The holidays are one of the best times of the year to start shopping sustainably. Instead of splurging on single-use items with tiny shelf lives, put your money to good use and buy items that give back to the earth after they’ve served their purpose. Adding a few eco-friendly gifts to your holiday can make a big difference.
What to look out for when shopping for eco-friendly gifts
This may come as a shock, but your “sustainable” gifts might be misleading. When it comes to beauty products and certain sustainable items, your “natural”, “green”, and “eco-friendly” labels may not be living up to the hype.
The FDA has no strict rules surrounding these products’ sustainability. Because of this, many brands have taken advantage of the lack of regulations when producing and labeling.
When you’re on the hunt for sustainable products, don’t let these big companies take you for a ride. Keep yourself sharp and search for these simple things to ensure your products are actually working for the environment.
1. Check certifications
First, look for certifications. There are a few gold certifications within the garment industry that can prove a brands supply chain has been vetted thoroughly. For example, the independent OEKO-TEX test offers certifications for textiles, screens against hazardous chemicals, and assures ethical workplaces.
2. Avoid plastics
Second, avoid plastic when you can and invest in biodegradables when there’s nowhere else to turn. Plastics are the number one no-no in becoming sustainable. Not only does plastic have a penchant for seeping into your food or beauty products, once they’ve served their purpose and get tossed, they just end up in landfills and our earth’s oceans.
3. Manage your expectations
Lastly, remember that real change can’t happen overnight. Don’t beat yourself up if your switch to sustainability happens a little slower than you might like, or if you find yourself purchasing items that don’t meet your sustainably expectations. The most important key to making a difference, is the desire to make a difference.
The Best Eco-Friendly Gifts
1) Take your tea sustainably: Bamboo Tumbler Thermos with Tea Infuser+Strainer
Heavy tea-drinkers will love this bamboo tumbler on-the-go thermos and strainer set. Compatible with your favorite loose-leaf teas, this tumbler keeps your beverage hot for 12 hours or cold for 24 hours. It’s non-toxic materials help lessen the environmental impact of plastic waste and make it one of the best eco-friendly gifts to give (or get) this season.
2) Add sustainability to the laundry routine: Pack of 6 Wool Dryer Balls
Instead of relying on single-use dryer sheets that add to environmental waste, empower yourself to add sustainability to your laundry routine. These six wool dryer balls will fluff towels, soften bedding, and cut drying time in half. Help yourself say goodbye to single-use drying sheets, and hello to reusable wool dryer balls.
3) Splurge on self-care the plant way: SmallGarden Smart Garden
If you’re willing to spend a little extra this season on an eco-friendly holiday gift, this smart indoor garden is the way to go. No need for sunlight or day-to-day attendance as this garden comes outfitted with its own self-watering system, grow lights, and an IOS-compatible app. Pre-planted seeds and slow-release nutrients will ensure the steady and strong growth of your new plants. Who knows, maybe they’ll thank you with a bunch of fresh herbs!
4) Cuddle up in recycled cotton: Earth Leopard Knit Blanket
Get a cozy knit throw that’s aesthetic and eco-friendly this holiday season. This leopard blanket from Cold Picnic is made from 80% recycled cotton and made in the USA. The design is wildly stylish and sure to complement any home.
5) Best eco-friendly gift for charcuterie: Bamboo Cheese Board
If you love charcuterie, and who doesn’t, this premium bamboo cheese board is probably calling your name. Designed with smart grooves on the sides to expertly hold crackers and fruit in place, along with a hidden compartment complete with bamboo knives, this board makes creating your next cheese board a cinch. Fill up on all your favorites with a board that will last.
6) Switch to sustainable fabric: V-Neck Crop Cardigan
This cozy cropped cardigan delivers style and sustainability in one cute package. With 50% of its fabric coming from sustainably sourced materials, you can be sure that this new wardrobe addition will be a great eco-friendly gift for anyone needing a new piece of comfy-chic.
7) Give your kitchen an eco-friendly gift makeover: Eco Friendly Gift Set
Move closer to a zero-waste, plastic free lifestyle with this eco-friendly gift bundle. Included are all the items you’ll need to begin creating your new sustainable kitchen environment. Beeswax food wraps, reusable produce bags, reusable locking bags, and stainless steel straws come together to help you on your new eco-friendly journey.
8) Upcycle ocean waste to your feet: UltraBoost DNA Running Shoe
You may not have known that this popular sneaker from Adidas is actually a player in the sustainability field. The upper on these comfortable running shoes are made from Parley Ocean Plastic® recycled waste that’s collected at beaches and coastal communities before it reaches the ocean.
A flexible TPU lacing cage providing dynamic lockdown and built-in stabilization technologies and a grippy rubber tread help each stride move naturally from heel strike to toe-off.
Price: $180 – 190
9) Make drinking straws chic with this eco-friendly gift: Reusable Glass Straw
Say no to single use plastic straws by switching to these chic, reusable glass straws. Processed from food grade borosilicate glass, these glass straws can withstand high and low temperatures and have anti-crushing functions. Every effort counts, and if you can make the change to stop consuming plastic straws while you’re at home or out and about, you’re one step closer to making a change.
10) This eco-friendly gift makes reusable enjoyable: Porter Reusable Portable Lidded Bowl
Reuse in style with this large BPA-free bowl from W&P Design. It’s the perfect size for taking your salads, soups, or leftovers anywhere. With its secure silicone wrap and sturdy lid, you won’t have to worry about spills or messes, and it’s aesthetically pleasing design will have you bragging to all who can hear.
11) Revamp your sheets with this eco-friendly gift: Hyperlite Sheet Set
Yes, in this day and age, even your sheets can be sustainable. These sheets are made from natural fibers derived from dissolving pulp and sustainably sourced trees which require less water in production and can be washed less frequently. Make the switch from un-responsibly sourced cotton to 100% Tencel® lyocell with these hyperlite sheets from Casper.
12) Stay cozy and sustainably stylish: Simoneloa Quilted Shirt Jacket
Update your wardrobe with this luxe quilted shirt jacket from Vero Moda and raise a glass for sustainable clothing while you’re at it. Crafted from 50% sustainably sourced materials, including recycled fibers, this jacket will be the transitional essential of your dreams.
13) Create and ecosystem with this eco-friendly gift: Canopy Closed Garden
Bring the outdoors in with this gorgeous and sustainable canopy closed garden. Don’t relegate your terrariums to plastic living spaces. Introduce your prized succulents to this top-of-the-line recycled glass and cork container and never look back to plastic again!
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