This post was originally published on December 2, 2019.
You’ve probably already noticed that I’m pretty passionate about the environment and living my best eco-friendly life. Celebrating an eco-friendly lifestyle during the holidays is no different, so I’ve made an eco-friendly holiday gift guide for you.
Some of my favorite gifts I’ve received in the last few years have been focused on eco-friendly. I think those gifts meant so much to me because it helped me realize my family and friends supported me and my interests, and took time to think about what would bring me joy. I love that! Whether you or your loved ones are just getting started on the eco-friendly lifestyle, or you’re all old pros, there are a few things on this list that anyone can use and love.
Eco-Friendly Holiday Gift Guide: 15 Gifts To Give That Are Better For The Environment
I carry a water bottle with me everywhere I go for two reasons: I’m always thirsty, and I hate buying single-use plastic bottles! Luckily, it’s really easy to find
You can use Stashers in place of ziplock bags and they are a total game changer for traveling! I love to fill mine with snacks, you can use them as your bag-for-liquids when going through TSA…really the possibilities are endless.
I’ve had my pela case now for almost a year and I love it. It’s sturdy, durable, and protects my phone from its floor-diving adventures like a champ. I seriously can’t recommend these enough — my plastic phone cases always cracked, chipped, or peeled and the pela case has not budged.
If you or your loved one want to be more environmentally friendly but don’t know where to start, these zero-waste-starter-kits are a great place to begin!
I. Love. Plants. They’re cheery, they’re lively, and they make great gifts! Plants are a great (and easy) way to spruce up an apartment or office area, and they’re good for you. For one, many plants act as air-purifiers, like the snake plant, and can be easy to maintain. Plus, it feels good to have something to take care of, and plants are a little less work and commitment than a cat or dog.
Making a donation on someone’s behalf is a great way to honor some one who may have passed, or to recognize and support what is important to your loved one. It’s also a great way to give a gift to someone who “has it all” or to someone who is looking to minimize the “stuff” in her life.
Fair Trade Coffee is coffee that is sourced through fair trade standards, which means that a Fair trade organization will support the producers and sustainable environmental farming practices and prohibit child labor or forced labor, making the coffee harvesting business better for everyone.
Many tea bags are made with plastic parts that release microplastics into your tea as you brew each cup. Hopefully I don’t have to tell you that consuming plastic is not good for the human body (or for our Earth)! Also, loose leaf tea allows for richer, fuller flavors as the leaves can fully expand and “bloom” in your tea cup as they brew.
The fashion industry has not been a friend to the environment, though slowly but surely many companies are making changes. Shopping second hand stores for cool vintage threads is a great way to be eco friendly, but now you can purchase new, high quality, and fashionable clothes that are environmentally friendly.
By now we know that textiles and the retail industry can wreak havoc on the environment. Seeking better options is a great way to start, and this list compiles several brands that are doing their best for the environment and your wallet.
I keep tote bags in my car and one folded up in my purse so that I always have an extra bag handy. That way it’s easy to refuse the single-use plastic bags that many stores offer (that we all just bunch up and shove under our kitchen sinks before throwing away!) because these plastic bags are not easily recycled—because of their material, they often jam recycling center sorting machines and ultimately have to be sent to landfill. Using a reusable tote a great way to limit your single-use plastic and be prepared for anything!
Maybe it’s a writer thing, but I have at least two notebooks on me at all times and more in my apartment ready for lists and stories and stray thoughts that need capturing. More and more, companies are using recycled materials and more sustainable practices, which is something I will always get behind.
My mom bought me a set of glass tupperware from Bed Bath and Beyond years ago and I LOVE them. The leftovers stay fresher, my fridge doesn’t get that “food smell” and I can reheat directly in the dishes. I also have some stainless steel containers I like to use when I travel because glass can be a bit heavy.
For those of us who need a little more Zen in our lives (ok, ok, everyone needs this), try sustainable yoga mats, made plastic-free, from sustainably sourced rubber. No added toxic chemicals, no phthalates, just a little cushion, a little comfort, and hopefully a lot of yoga stretching.
I am obsessed with Rothys’ shoes — I have three pairs and I love them all equally. This company uses recycled water bottles to make the material of the shoe, plant-based glue, and all of the shoes are washable.
Other eco friendly tips:
Shop Local, and Shop Small, or both! I’m in love with the availability and convenience of online shopping as much as the next person, but remember to think about the added cost of online shopping.
Items purchased online need to be shipped, sometimes with rushed shipping, rich depletes natural resources, and almost everything that comes from an online retailer comes packaged in plastic and too many separate boxes or bubble envelopes. So, if you’re out and about already, consider doing some shopping in your community. Plus, shopping local and shopping small supports your community, and that is a major bonus.
If you are shopping online, try to pick slower shipping if you can, and look for companies who ship with recycled and recyclable materials—most eco-friendly companies already do this. For example, www.simpleecology.com has a policy to ship plastic-free always, and they announce it right on the top of their website. If you’re not sure how a company ships, you can check online with a quick google search…there are definitely other people out there wondering the same thing and looking for the same answers!
Don’t forget about eco-friendly packaging!
Did you know that most traditional wrapping paper cannot be recycled? Because of the dyes, laminated, and other materials, traditional wrapping paper goes straight to the landfill. Think about how much paper you throw away in one season…and then think about how many families are doing the same thing across the country and globe. Yikes!
But don’t worry, you don’t have to give up wrapping your presents or relying on gift bags (which are one reusable option!). There are tons of alternative ways you can wrap and decorate gifts. And, this means you can get creative!
You can use search for more sustainable wrapping paper, which exists! Check out this company, Wrappily, and learn more about the whys and why nots of paper packaging.
You can use brown paper packaging (tied up with string!) that is recyclable or compostable. You can also use tea towels, fabric, old newspapers or maps. The ideas are endless!
Need more ideas? Or want to learn more about how to live with more environmentally friendly items or actions? Check out this website for ideas! I’ve followed the founder, Kathryn Kellogg, on social media for several years and she is creative, kind, and always finding new ways to help you support the life you want to lead.