14 eco-friendly and sustainable gift ideas for the holidays

This holiday season, do we really need more of the same old stuff? Instead, why not take a minute for mindfulness and give green, giving Earth a break in the process? You’ll be setting an example, putting a premium on eco-awareness instead of consumption and starting a conversation, all at the same time.

Take a minute to dig into makers, see if there is a diversity and inclusion statement on their website and give extra points for small businesses. Green versions of daily necessities are even fun to give and receive – and they keep on giving. Here are just a few ideas, in the $10-$200 price range, to jump-start your list.

Bite gift set

Earth-friendly toothpaste bits from BITE — Photo courtesy of Bite

There are more than eight billion plastic personal care products created every year, ending up in oceans and landfills. That’s reason enough to gift a Bite – Because It’s The Earth – gift set. Bite products hum with creativity, from toothpaste and mouthwash bits to polished metal cases for deodorant refills and glass tubes for floss to compostable sisal soap pouches that replace plastic shower scrubbers.

Viori hair care

Viori shampoo bars take the plastic out of the pictureViori shampoo bars take the plastic out of the picture — Photo courtesy of Viori

Viori haircare products are sourced from Longsheng rice water used for centuries by beautifully tressed Red Yao women in the mountains of China. Gift rich lathering shampoo and conditioner bars, as well as body bars and dry shampoo, all in pretty sustainable packages that don’t need to be wrapped.

Waterbody skin and body care

Waterbody self-care products are sourced from Alaskan kelpWaterbody self-care products are sourced from Alaskan kelp — Photo courtesy of Waterbody

Angie Flickinger founded Waterbody skin and body care to celebrate the wildly natural landscape of her native Alaska. Formulated with hand-harvested Alaskan kelp in her Wrangell, Alaska workshop, products like mermud soap, bath soaks and face masks resonate with anybody interested in self-care and adventure.

Sunglasses made from recycled or plant-based materials

All that plastic living forever in landfills can be put to good use, thanks to smarty-pants industrial designers who make everything from shoes to sunglasses to leggings out of it. Check out the Costa Untangled Collection, which transforms discarded fishing nets into groovy polarized sunglasses. The new frames have a 100% traceable supply chain, and they’ll make your honey look righteously hot, too.

Or check out Spy+, which offers Hot Spot and Hangout, retro ’70s inspired glasses made from 50% plant-based materials.

Clothing made from sustainable materials

These Patagonia leggings are made with recycled fishing netsThese Patagonia leggings are made with recycled fishing nets — Photo courtesy of Patagonia

Patagonia is in a class by itself when it comes to green products and sustainability – founder Yvon Chouinard and his family just gave away their $3 billion company to fight climate change. It makes sense then that there are product lines like the Slate Sky hooded rain jacket and supremely comfy Maipo Tights, both well-crafted and made with the new NetPlus material from recycled fishing nets.

Appalachian Gear Company is another green outfitter, making lightweight workout gear from alpaca fibers provided by partners in Peru, blended with TENCEL, a cellulose fiber sustainably sourced from eucalyptus trees. Best known for planting 10 trees for every item purchased, tentree‘s signature blend of TENCEL, recycled polyester and organic cotton makes for ultra-soft hoodies, hats and more.

Woolloomooloo shoes

Need a break from plastic? Woolloomooloo merino wool Australian shoes will give you happy feet. Unlike synthetic fabrics produced in factories using fossil fuels, this wool is made by lovable Australian Merinos that only consume grass, water, air and sunshine – enough said. These zero waste shoes are 100% natural, and Merino wool is biodegradable and renewable, so once your shoes need to be retired, they will degrade in both water and on land.

Takasa cotton towels and bedding

Takasa towels are organic and fair tradeTakasa towels are organic and fair trade — Photo courtesy of Takasa

Organic cotton powers Takasa’s supremely soft and absorbent towels and bedding, ethically sourced and manufactured using environmentally safe methods in British Columbia.

Toys made from recycled materials

For the kiddos, the California-based Green Toys is a great starting point for American-made toys made with 100% recycled materials. Take a note from Green Child Magazine and invest in heirloom-quality toys, with zero tolerance for the cheap stuff.

Doodlers and journal keepers will adore Dingbats* notebooks, made from materials that are always biodegradable, valiantly vegan and 100% recyclable. Plus, the company plants a tree with every order. They have cool backpacks, too.

Sheets & Giggles sustainable sheets

Sheets & Giggles bedding is made with sustainable eucalyptusSheets & Giggles bedding is made with sustainable eucalyptus — Photo courtesy of Sheets & Giggles

When it’s time for bed, Sheets & Giggles‘ eucalyptus sheets are the best, and they’re just one option in their line of award-winning, sustainably made, naturally cooling eucalyptus sheets, mattresses, comforters, duvet covers and pillows. For one set of sheets, eucalyptus is grown with 150 liters of water, while a typical cotton set uses 4,000 liters.

Sustainable wines

Wine lovers will appreciate gifting from smaller, family-owned wineries, like Babich Wines, the renowned, family-owned winery out of New Zealand that has pushed sustainability to the forefront of New Zealand winemaking. Even before it was a “thing,” this family prioritized gentle care of the land, water conservation, composting and giving back to sustainably minded charities.

Sipwell, a female-founded and Black-owned company, makes award-winning canned wine from organic or sustainably farmed vineyards on California’s Central Coast. The single-serve aluminum cans are infinitely recyclable, portable and perfect for a picnic.

Filthy cocktail mixers

Check out the Filthy line of cocktail mixers and accoutrements, a family-owned Miami company that sources high-quality ingredients and garnishes, packaged in recyclable pouches, an industry first that greatly reduces Filthy’s carbon footprint and overall environmental impact. Now, that’s worthy of a toast!

Govino shatterproof wine glasses

Round out your boozy gift with a set of Govino shatterproof, BPA-free wine glasses, a classy way to sip that sustainable wine. There are even holiday designs to jazz up the season.

Water bottles made from recycled materials

Water bottles aren’t anything new, but Eco Energy Geek blogger Adam Smith loves his Ocean Bottle for its leakproof lid and carry handle. The larger 500-milliliter size is perfect for hydration on the move. Brandegee Pierce co-founded Pirani to offer the first vacuum insulated red party cup as an alternative to the plastic Solos he too often saw littering Florida beaches. Party sustainably, y’all.

Gift for the planet

For that person on your list who loves the planet but doesn’t need a darn thing, give a Climeworks’ gift (or monthly subscription) that permanently removes carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. This gift will help take legacy carbon dioxide emissions from the air and put them back in the ground where they can no longer contribute to global warming. How cool is that?

Need more ideas? Nonprofit certifier A Greener World offers a free online directory of products that you can filter by certification – animal welfare, grass-fed, non-GMO, etc. Check their cool lineup for everything from charcuterie to sustainable apparel, delivered right to your door.

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