fortuitea, among others, all offer the opportunity to purchase gift cards.

For the clothes-minded, a gift card to an online second hand store, such as ThredUp can be a great gift. It allows the user to reduce waste by purchasing gently used clothing at a discounted price.

For the Pet Lover
Why not get someone on your list a custom pet portrait, like those from My Animal Art? Rachel Sekine-Tenny, HAP’s Director of Communications, has used this service to great delight.

For the Vegan Food Lover
You can never go wrong with vegan treats! Greyston Bakery features vegan brownie boxes in varying sizes, perfect for anyone on your list.

For a gift that keeps on giving throughout the year, Vegan Cuts offers a monthly box filled with various treats and items from all over the country. Proceeds from every box also go to support a sanctuary in the U.S.

To Make an Impact
Finally, one of the best ways you can honor someone and make an impact for animals and the environment is to make a donation to Humane Action Pittsburgh on behalf of someone. Your donation will support our mission of making Pittsburgh a Model Humane City that encompasses animal welfare, the reduction of plastic in the environment, and the benefits of a plant-based diet.

I hope this list helps you with your holiday shopping this year! If you have other suggestions, please feel free to leave them below!


Aimee Douglass is the Director of Compassionate Living. Aimee works in the healthcare industry and has a bachelors degree in Creative Writing from the University of Pittsburgh at Johnstown and a masters degree in Communications with a health care focus from Southern New Hampshire University.

Abhi Nadendla is a blogger at HAP and has been volunteering at the organization since late 2022. She is a student at the University of Pittsburgh and loves spending her free time helping out at animal shelters.

Hannah Lewis is a grant writer and blogger from Pittsburgh’s North Side who has been with HAP since 2020. In addition to writing and advocating for animals, she enjoys hiking, cooking plant-based meals, bouldering at her local climbing gym, and curling up with a good book and her long-haired cat, Freyja.

Kelly Frantz has recently joined the HAP family as a blog writer. She is passionate about animal protection and is excited to educate the community about animal welfare.