I’m a sucker for holiday gift guides — I love when someone else does my brainstorming for me, especially when they can suss out some truly unique and special gift ideas that I probably wouldn’t have come across myself!
So my gift to you, dear readers, is a gift guide for many of the people on your list that, hopefully, will not only delight your loved ones, but also will make you and the recipient feel good about the purchase by supporting products and manufacturers that aim to reduce waste and minimize impact on the environment.
Wrap these gifts with some creative and eco-friendly materials, and present them to your favorite people!
1. For the Busy Shopper
The best reusable grocery bag is the one you have with you. If you’ve got a friend who’s always at the supermarket, she’ll appreciate Chico’s Micro Bags, which are small enough to clip onto your keychain, but unfurl to a full-sized tote at the cash register. Another option from the company is the Vita RePETe Clarity bag, made entirely from post-consumer plastic bottles. It’s a little larger than the Micro, but has a handy clip so it can hook into a purse or onto a set of keys.
2. For the Traveler
If there’s a road warrior on your shopping list, they’ll appreciate a new suitcase or travel bag that’s both stylish and sustainable. Incase’s Ecoya line is made with a performance fabric that uses 89 percent less water to make compared to similar fabrics. The manufacturing process also greatly reduces energy and chemical usage and emissions of CO2 and coal. Models include duffels and roller bags, backpacks, totes, laptop sleeves, and more.
3. For the Luxury Lover
Soft-as-a-cloud cashmere is the ultimate indulgence. It’s no surprise that Patagonia, long known for its environmentally responsible products, delivers cashmere in an eco-friendlier way. The company’s recycled cashmere products are made with 95 percent pre-consumer cashmere, which is a fancy way of saying they’re made from cashmere yarn that’s made from the scraps of fabric left over from manufacturing other products, and combined with wool for strength. This is a smart way to make the most of the manufacturing process. The line includes beanies, sweaters and hoodies for men and women, and scarves.
4. For the Accessory-Loving Teen
The organization 4Ocean is devoted to cleaning up the plastic waste from our oceans. Their colorful beaded bracelets are made from recycled glass beads and recycled plastic cord, and the purchase of each one pays for a pound of trash to be removed from oceans and coastlines. The bracelet subscription means your favorite stylish teen can collect an armload of bracelets while supporting a different ocean-related cause each month.
5. For the Active Kid
The Wooden Balance Board from Plan Toys can be enjoyed in so many ways — pull it, rock on it, sit on it, and more! And it’s made by earth-friendly means: It’s made from rubberwood trees that no longer produce resin and haven’t been treated with fertilizers for at least three years, along with formaldehyde-free glue and nontoxic dye. It’s also produced with zero waste! If you order one online from Earthhero, it’ll even be shipped in a carbon-neutral method.
6. For the Foodie
Uncommon Goods is a great source for interesting sustainable gifts. The Reclaimed Cheeseboard and Cloche is made entirely from salvaged and recycled materials, including recycled glass, reclaimed wood, salvaged metal, and recycled cork. The artist, based in Eastern Europe, sources her materials from old barns and warehouses.
7. For the Bookworm
The message may be dire, but it’s presented in a compelling and informative way: How We’re F***ing Up Our Planet uses graphics and illustrations to present facts and figures about the impact humans, and our consumption habits, are having on earth. Author Tony Juniper has written many other books about ecology, conservation, and sustainability. In his latest he also shares ways we can reverse some of these damaging trends in order to avert a global climate catastrophe.
8. For a Furry Friend
The dog in your life will love to play with the Dash Frisbee, which is on Recyclebank’s curated product marketplace, One Twine. The Frisbee is aerodynamically designed so it has a stable flight, a gradual descent for dogs who love to catch, and can be used in water as well as on land. It’s BPA and Phthalate free, and when your dog gets bored with her toy, you can send it back to the company for recycling!
This year, as you’re doing your holiday shopping, take a moment to find sustainable options, environmentally responsible manufacturers or retailers, or even just a local small business to help you reduce your shopping footprint!