This summer my family and I spent a few months decluttering our childhood home in preparation for a house sale. During this process, we held a few garage sales and I’m sad to say that we found many of the presents we gave each other over the holidays being haggled over for the lowest prices. Some items were barely used, some were unopened and many items were just something that we didn’t necessarily need. Over the years, these items got pushed to the back of the closet or the basement where it resurfaced on that day. It is always bittersweet to let go of some of your things, but it’s also an eye-opening realization that many of the things we give each other aren’t necessarily useful and lead to a lot of wasted money and resources.
In partnership with EarthHero, I thought I would put together this Green Gift Guide to help you shop and gift better. A gift is supposed to show that you care and what better way to do that than to gift something that’s good for the recipient, good for the wallet and good for the planet.
This post contains affiliate links. See Disclosures for details.
A Bit About EarthHero
EarthHero is on a quest to change that way we shop. We know online shopping is here to stay, but here’s the problem: “Too much of the stuff we buy today is made without any thought about tomorrow. Our landfills are growing while our resources are disappearing–it’s just not sustainable. The future of our planet depends on the actions we take today…” EarthHero stepped in and created a one-stop marketplace where you can find eco-friendly products that’s good for the wallet and the planet. They’ve partnered with many brands that are making strides to change the manufacturing process, source sustainable materials, use renewable energy and reduce waste. EarthHero offsets the carbon footprint of shipping packages, contributes to 1% For The Planet and is the application process of becoming a B Corporation. If you’ve read some of my posts, you know I’m a big proponent of supporting companies that aren’t just here for profits, but to also move the needle in making an impact.
This Black Friday, EarthHero will offer a 20% discount on your orders...and then, you’ll have the opportunity to donate any amount of those savings to a charity of your choice. So not only will you get to save money, but you will also contribute to a charity making you a true Earth Hero.
So gift mindfully friends. (When you get to the end of this post, there’ll be another surprise.)
Green Gifting Basics
If you are new to Green Gifting, start with the basics first. Gift products that you know will be used. Consider checking in with friends and family to see what their eco-friendly goals are. Are they looking to reduce waste or are they leading towards a plastic free lifestyle? Are they looking to support companies that are planting trees, saving animals, keeping the ocean clean or protecting natural lands? Are they moving towards using more natural products or are they transitioning to a plant based lifestyle? Knowing some of these details will make your gift a bit more memorable, more special and definitely more useful.
For those that are looking to reduce food waste, eat healthier and save money, the Zero Waste Lunch Kit is an ideal gift. It has everything one needs to pack, store, and carry food. Whether you are bringing lunch to work, packing for a hiking trip or just getting snacks for the kids, the Zero Waste Lunch Kit can help you reduce packaging waste easily.
For those just starting out in a new apartment or home, the Zero Waste New Home Kit provides the necessities for keeping a new home in tip top shape without all of the waste. Reusing materials is the best way to reduce sending items to the landfill so gift items that will help the new apartment dwellers reduce waste.
For any of your loved ones, starting them with Zero Waste Gift Box could be a great way to encourage and inspire sustainable habits. The kit includes compostable toothbrushes, bamboo utensils to reduce plastic use, reusable produce bags, stainless steel straws and other items to really cut down on single-use waste.
These kits are an easy way to package a gift together as EarthHero has already done the legwork to find products that are eco-friendly. If you are looking for something more specific, check out the list below. Perhaps, you’ll be encouraged to create your own Earth-friendly gift box for your loved one.
It’s also good to learn more about how companies are doing business. What are they making? Where are they sourcing their materials? Who is making these items? How are they packaging their products? How are they thinking about product disposal? Thinking about the holistic approach to making a product means no one is exploited to make that product. It is a sad reality that many of the items that will pass through Black Friday deals will have only have a few days of life. This is a waste of time, resources and money. Let’s change that by shopping mindfully and gifting practical gifts that are good for the people and the planet.
I encourage you to just browse around EarthHero.com and check out all of the information under each product. You’ll find that each product includes information on what it is made of, where it is made, how it is packaged, who benefits if you purchase the product and how to dispose of it once you are done. Hopefully this information makes it even easier to go with a sustainable gift instead of a conventional gift.
For the Home Cook Who Loves to Entertain
The holidays are when we entertain the most and this time of the year can be costly, stressful and wasteful, but it absolutely does not have to be.
These bowls are perfect for measuring out your ingredients ahead of time, like an actual chef on TV. Made of sustainably sourced bamboo, these are functional and beautiful. These are small they’ll be perfect for salt and spice mixes, as well as bowls for kids as they are unbreakable. Natural Home Brands is a committed to a plastic free home and sustainable living education.
These beeswax wraps uses the warmth of your hands to mold, fold and shape the wraps into any size that you want and need. The wraps are perfect for cheese, bread, fruit, vegetables and as covers for bowls. For those that constantly cook, these can greatly reduce food waste and reduce single-use plastic film, foil and chemicals around your food.
All frequent shoppers will find lots of use for these produce bags. They are made of organic hemp and cotton and are durable enough for grains, nuts, other bulk items and small fruits and vegetables like sprouts or mushrooms. These reduce the need for single-use produce bags getting you one step closer to that plastic free life. Oh goals!
Instead of buying new, repurpose your existing mason jars into to-go cups by adding a functional lid. I know we all have those jars with a missing lid anyways. These Simple Straw Mason Jar Lids are designed to fit any wide mouth mason jar with a unique silicone grommet that fits the glass straw perfect without rattling or shaking. Add your smoothie, shake or your favorite cocktail and enjoy a plastic free drink.
Always make extra so that you can have leftovers tomorrow. Isn’t that the rule? What better way to place your leftovers in than in these bento lunch boxes which provide a multi-compartment system to store food. It’s made of stainless steel and reduces exposure to plastic lined food packaging.
For the Sports & Outdoor Enthusiast
I have to admit that if you had asked me to find to find presents for an outdoor enthusiast, I would have returned back a blank stare. After doing a few hikes in NJ, Sedona, Portland and Peru, I’ve come to appreciate being outdoors and with that the desire to protect nature and reduce impact on the planet.
This backpack is super lightweight, making it perfect for day hikes where you don’t need the extra weight! It’s made out of recycled PET bottles, nylon and aluminum and fully adjustable for your needs. With a 15L capacity, you can take this bag anywhere, and then you can stuff it back into its built-in pouch for easy storing. The best part, once you are done with it, send it back to ChicoBag and they will recycle it to something new.
I didn’t know bags like these existed until my husband took up Ironman Training. Lo and behold, these saddle bags are perfect to hold extra tire tubes and a tool kit , keeping your cyclist prepared. These are made of upcycled nylon from factory scraps and upcycled bicycle inner tubes.
Yup, you read that right. These yoga blocks are made of recycled chopsticks. These bring you closer to the floor and allow you better stability and greater flexibility over time. You’d think chopsticks would be light, but these are densified so it will add a bit of weight to your workout.
For the loved one that is always on the go, this utensil set is made of sustainably sourced bamboo allowing you to refuse plastic cutlery while camping, traveling or just eating out. This is as easy as as they come. Lightweight so that you can throw it in your pack for use anytime.
Who doesn’t need socks? These Osom socks are made from recycled textiles which helps keep fabric scraps from the landfill. The colors come from the fabric so no dyes or water is used to manufacture the socks.
For the Techie
Instead of hanging your head, lift them up using these tablet stands. These are perfect for children and older adults so that they can read books or watch from their devices clearly. The stand is made of renewable, FSC (Forest Stewardship Council) certified bamboo and the company plants a tree for each product purchased.
If are going to invest in an iPhone X, you might as well invest in a good case as well. This sleek case made of sustainably sourced walnut wood marries natural with the latest technology. It’s sleek and protects your phone with an interior that is made of smooth velvet.
We’ve all done it, lost our favorite headphones. Consider replacing your old ones with these noise-isolating headphones from House of Marley, made of FSC certified wood and recyclable aluminum band. Purchasing a House of Marley product means helping fight deforestation. House of Marley products are engineered to be long lasting to save battery and energy use.
This bag will be perfect for those on the go. Whether you carry your laptop inside or not, this pack is made of 100% waxed cotton canvas with a vegetable tanned leather bottom and is downpour proof. United by Blue stands by its products with their lifetime warranty so this bag will surely get a lot of use and then some. United by Blue is committed to removing one pound of trash from the oceans for each product sold.
For the Wanderlust Traveler
These are multi-functional platinum grade silicone bags that you use for sandwiches, snacks and fruit. They are lightweight so they are easy to pack and carry as you hop from city to city. The best part is that these are microwave, freezer, oven and dishwasher safe which means you can use them for anything. They are infinitely reusable and will reduce so much plastic. Keep them handy so that you can grab that sandwich or that pastry at the airport without waste.
I’ve had mine for almost 3 years and swear by it. Review here. It’s been with me to so many countries allowing me to reduce single use plastic water bottles and saving me money in the long run. I think this is a must have for anyone, whether they are exploring far or just heading to work.
It’s always good to have an extra reusable bag on you so that you can refuse single-use plastic bags easily. The outer fabric is made of 100% recycled polyester and durable enough to hold groceries, clothing, and anything else. Plus, they look sleek so it’s easy to carry around.
Another great travel companion is a light hoodie that keeps you warm and comfortable on long plane or car rides. Made of hemp and recycled polyester, Tentree is committed to keeping you comfortable, but also planting ten trees for each product sold.
If you are chasing the sun rays, it’s always good to be prepared with good quality sunscreen. All Good’s Zinc Sun Butter is non-greasy, with only six ingredients. It’s reef-friendly and Leaping Bunny certified so it’s easy to apply on knowing that you won’t be harming any wildlife in the process.
For the Cozy Homebody
I’m one to stay home and read a book so it’s nice to be surrounded by beautiful, all natural items and I firmly believe that self-care is the new healthcare so gift items that encourage your loved ones to slow down and savor the moment.
For a night of self-care, consider gifting this natural clay face mask that contains Kaolin clay, ground oats, french green clay, seaweed powder. It comes in a glass jar with a metal lid so completely plastic free. It’s, vegan and made without preservatives, sulfates, or parabens or artificial colors or fragrances. Bestowed Essentials donates 10% of order to help provide clean drinking water. They’ve also earned their PETA Certified Cruelty Free Certification.
Don’t candles just scream cozy and maybe sexy time. These candles are made of coconut oil and non GMO soy wax with organic essentials oils. They are hand poured in recycled wine glasses in small batches from California. Sanari donates 5% of retail sales to the National Breast Cancer Foundation.
Because some days, a pullover is just what you need to keep cozy indoors. These pullovers are made of Post Consumer Recycled PET and Post Industrial Recycled Cotton. Recover has completely eliminated plastic packaging, and employs workers in Haiti and Guatemala, using fair wages and safe working conditions.
This lotion is lightweight and easy to put on. Made of coconut oil, camelina seed oil, and shea butter and other natural ingredients. It comes uniquely packaged in a compostable outer packaging and an inner post consumer plastic recyclable container. Seed Phytonutrients is committed to their organic farmers by paying for 100% of their crop upfront, regardless of yield. This allows them to reinvest in their farms and plan for future harvests, protecting the future of organic farming! Yea to investing in farmers!
If you want to provide a complete self-care, night-in gift, consider the Spa Day Gift Box which includes a candle, bath soaking salts and a face mask that are all vegan, cruelty free, and made in the USA. Can’t go wrong with that kind of gift.
Be an Earth Hero This Holiday Season
Well, that was a long list, but I hope you had a chance to get to know some companies making things that are also making the Earth a little better. I hope that you’ll consider gifting something green this holiday season. Many people will say that Going Green is all about making ourselves feel better for the decisions that we make, and I say, Get Selfish! If the choice to purchase an eco-friendly product for yourself or your loved ones means reducing exposure to chemicals, supporting a business making change, saving you money and reducing waste, then go for it!
To encourage you to gift mindfully, use code “DOSOMETHING” to get 15% of your order at EarthHero.com.