Christmas and gifting are synonymous not because of corporations who want to sell products (wink, wink) but because the tradition can be traced back to the stories of the three Magi, the OG gift-givers. They started the trend that we are still following after 2200 years.
Gifting is a meaningful way to find joy in family ties and create a closer bond. This Christmas make sure that your gift doubles the joys by giving gifts that are useful and eco-friendly! Personalized gifting is all the rage so don’t fall back and get gifts that everyone likes. This list is curated not compiled. It means the list is more about the intention than it is about cramming brand links. So this Christmas be kind to one another and be kind to the environment too!
What Makes a Gift Eco-Friendly?
Eco-friendly gifting might seem like a fad but the intent is good. Eco-friendly means that the product is made ethically and has a minimal negative impact on the planet and its resources. All the gifts on the list are proven to be eco-friendly, sustainable, ethically produced, or cruelty-free if they are labeled as such. Our team at Be Zen ensures that the products are vetted for their eco-friendliness and sustainability factors. All the gifts listed are environmentally beneficial or at least non-harmful. So if you want to splurge for some Christmas goodies, you can’t go wrong with these curated gifts for environmentally conscious friends.
Sometimes the right time for indulgence is during the happy holidays! Christmas sprits are in the highest flow when the music is good and the gifts are great. Therefore eco-friendly gifts can bring the Christmas Cheer closer to home. With is good I admit I’ve been humming Christmas songs for a while now. Are you a Christmas enthusiast like me who’s got their tree up a day after Thanksgiving? Or do you prefer to wait until further in December? No matter when you get into the Christmas spirit, there’s something magical about this holiday.
This is the time to spend with our loved ones and make them feel loved and appreciated with a thoughtful gift. But guilt about over-indulgent holiday shopping is growing across the nation. That rush of finding the perfect gift is real, but take a moment to consider all the waste it’ll create. There’s leftover packaging, tech items, toys, and clothing tossed out for new ones. Let’s change all that this Christmas!
The range of available eco-friendly Christmas gifts is bigger than ever before. To help you out, I’ve compiled the biggest, longest, most imaginative, and most helpful list of eco-friendly Christmas gifts for every single person in your family. Let’s start shopping responsibly!
The Best Eco-Friendly Gifts & Sustainable Gift Ideas
Shopping for the holidays can be tricky if you’re on a tight budget. But a thoughtful gift needn’t be expensive. In fact, a small kitchen tool, new charging cables, or even a really good pair of socks can have a positive impact on someone’s life. At Wirecutter, we’re constantly testing items, and we often find surprisingly awesome stuff that doesn’t cost much. We’ve curated the best gifts for $25 and under so you can give well without spending a lot. While we made every effort to assure that all the items in this guide meet that threshold, prices can dance around a bit—especially around the holidays.
A Garden for the City Dweller
Product: The Indoor Gardening Essentials 6-Plant Bundle
Brand: Back to the Roots
Know a city dweller with dreams of gardening? The Indoor Gardening Essentials 6-Plant Bundle will set them up with a mini garden on their windowsill, packed with all the essentials: 6 organic grow kits to grow their own mushrooms, chili pepper, cherry tomatoes, basil, mint, and cilantro! All 100% Organic, Non-GMO, and Guaranteed to Grow! Just add sun & water.
Back to the Roots, a Certified B Corporation, is the fastest-growing organic gardening brand in the U.S. The company diverts agricultural waste (coffee grounds, sawdust, wheat bran, rice straws, corn cobs) from landfills to create soil for their organic seeds. All packaging is made of 100% recyclable materials.
A Better Water Bottle
Klean Kanteen Recycled Steel Bottles
Swapping out single-use plastic for a reusable water bottle is a big step on its own to reduce waste. Whichever bottle you like to drink out of is the one you should go with. But Klean Kanteen also now makes some of its options from 90 percent recycled stainless steel. Even better? You can put them in the dishwasher.
There are a handful of sizes available already, from a small camp mug ($25) to a 64-ounce bottle ($65), and the company says it hopes that 95 percent of its line will be made from recycled steel by 2023. Klean Kanteen is a member of 1% for the Planet and is climate-neutral certified.
A Warm Wool Blanket
Seljak Earth Blanket
The Australian company Seljak makes beautiful blankets out of 100 percent recycled materials—mainly wool and polyester, but the company says 15 percent is other recycled fibers. Even better, each blanket is made from production scraps, so there’s little waste. This is a pricey blanket, but it’s one you can feel good about (while keeping warm).
It’s wool, so the blanket has a little grit to it, but I liked using it as an extra layer in bed. It’s the perfect material for sitting on at the park or under around a campfire. Seljak donates $5 to the Asylum Seeker Resource Centre in Melbourne, Australia, for every blanket purchase.
Surfers need wet suits to conserve body heat in cold water. So it’s unfortunate that those wet suits are made from petroleum-derived products that never break down. Suga—based in Encinitas, California—collects used and damaged wet suits and turns them into dense, comfortable, and attractive yoga mats. As a bonus, the irresistible smell will remind you of the ocean.
Music makes a wonderful gift. It can conjure memories, boost your mood, and get you dancing. Our guide to the best music streaming services runs through our favorites and why we like them in more detail, but these three subscriptions are the best options for most people: There’s nothing quite like settling down with a good book, whether you read it on a Kindle, tablet, or smartphone. Ebooks and ebook subscriptions make great gifts, and there are some fantastic audiobook versions with big-name casts for folks who love to listen. Amazon dominates this scene, but it’s not the only game in town. Some of the best journalism you can find online requires a subscription. Magazine, journal, and newspaper subscriptions make great gifts for anyone.
- Spotify Premium 3-month gift card ($30): If someone doesn’t have Apple Music or Spotify already, it’s a slick service with the best music discovery algorithms, solid apps for every platform, and an enormous library of tracks, albums, podcasts, and playlists.
- Apple Gift Cards work for Apple Music ($10 per month): It boasts millions of lossless tracks, and the mobile apps are solid, but the desktop app and music discovery can’t match Spotify, nor can its compatibility outside of Apple’s ecosystem.
- Google Play Gift cards are usable with YouTube Music, which offers a huge library of music starting from $10 per month, but if you watch a lot of YouTube videos, YouTube Premium costs $12 a month and also gives you access to watch and download ad-free music videos.
- Amazon Kindle Unlimited ($48 for 6 months): This lets a book reader with the Kindle app or popular ebook reading device borrow up to 20 books at a time from a library of millions.
- Audible audiobooks ($45 for 3 months): You get one free book to download per month and access to a bunch of included Amazon audiobooks, including many best sellers. You can also gift individual ebooks or audiobooks by selecting the “Give as a Gift” option on Amazon.
- Scribd ebook subscription service ($50 for 6 months): It’s billed as the “Netflix of books.” There are around a million included ebooks, and you also get access to audiobooks, magazines, podcasts, sheet music, and additional services like TuneIn and Mubi.
- Epic! is a digital reading platform for kids 12 and under ($22 for 3 months): It has more than 40,000 titles and includes audiobooks, interactive videos, quizzes, tracking tools, badges and rewards to encourage reading, and personalized recommendations.
- WIRED at just $5 for a year for unlimited online access, a digital edition of the magazine, and a print edition (if you like). It’s ideal for any tech lover in your life.
- The New York Times offers $25 for 3 months for unlimited articles, podcasts, and videos via the website or app.
- The Atlantic costs $60 per year and offers an array of well-reported stories and newsletters.
- The New Yorker has a digital-only subscription for $100 per year that includes new articles, access to the archive, and crossword puzzles.
Raise the Bar
Shampoo-bar skeptics need only try the zero-waste, zero-plastic St. Clements version, which leaves hair clean and bouncy (and the environment unscathed).
Catherine Garcia, Contributor, Wirecutter
Read: This Shampoo Bar Saves Me Money and Comes in Compostable Packaging
Multi-Purpose Natural Cleaner Starter Kit
Clean your kitchen with the power of Electrolyzed Water with the Cleaning Starter Kit from Force of Nature. With this product, you can make your very own cruelty and chemical-free disinfectant spray that kills 99.9% of bacteria in a matter of minutes. The set includes:
- Electrolyzer Appliance
- Power Cord
- 15 Activator Capsules (1 12oz bottle per capsule)
- 16oz Glass Spray Bottle
- Start Guide & User Manual
Using this system, you get a powerful spray that cuts through grime, grease, scum, and odors while also appearing on EPA’s List N & List Q (disinfectants that effectively combat SARS-CoV-2 & monkeypox respectively). Stay safe the smart way with Force of Nature.
- Each kit comes with a glass bottle that’s endlessly reusable.
- The multi-purpose cleaner can be used on virtually every surface.
- There are no added fragrances, making it perfect for families struggling with asthma and allergies.
When I tell you that this is my favorite eco-swap… I’m not kidding. I’ve literally tried thousands of products and this is my favorite, by far. Germaphobes, meet your eco-match. This cleaner is a near zero-waste alternative to your old standbys and will cause you to clean out your cleaning closet for good.
What To Buy Someone Who Loves The Environment?
There are many options for sustainable gifts for Christmas. Some ideas include giving gifts made from sustainable materials, such as gifts made from recycled or organic materials. Another option is to give gifts that are made by local artisans or that support sustainable practices, such as fair trade products. You could also give gifts that promote sustainability, such as reusable water bottles, energy-efficient appliances, or gifts that support environmentally-friendly causes. Another idea is to give experiences instead of physical gifts, such as tickets to a local event or a gift certificate for a local restaurant.
What Makes a Gift Eco-Friendly?
In the past, I didn’t pay much attention to buying sustainable gifts for my loved ones. Only when my friend became a zero-waster did I start thinking, what can I get her?
I started looking into gifts for earth lovers, and I was blown away by the offer.
I also learned what makes a gift eco-friendly.
Instead of a gift made of plastic, you can choose a glass, bamboo, or stainless steel gift.
Look for materials that are natural, repurposed, and compostable.
There are many ways to avoid plastic.
Hazardous Material Free
Hazardous materials are substances that are a risk to the health, safety, and property of the environment, usually when transported.
These can include paints, cleaners, oil, batteries, and many more.
Instead of putting the environment and your family in danger, choose a gift that’s hazardous material-free.
What Is A Zero-Waste Gift?
When taking small steps toward a more eco-friendly lifestyle, it’s important to look at your habits and see where you can make impactful changes in your daily routine. A great place to start? With sustainable swaps. Incorporating more zero-waste products into your routine not only saves you money but keeps trash out of landfills.
If you’re looking for a starter kit of the best zero-waste products to kickstart your sustainability journey, these picks always win. From Swedish dishcloths and safety razors to rechargeable lighters, here are some items that will change your routine for the better.
The Product Helps Someone to Live a Sustainable Life
Before you swipe your card or click buy, truly consider if a certain product will help someone have a more waste-free life.
Avoid buying a gift your friend already has or something that will end up in a trash can in a few weeks.
Made of Recycled/Upcycled Materials
Products made from recycled or upcycled materials are also eco-friendly. You’ll be surprised to find out how many there are, even everyday items, such as clothing, shoes, bags, mats, and more.
Reusable, Biodegradable, or Recyclable
Finally, the best eco-friendly Christmas gifts will be reusable, recyclable, and even compostable.
For example, you can buy reusable packaging for your mom or recyclable school items for your little ones.
All of these can be disposed of responsibly, with no harm to our environment.