Buying eco-friendly gifts can seem like a daunting task, but we’ve found the perfect sustainable and eco-friendly gift ideas for every budget.
The good news: instead of becoming overwhelmed by misleading green-washing tactics and wasteful gifts, you can take things a little slower by considering easy and affordable eco-friendly gift ideas!
In this article, learn about the need for eco-friendly gift ideas and the many brands that are championing sustainable alternatives.
Why Eco-Friendly Gifts Make Great Presents
Before we delve into our carefully curated list of eco-friendly gift ideas, let’s look at why choosing green gifts is so important.
From gift wrap to the gift itself, our holiday buying habits produce colossal amounts of waste. It’s estimated 1 in 6 Americans throw away approximately 43% more waste over the festive period compared to other times of the year. Similarly, Americans are expected to squander around $8.3 billion on unwanted gifts in 2022, with many eventually being thrown into landfills.
With the National Retail Federation predicting 2022 holiday retail spending to reach between $942.6 and $960.4 billion in the USA, it’s important to find conscious alternatives when gift-giving.
Keep reading this article to find out some easy and thoughtful, eco-friendly gift ideas you can consider for the holiday season.
What to Gift Someone that is Passionate About the Planet
When choosing a green gift for your earth-loving friends, it’s a good idea to consider brands that follow sustainable processes and maintain strong ethical values. Here are some things to look out for when brainstorming eco-friendly gift ideas:
- Gifts made from plant-based or recycled materials.
- Gifts that are biodegradable and compostable or can be reused and recycled.
- Gifts manufactured under sustainable conditions such as processes that reduce waste, renewable energy usage, and water conservation.
- Gifts manufactured under ethical labor standards that respect workers’ rights.
- Gifts that have sustainability certifications such as Fair Trade International, Forest Stewardship Council®, and GOTS.
- Better still, many eco-friendly gift ideas don’t involve buying a physical gift at all. Why not invest in an eco-friendly experience; or, donate to an earth-friendly charity in their name?
33 Unique Eco-Friendly Gift Ideas
So, here are 33 unique eco-friendly gift ideas that your loved ones, and the planet, will cherish.
From plantable lollipops to indoor gardens, there are many meaningful eco-friendly gift ideas to choose from for any special occasion.
Eco-Friendly Gift Ideas for Food Lovers
1. Amborella Organics Seed-Bearing Lollipops
Amborella Organics Seed-Bearing Lollipops are delicious botanical sweets inspiring a strong connections with nature and your loved ones. After polishing off your candy wrapped with edible herbs and flowers, you can plant the biodegradable stick in the ground and watch it grow into your very own herb or flower!
2. Personal Rise Garden
Add life to your kitchen with Rise award-winning Personal Rise Garden. The epitome of green living, every bundle comes with first harvest supplies, 8 plant variety packs, a companion app, and a nursery. What’s more, this indoor garden has a smart watering system and LED lights so you can keep your greens fresh all year round!
3. Driftaway Coffee Explorer Box
The perfect eco-friendly gift for the coffee connoisseur, Driftaway Coffee Explorer Box takes you on a tasting adventure with five coffees from around the world. Maintaining fair and transparent relationships with coffee farmers, Driftaway is a carbon-neutral company and only uses compostable packaging.
4. Alter Eco Chocolate
Enjoy sweet chocolatey treats while treading lightly on the planet with Alter Eco Chocolate. From sourcing high-quality and organic ingredients to partnering with small-scale fair-trade farming communities, Alter Eco is a sustainable chocolate brand any earth-loving friend can get behind!
Eco-Friendly Gift Ideas for the Home
5. Jolie Filtered Showerhead
Clean water is an essential ingredient to any beauty routine. Jolie Filtered Showerhead nourishes skin and hair by stripping chlorine, heavy metals, and other contaminants from your shower water. If you’re looking for a truly unique eco-friendly gift, this might just be the product for you!
6. Blueland Clean Suite Kit
The perfect gift for the conscious cleaner, Blueland Clean Suite Kit has everything you need from multi-surface cleaner right through to powder dish soap. Blueland maintains high health and safety standards with all cleaning formulas free from substances that harm people and the planet. What’s more, all products and packaging are Cradle to Cradle Certified™.
7. Ten Thousand Villages Summer Day Hammock Chair
In the market for eco-friendly gift ideas that promote social change? Handmade in Nicaragua, this green gift not only adds a boho chic feel to your living space but also empowers local artisan communities in developing countries to earn a fair wage and live with dignity.
8. Ceremonia Plant Hanger Basket
Ceremonia Plant Hanger Basket adds a minimalist flare to any room. Handcrafted in Bali, Indonesia by women, Ceremonia provides income opportunities and quality of life for local artisans and their families.
9. POTR Origami Pots
Add some colorful quirkiness to your home with POTR origami pot holders. It’s materials are recycled fishing nets, each pot has a self-watering system and is sent in flat-packed to reduce carbon emissions during transit.
Shop POTR Origami Pots
10. Xtrema Cookware 5-Piece Starter Set
This 100% non-toxic ceramic cookware set makes it one of the safest cookware options on the market. Its chic black design compliments any kitchen well and comes with a 10-year warranty. Their ceramic cookware also withstands high temperatures and works great on gas range, electric, and commercial-style stovetops. You can even use them on induction cooktops with an induction converter disk.
Shop Xtrema Cookware
Eco-Friendly Gift Ideas for Her
11. Votch Crossbody Bag
The epitome of cruelty-free style, the non-toxic Votch Crossbody Bag is made from bio-based apple leather, a bi-product of the apple juice industry. Featuring interchangeable straps, a regal gold zipper, and an internal phone compartment, this eco-friendly gift ifs ideal for any occasion.
12. Lily Silk Loose Collarless Silk Robe
Feel cozy and chic in the Lily Silk Loose Collarless Silk Robe. Available in a variety of nature-inspired colors, this luxury eco-friendly gift is from 100% Grade 6A Mulberry Silk which is soft and breathable against the skin. Plus, Lily Silk uses eco-friendly packaging and is OEKO-TEX® Certified.
13. Land & Sand Recycled Beach Umbrella
Protecting your skin and the planet, Land & Sand Recycled Beach Umbrella has a large canopy made from 50 recycled plastic bottles and promises UPF 50+ premium shade. Lined with elegant natural cotton trim, this eco-friendly gift brings style and sustainability to any beach day!
14. Soko Maua Personalized Delicate Necklace
Soko Maua Personalized Delicate Necklace is a unique eco-friendly gift made from 24k gold-plated brass. A beautifully subtle staple, this necklace is handcrafted by talented artisans, with every purchase supporting the artisan trade in Kenya.
15. Parachute Classic Turkish Cotton Slippers
Step into conscious comfort with Parachute Classic Turkish Cotton Slippers. Seductively soft and easy to care for, these OEKO-TEX® Certified plush slippers are an costly option to add to your collection of eco-friendly gift ideas!
16. Axiology Golden Hour Lip-to-Lid Balmies
Axiology Golden Hour Lip-to-Lid Balmies include 3 multi-use crayons for eyes, lips, and cheeks. Available in elegant sunset shades, this eco-friendly gift set is 100% zero-waste, with all crayons wrapped in paper and delivered in a recyclable case made from repurposed materials. Suitable for all skin types!
17. EcoStardust BioGlitter® Set
Calling all glitter fans! EcoStardust BioGlitter® Set includes 5 iridescent shades of biodegradable glitter, a bamboo glitter brush, and aloe vera gel for easy application. Pioneers of the plastic-free movement, EcoStardust biodegradable glitter is made from 100% natural and plant-derived polymer so you, and the planet, can sparkle all holiday long!
Eco-Friendly Gift Ideas for Him
18. Cuyana Wool Cashmere Ribbed Beanie
Cuyana Wool Cashmere Ribbed Beanie is a cozy eco-friendly option for your loved ones. Made from 50% Italian recycled cashmere certified by the Global Recycle Standard, textile waste is first converted into new yarn by a family-run mill in Bologna, before it is knitted in Padua. Featuring a monogrammed leather tab, this is not one to miss off your list of eco-friendly gift ideas!
19. Allbirds Men’s Trino® Boxer Briefs
Breathable, soft, and super secure, Allbirds Men’s Trino® Boxer Briefs are made from renewable materials including TENCEL™ Lyocell and Merino Wool which are moisture-wicking and reduce odors. Allbirds is a carbon-neutral business certified by Climate Neutral.
20. 2°EAST Leather Watch
Flawlessly combining style and sustainability, 2°EAST Leather Watch is made from vegetable-tanned, full-grain Italian leather which is an eco-friendly and durable alternative to chemically tanned leather. Made under ethical working conditions, this is the perfect eco-friendly gift for any occasion.
Shop 2°EAST Leather Watch
21. Harvest & Mill Socks
If you’re looking for more affordable eco-friendly gift ideas, Harvest & Mill Socks might just be the product for you! Made in the USA from 100% organic natural tan-green cotton, Harvest & Mill ditches the intensive dying process used for white cotton to ensure a low environmental footprint. In fact, this green gift is 100% carbon neutral!
Shop Harvest & Mill Socks
22. Oliver Co. Apple Leather Wallet
Oliver Co. is tackling the world’s food waste problem by transforming discarded fruits into beautiful and ethical leather alternatives. The inner and outer material is made from 100% apple leather and isade to slip into your back pocket. Their wallet has RFID protection built in and is lined with the OEKO-TEX certified 100% recycled polyester.
23. Jungle Culture Reusable Stainless Steel Water Bottle
The perfect eco-friendly gift for on-the-go earth lovers, Jungle Culture Reusable Stainless Steel Water Bottle is made from professional grade 304 stainless steel and silicone. Rust-resistant and leak-proof, this sustainable bottle is available in aesthetically pleasing two-tone colors and keeps liquids hot for 12 hours and cold for 24 hours. Plus, this bottle has a lifetime guarantee!
24. Jungle Culture Reusable Safety Razor Set
An easy sustainable alternative to disposable plastic razors, this eco-friendly gift set includes an ergonomic safety razor, natural travel pouch, and magnetic gift box. In addition, it is compatible with any double-edged DE safety razor blade. This stylish razor is available in metallic black or rose gold.
25. Vegan Leather Messenger Bag
Travel in style with the Vegan Leather Messenger Bag. This bag is offered in three different timeless colors, is created from plants using bio oil from organic cereal crops, and is certified carbon neutral. The best part is that this gift is 100% recyclable and is contains environmentally-friendly materials.
Eco-Friendly Gift Ideas for Kids
26. Green Toys
Green Toys are made from 100% post-consumer plastic (mainly from recycled milk jugs) and are BPA-free and Phthalates-free. Manufactured in the USA, all packaging is printed using soy ink, a natural and renewable material. From garden planting activity sets to ambulance and doctor’s kits, Green Toys prove eco-friendly gift ideas for kids can be fun and affordable!
27. Land of Dough
Enter a world of imagination and discovery with Land of Dough! From mermaid lagoons to space galaxies, Land of Dough combines enchanting designs with eco-friendly materials, creating a playful and earth-friendly experience. Additionally, it’s handcrafted in the USA, all dough includes organic essential oils, natural colorings, and compostable glitters.
Shop Land of Dough
28. Wild Republic Ecokins Plush Toys
Wild Republic’s mission is to connect children with the wonders of the natural world in a sustainable way. Designed to inspire and educate, each Ecokin plush toy is made from 100% recycled materials certified by Global Recycle Standard (GRS). Even the tags are made from post-consumer recycled materials and printed in soy-based ink!
29. Wee Gallery Little Naturalist Gift Sets
Wee Gallery’s adorable eco-friendly gift sets include a teether, stimulating art cards, and a super soft organic muslin swaddle. Featuring quaint nature-inspired themes, each product is designed in black and white to help babies engage and focus. Plus, all products are Phthalate-free and lead-free, with many certified by FSC and GOTS.
Shop Wee Gallery Little Naturalist Gift Sets
30. Kinderfeets Tent
The perfect eco-friendly gift idea for the wee adventurer, Kinderfeets Tent is made from sustainable New Zealand pine wood and natural cotton. Aesthetically pleasing and easy to assemble, Kinderfeets Tent is great for indoor and outdoor play.
Zero-Waste Eco-Friendly Gift Ideas
31. Eco-Friendly Travel Experiences
It’s safe to say experiences make some of the best gifts. The giving of “things” only creates more waste, so why not make some meaningful memories instead? From sustainable hotel stays to taking part in ecotourism, an experience, rather than a physical gift, helps the environment and local communities.
32. Sustainable Living Classes
Knowledge is power, especially when learning new skills to help the planet! From upcycling old furniture to handmade cosmetics, an online or in-person class that teaches sustainable living skills is a unique eco-friendly gift idea your loved ones won’t forget in a hurry!
33. Donate to An Environmental Charity
Sometimes the greatest gift is giving back. From adopting an animal to tree-planting initiatives, there are a myriad of ways you can help the planet while still making your friends and family feel special.
Eco-Friendly Gift Ideas FAQ
What Are Green Gifts?
Green gifts are gifts that cause the least environmental and social harm. Sustainable giving is about prioritizing eco-friendly gift ideas that encourage investment in fewer, more meaningful gifts that won’t harm people and the planet.
What Do You Get an Environmentally Conscious Friend?
When choosing sustainable gift ideas for your environmentally conscious friend, look out for products made from recycled or natural materials. Instead of single-use gifts, choose products that are biodegradable, compostable, reusable, or recyclable. Plus, certifications are a sure way to ensure a gift is created sustainably and ethically.
How Do You Wrap Eco-Friendly Gifts?
When wrapping your eco-friendly gifts, avoid single-use wrapping paper – that’s paper made from plastic-based materials like metallic and glitter. Instead, try wrapping your gifts in zero-waste materials such as:
- Reusable fabric wrap
- Brown recyclable wrapping paper
- Paper tape
- Honeycomb protective wrap
- Compostable or biodegradable gift tags
What Does “Eco-Friendly” Actually Mean?
According to the Cambridge Dictionary, “eco-friendly” means “not harmful to the environment, or trying to help the environment.”
So, being eco-friendly means living consciously and trying to minimize your environmental footprint as much as possible. When it comes to a product, for example, it’s about considering the impact of every step, from sourcing materials to packaging.
What Materials Are Eco-Friendly?
When considering eco-friendly gift ideas, it is worth ensuring the gift you are investing in is made from eco-friendly materials. Eco-friendly materials could be anything from plant-derived fibers to recycled post-consumer waste and cause minimal environmental harm at the end of their life. Here are just some examples of the most eco-friendly materials:
- Organic cotton
- Recycled plastic waste
Eco-Friendly Gift Ideas: Conclusion
The thought of exploring eco-friendly gift ideas can feel exhausting, especially if you’re working within a specific budget and you’re not sure how to tell which brands or products are truly sustainable.
Many sustainable brands are now offering great eco-friendly gift ideas, demonstrating conscious consumerism can be easy, affordable, and lots of fun!
With overconsumption and waste being an unfortunate part of our festive traditions, choosing eco-friendly gift ideas is a simple way you can be generous to your loved ones and the planet, celebrating any special occasion.