About those good intentions… It’s easy to hope that your gift recipient will use that gift you thought so much about, but you can’t always be too sure (especially when it comes to sustainable alternatives; people are sometimes…leery).
5-Star Sustainable Gifts: Earth-Friendly Products They’ll Actually Use
These 25 eco-friendly, sustainable gifts are useful and effective. The team has tested most of these products, and I seriously use many of them every day, especially when I travel. (Yes, traveling might just mean 20 minutes to a different grocery store these days, but you know what I mean.) They’re the types of things that come in handy really often (metal straws with protective silicon tips, I’m looking at you).
In this list I also included several different types of bags/containers/things for traveling (or just keeping in the car) because that’s one of the easiest gift ideas around. Because who wants to buy themselves pretty compost bins and travel cups? Well…
P.S. Here’s our Sustainable Shopping page. It’s our little motherland/cheat sheet of sustainable brands & small businesses that we update pretty often. Extra points to you if all the gifts you buy this holiday season are entirely from sustainable businesses. (Our page basically makes it really, really easy if you’re keen on taking on that challenge.)
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1. BlueLand Everyday Clean Kit
Shana introduced me to this brand and I’m obsessed. You buy a kit of reusable glass spray bottles and some cleaning tablets to drop in and BAM. A super-effective and sustainable way to clean your home becomes easier than you ever thought possible. This brand’s mission is to eliminate throwing out plastic cleaning bottles & soap containers in such an easy and affordable way. (They have options for hand soap and laundry & dishwasher, too.) Genius.
2. Zero Waste Kit
I love the idea of this sustainable starter kit. It includes the perfect assortment of items to make it a whole lot easier for you to be waste-free on the go — and it all fits inside the cute little jar. No excuses not to be less wasteful now! Mwahaha.
3. Printfresh Candle
Yes, yes, a sustainably-made candle (that smells freakin’ great). OK, the description here is perfect: “Evoking the feeling of a crisp, cool night spent campside, the Bonfire candle transports you to the great outdoors. Douglas fir and cedar notes take you back to cozying up with your favorite warm beverage while watching the fire crackle.” Goodness.
4. Sustainable Home Book
This is described as a “stylish, inspirational and practical guidebook to maintaining a more environmentally friendly household”. A perfect gift for beginners.
5. Anthropologie Compost Bin
I love the look of this little guy. It’s simple, clean and minimal, and that’s just what I want in a compost bin. This specific one has all five-star reviews (uhh…amazing) and is made from biodegradable bamboo fiber.
6. S’well Stainless Steel Traveler
Pretty much any water bottle works here, I just love my S’well ones. They come in so many good prints, colors and sizes, and keep my drinks at the perfect temperatures for so long.
7. Printfresh Gratitude Journal
Printfresh is one of my favorite sustainable (Philly-based) small businesses. They nail their designs for their insanely cute pajamas and robes, and pretty much everything else on their site. I have a few of their journals and couldn’t love them more. Their guided ones are SO good and give such a pretty little reason to be more mindful, reflective and grateful. This gift would be perfect for someone who needs a little but more me-time (them-time?) in their life.
8. Printfresh Morning Rituals Journal
I love this morning rituals one. It forces me (in the best way) to have a slower and more meaningful morning sans phone/social media. Their site includes a how to use page to help guide you through the process of integrating these happiness-increasing rituals into your (or your gift recipient’s) life. And I mean, HOW gorgeous is this journal? The velvet and gold lettering kills me.
9. Everlane ReNew Catch-All Case
This is so necessary for any type of traveler. It comes in 5 really good colors for both men & women (and kids, I suppose). It has six pockets altogether (yes, six in that little thing), and is made from 100% recycled polyester and 7.3 renewed plastic bottles. Mhm, 7.3 exactly.
10. Anthropologie Lunch Bag
The colors & designs of these are so charming. They’re the perfect size for your reusable containers & water bottle (wink) and it’s machine washable.
11. Reusable Metal Straws With Silicon Tips
Trust me here — these ones with silicon tips are ESSENTIAL. No more chipped tooth worries.
12. KeepCup Cork Reusable Travel Cup
People freakin’ love these things. They work extremely well (I’m talking no spills or leakage whatsoever) and can be used hundreds of times without breaking or wearing down. I love these three colors from Anthro — great gifts for literally any coffee/tea/anything drinker in your life.
13. Anthropologie Reusable Travel Flatware
I use this set constantly. I love how they click into each other and cover pretty much all the eating utensil bases. (Here’s a set of reusable chopsticks. Now the bases are really covered.) This set is made from 100% recyclable & sustainable plastic — and one set replaces 250 disposable cutlery sets per year. Uhhh, that’s awesome.
14. Parachute Wool Dryer Balls
Another Shana suggestion that I’m all for. She loves the sustainable linen brand Parachute, and I’m kinda falling in love too. These reusable dryer balls not only decrease drying time by up to 50% but also act as a natural dryer sheet alternative.
15. Rumpl Nanoloft Puffy Blanket
This gorgeous insulated blanket is water-resistant and made from 100% recycled polyester. It’s perrrrfect for road trips or just snuggling up at home. Comes in a ton of really good colors & patterns at Nordstrom.
16. Reusable Food Storage Bags
These top-selling reusable bags are a love of many. Boon Supply has a bunch of different size and design options here. This particular set comes with a good variety of sizes to cover all your food/supply storage needs.
17. Reusable Bee’s Wrap
A seriously cute alternative to plastic wrap. Here at my house we love our cheese/charcuterie boards, but hate throwing the leftover cheese into baggies. It never keeps them fresh and is just plain wasteful. We’ve switched to bees wrap and looooove it. You can shape the wrap to the exact shape & size that you need — or just cover your bowls with it. Pretty genius. Also, this one is made from 100% recycled paper, sustainably harvested bees wax and biodegradable cellulose.
18. Face Halo Eco Makeup Remover Pads
These have reeeeally good reviews pretty much everywhere. They don’t tug on your skin and eliminate the need of makeup wipes (replaces up to 500) with JUST water. Is this magic? Another insanely good stocking stuffer.
19. BAGGU Reusable Mask Set
I loooove the trippy designs of these masks. They’re made form 100% organic cotton and have adjustable ear loops AND a nose wire. Who knew those things would make me so happy to hear? Weird, weird times, but cute, cute masks.
20. Reusable Tote Bag
These are SUCH GOOD GIFTS. They’re super-affordable and pretty dang cute. This reusable shopper tote holds 40 lbs., 2-3 plastic grocery bags’ worth of stuff and folds into a flat 5” pouch. No excuses not to use them.
21. Avocado Huggers
OK, you’ve gotta have at least one avocado lover in your life in this day and age. If you’re not a lover yourself, you should know that it’s insanely hard to save half of one for later because of its weird shape & pit. These huggers are seriously perfect and could SO come in handy over and over again instead of throwing out your leftover half. A great stocking stuffer.
22. Recycling Station Bag Set
This is a cute idea. Perfect for teaching your kids how to sort recyclables or for college students to put in their small spaces.
23. To-Go Market Bag Set
I have one of these and constantly use it for groceries (more specifically produce, so I can skip those pesky little plastic baggies). They hold up sooo much better than you’d think. They’re also super-lightweight making it really easy to throw into your purse or bag juuust in case you need a few oranges or a pineapple on your way home. You know, for fruit emergencies.
24. Patagonia Recycled Polyester Convertible Duffle Bag
Such a great gift for the guy in your life. Its weatherproof fabric & water-repellent finish are made from recycled materials — and get this — the top carry handles convert the bag to a backpack and the daisy-chain loops let you latch additional gear. He may never need another bag again!
25. Matt & Nat Mini Vegan Leather Backpack
This brand is SO GOOD. They have super high ethical and sustainability standards and make insanely cute and long-lasting bags & accessories. This backpack in particular has a lining made out of 100% recycled plastic bottles — a material that they use in pretty much all of their creations. Nordstrom has a good selection of their backpacks here, and their entire website is here.
Any of these products would be some of the most usable gifts, like ever. Your gift recipient may not know that they wanted bee’s wax wraps and wool dryer balls all along, but you sure did. Happy sustainable gifting!
Oh hey, Pinners, this one’s for you…
Just dropping a plug here for the Anthropologie lunch bag— we picked one up randomly a few weeks ago and it’s the perfect size when we’re going out for the day with our toddler. It holds milk and water cups and plenty of snacks easily. But my favorite part is the interior liner, which allows you to put your ice pack in between the liner and the actual bag. You can also use the liner like an organizing compartment. Really smart. And I think it’s also the right size for a six pack turned on its side. 🙂
Hottt tip here (sustainable but not gift related) if you are interested in washable makeup pads, and you are a former nursing mama? Your old washable nursing pads work great! I have the Bamboobies ones that are lined with soft velour- perfect for your tired face at the end of the day.
Love this post! So many cool ideas here.