When giving eco-friendly gifts, it’s important to think outside of the box. Because let’s face it—no one wants a reusable water bottle or metal straw for the holidays. You want to gift items that people will love and want to use for years to come instead of things they’ll tire of and quickly end up replacing or discarding. That’s always the goal, but especially with earth-friendly gifts, the whole point is reduce waste and get as much life out of a product as possible.
So, we’ve come up with a comprehensive list of useful gifts (everything from kitchen essentials, to fragrances, to shoewear) that’ll not only make your giftee’s life easier, but will last a while, too. Below, you’ll find a curated list of eco-friendly gifts that suit a wide variety of interests, from a cheese board hand-carved in Illinois from fallen cherry trees to a bracelet handcrafted in Uganda from discarded horns of Ankole cows that have passed away.
The best eco-friendly gift ideas
Eco-friendly kitchen gifts
Perfect for anyone who loves keeping fresh produce around, these ceramic snack dishes can be used to hold berries, olives, and more. Artist Dale Frances uses discarded containers to mold these beautiful ceramics.
This Salvaged Wood Cheese Paddle is hand-carved in Illinois from local fallen cherry trees. Gift it to all the charcuterie lovers on your list.
Every year, Food52 taps 52 ceramic studios to make one-of-a-kind, limited edition mugs. This one is made by Kendall Davis Clay, a ceramic studio in Fortworth, Texas. Shop the rest of the Mugs52 collection here.
These Zooey Deschanel-approved self-sealing reusable bags are great for storing leftovers, produce, lunch, and more. Free from BPA, PVC, and latex, these never leave your food smelling funky, and they’re dishwasher-safe for easy cleaning. Plus, they’re super sturdy (unlike a lot of other reusable bags, which only last after a handful of washes).
The All Shapes of Beauty Reusable Dishcloths are amazing because they’re made from a durable blend of natural cotton and wood fiber, making them the perfect paper-towel swap. They’re completely biodegradable and dishwasher safe.
Food Huggers are perfect for anyone who cooks a lot. They’re like little hats you can put on your cut produce to keep it good without wasting a plastic bag.
These Butter & Cheese Huggers are the perfect complement to the above cheese board. Just like the food huggers, to can put these on cut cheese or butter to keep the end fresh.
Another efficient and sustainable way to store food (whether it’s leftover pizza, sandwiches, or half an onion you used up) is to use Bee’s Wrap. You simply wrap the item with the bend-y sheet, and it’ll stick that way until next time. When you’re all done, toss it in the dishwasher. It’s made with certified organic cotton, responsibly sourced beeswax, and certified organic plant oil—and it’s super pliable and sturdy, too.
This is for the friend who collects all those egg shells and veggie scraps in a random bag that doesn’t look so cute in the kitchen. This pretty, ceramic compost keeper stores all that leftover food, and has a filter that prevents odor (this lasts up to about six months before you need to change it out).
The HippyMonkey Zero Waste Starter Kit is the perfect gift box for anyone looking to cut down on waste. There are three options: a box of for sustainable swaps ($36), a box of five sustainable swaps ($45), and a box of seven sustainable swaps ($54). Each box includes options like reusable bamboo cutlery, a soap saver pouch, and reusable cotton rounds.
While it’s a bit of an investment at first, this hydroponic garden is self-watering and self fertilizing, so growing your own garden is a much more hands-off process. Plus, aside from using far less water, the Farmstand is a vertical garden, so you can grow your own produce without needing an entire background—just a little spot in the sun will do. With a Farmstand, you get all the gear you need to grow (water pump, cord, grow cups, and timer), nutrients for 130+ plants, and supplies (a pH testing kit, stir stick, etc.). You can grow up 200+ varieties of plants.
Because different fruits ripen best in certain environments, the Just Ripe Fruit Bowl is great for keeping different types produce of fresh in separate compartments. This can prevent fruit from ripening too fast and going bad, cutting down on food waste.
Your friend who goes to the farmers market every weekend? They need these Veggie-Saving Reusable Bags. They’re made from a breathable, machine-washable cotton that keeps veggies fresh with humidity. Just moisten the bags, tuck veggies inside, then throw them in the fridge.
Maybe “dishcloths” doesn’t scream “giftable,” but hear us out. These dish cloths have internet hype behind them (like, 30,000+ reviews on Amazon hype), and for good reason. They’re incredibly versatile, so you can use them to clean your dishes as well as wipe down counters, and they’re reusable (so no more wasting paper towels). They’re safe to be used on all surfaces, including marble, stainless steel, tile, wood, and more. They’re made of cotton and cellulose, so they dry hard but as soon as they touch water they become super pliable and soft.
We said no reusable water bottles, but we didn’t say reusable travel mugs—especially when they’re as cool as this. Not only are Stojo’s mugs (and food containers!) reusable, made of a sturdy silicone and features a leak-proof seal as well as straw, but they collapse nearly flat so you can save room in your cabinets.
Eco-friendly shoes and sneakers
These are Cariuma’s first-ever 100 percent vegan skate shoes, and they’re just as awesome as the rest of their collection. Made of high-performance material, they’re actually 2.5 times more resistant than animal suede, and even more durable. Get these in four colors, available for both men and women. (And if you haven’t heard of Cariuma, we reviewed a couple of their styles a couple months back—we’re major fans of their style, comfort, and versatility as an everyday sneaker.)
Another sneaker that’s known for supreme comfort and longevity, Allbirds uses renewable Merino wool to construct this water-repelling, machine-washable shoe that’s great for rainy, cold weather (we love its no-slip natural rubber grip!).
Available in a wide variety of colors and patterns, you can’t go wrong with Rothy’s The Sneaker. Made of thread that’s constructed of recycled plastic water bottles), what people love about Rothy’s (aside from the cute and versatile styles) is that you can throw these into the wash and get ’em back good as new. Whether you choose the classic flats (pointed or round), the sneakers, or even their new-ish sandals, Rothy’s sturdy shoe engineering is built to last. (Case in point, W+G’s commerce editor still has her first pair from three years ago—and they look like she bought them last week.)
Eco-friendly fragrance gifts
The Gilded Body Marble Candle comes in a vessel so pretty you’ll want to keep it forever. Available in pink and black marble, the vessel features an inner sleeve that you can swap with refills of the candle ($45) instead of buying a whole new container.
The Bathing Culture Golden Hour Hydrosol Trio is great for anyone who could benefit from some on-the-go aromatherapy. It includes three sprays: neroli and rose, citrus and sage, and holy basil. Each can be sprayed on the face and body to rejuvenate your skin and your senses. Freshly harvested flowers and herbs from organic farms are used to make these vegan, carbon-neutral, and biodegradable formulas.
Part of L’or De Seraphine’s holiday collection, the Aurélie Candle has notes of sage, cedarwood, patchouli, and eucalyptus to make any home feel warm and cozy. Once the candle has reached its end, the ceramic vessel can be reused as a pen holder, plant pot, or more.
Eco-friendly bed and bath gifts
Bed Threads makes the comfiest linen. With their sets, you can fully customize a set of sheets, pillowcases, and a duvet cover in a wide range of colors and patterns that you can mix and match. They get softer with every wash, and your giftee will love them for years to come.
These gorgeous towels from Coyuchi have excellent absorption without being super thick. They’re made from 100 percent organic cotton grown and woven in the Aegean region of Turkey. This six-piece set includes two bath towels, two guest towels, and two washcloths.
Weighted blankets can be a bit of an eyesore, which makes the Bearably Tree Napper really stand out. It’s a beautiful blanket, and you can’t tell it’s weighted until you lift it. It’s made from Tencel, a plant-based fabric that’s 100 percent biodegradable, and one of the most sustainable options. It’s available in three weights (15, 20, and 25 pounds) and seven gorgeous colors.
Gift a set of these cozy flannel sheets from Coyuchi that are perfect for winter. Each set includes a flat sheet, fitted sheet, and corresponding pillowcases. They’re made from 100 percent organic cotton that is grown in Turkey and woven in Portugal.
This waffle robe from Naadam is made from a blend of 70 percent recycled cashmere and 30 percent virgin cashmere, making it luxe, durable, and sustainable. It’s available in three colors: oatmeal (pictured), smoke, and black.
Eco-friendly beauty gifts
This glitter is made from plant cellulose, making it completely plastic-free and able to fully biodegrade in about 28 days in natural environments. It’s easy to use and available in six amazing colors to add a pop of sparkle to your skin or hair.
Fun fact: luffas are plants! This freshly harvested heirloom luffa from Bathing Culture is responsibly farmed and dried in central California. That means it’s 100 percent biodegradable.
Eco-friendly jewelry gifts
This bracelet from Akola looks like ivory but is actually made from horn. While elephants are killed for ivory, horn is taken from already-dead cows that would otherwise be discarded. It’s crafted by women in Uganda.
This quartz earring is crafted from found, re-used, up-cycled, and natural materials. It’s available with either a 14K gold-fill post or a gold-tone clip-on. Shopping for someone who only has one hole pierced? You have the option to buy just one.
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