The Best Eco Gifts for the Eco-Warrior in Your Life
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This year has given us a lot to think about - the environment and how humans impact it is one of them. People are finding themselves exploring a more planet friendly lifestyle which can be overwhelming in itself...add to that the pressure to get the perfect gift, and it's enough to make someone want to go into hibernation! Never fear! We are bringing you a selection of eco-friendly products and brands to look out for when shopping for that special someone!
Fashion and Accessories
The fashion industry is notorious for high emissions, extreme waste, and sketchy labor practices. Part of that extreme waste comes from fast fashion – clothing that is either poorly made or considered a trend – and is designed to be used for only a short period of time. Here are some brands that are intentionally working against that norm by creating quality clothing from scraps from the fashion industry, renewable materials, and/or recycled materials.
Wear Panda- sustainable sunglasses and a mission to help the world! This company uses fast growing, naturally pest resistant bamboo to create some very cool shades. Not only that, but use some of their profits to give microloans, donate to forest conservation, and provide vision health around the globe.
Zero Waste Daniel - this creative designer has made a point of fighting against waste from the fashion industry. He takes off-cuts from the New York fashion scene and creates one-of-a-kind masterpieces that are wearable! This company all about fair working conditions and smashing industry beauty “rules”.
All Birds– made from responsibly sourced, natural elements like merino wool, sugarcane, and eucalyptus, these shoes are comfortable and planet friendly. While they started with shoes, All Birds now offers sustainable clothing and accessories!
Hyer Goods– another zero-waste based company that uses leather scraps from the industry. They believe in ethical production and quality goods that are made to last generations. They have completely plastic free packaging, and a charity of the month!
Torrain Bags– We just love it when people find creative ways to upcycle things – in this case, old agriculture bags. These attractive, clever, water resistant bags are made from discarded rice, wheat, cement, malt, grass seed, and flour bags that are taken from factories and roadsides around the world. The interior fabric is made from recycled water bottles, and the company also donates toward global sustainability and welfare-based charities for each purchase made.
Waterlust– this company makes beautiful, UVA shunning, active wear using fabric made from water bottles. Each of their designs represents a different conservation effort for marine life, and a portion of their proceeds goes to ocean conservation.
Whenever we talk about green gifting, we always emphasize choosing intentional, thoughtful gifts that someone will actually want. This is the best way to ensure they won't soon end up on their way to a landfill. Sometimes even better than something brand new, are things that are second hand, recycled/upcycled, and non-material gifts (read more about that here). Another idea is to help someone engage in a new hobby or pursuit...perhaps even one that could help the health of the planet!
MasterClass – you have probably heard of this, but you might not be aware of how awesome it is. Sign your loved one up for a subscription and they can gain access to tutorials from the likes of Alicia Keys, Gordon Ramsay, and Neil deGrasse Tyson – true experts from their fields. Right now they are offering a limited-time 2 for 1 deal, so you can both get something out of it. We were absolutely blown away by not only the presenters, but the content they offered. We highly recommend signing up!
Bootstrap Farmer – whether they are building their own vertical garden or just want some DIY microgreens, this shop has what your loved one will need to exercise their green thumb. This company's team is made up of real farmers who know what they’re talking about and are excited to share their knowledge with customers, no matter the level!
Minted – if you know someone who loves to send hand-written letters, Minted offers a wide range of beautiful, stationery options that are designed by real artists. This company supports the works of independent artists from around the globe, and also use paper that was milled in a factory powered completely by renewable energies. Not only that, but you can opt for recycled, FSC rated paper for stationery and cards!
Most of the wasteful and unsustainable habits we have start at home (the kitchen and bathroom are the biggest offenders). There are a lot of small ways we can enhance our eco practices at home, and the ideas below are a great place to start!
Zero Waste Starter Kit – If you know someone who has been wanting to go greener but isn’t sure where to start, this is the perfect option for them. Between unnecessary packaging, plastic bottles, food waste, and hidden plastic, this is an area where we can make a lot of small changes to reduce our impact. This zero waste kit for beginners provides some easy switches that are designed to help eliminate single use or plastic heavy bits and bobs around the house.
Simply Organics Bamboo – If you have never slept in bamboo sheets, you’re missing out. These sheets, made from certified organic bamboo, are not only sustainable, but also incredibly soft! Responsibly produced by specialists in the industry, these sheets have proven to last 3 times as long as cotton and feel softer than luxury brands with over 3 times the thread count. Having these sheets will definitely make it harder to get out of bed.
Mason Jars Company – this is a great place to shop for the person in your life who loves organization, zero waste, and DIY. Find kombucha kits and awesome lids for mason jars that turn them into all sorts of things, like spray bottles, sugar pourers, and soap dispensers!
Plantboxs – a literal green gift. You can choose a subscription where your loved one will receive a plant for their home each month (shipped for free) or select your own greenery to send them. The best part is, they don’t need a green thumb to take care of these plants. All plants are suitable for “beginners”, and come with their own care cards.
GroupHug – high quality, personal solar panels that can hang on any window to harness the power of the sun. Slated to last around 20 years, these panels are made with responsible materials and top notch technology to bring renewable energy into any home. Right now they are having a sale on these – act soon and it might still arrive in time for Christmas!
Baby and Child
There is a whole world of products for babies and children out there, and sadly, many are poorly made or single use. Either that, or kids develop so fast that things become irrelevant really quickly. Here are some ideas that will help reduce waste and support a circular economy.
Toy Library – We really love this idea! With Toy Library, you can borrow high quality toys, then trade them in for something else when your tot gets tired of them. Not only does it save you money, but it also saves more toys from heading to the landfill.
Wonderbly – Wonderbly offers a chance for the kids you love to star in their own, personalized story (all printed on FSC rated paper). Choose from a selection of inspirational, motivational books for children ages 0-12 – guaranteed to be a favorite in the household!
Green Toys – at Love the Earth Co., we were able to get our hands on some really fun, BPA free toys (made in the USA!) that are made from 100% recycled plastic. These toys are sturdy and intended to last for generations!
Eco Pea – If you know someone who prefers disposable diapers, get some of these for them to try. Made from bamboo and plant based fibers, these will break down into mostly soil after they are tossed, and the wipes are 100% compostable. This keeps the dangerous chemicals in plastic products from leeching into the soil, and are the most eco-friendly disposable option we have come across so far!
The eco-warrior in your life might just love something that blossoms over time. Innovative companies and individuals are raising the bar when it comes to inventing sustainable and eco-friendly goods for the world. Memphis Meats, for example, is a company that has figured out how to grow (yes, grow) cruelty free meat products. They first started on Indiegogo. They blew through their fundraising goal and caught the attention of Bill Gates and Tyson as investors. Incredible eco inventions are being unveiled every day and they rely on small investments from the general public to make it big. You can also check out Kickstarter and Crowdfunder for ideas.
If none of these ideas tickle your fancy, maybe your loved one will appreciate a donation made in their name. Pick their favorite eco-cause and find a non-profit that aligns with that effort. Make sure you check the legitimacy of the organization first (you probably don’t want 90 cents per dollar going to marketing…it happens!) Use Charity Navigator to find the perfect match. Here are some ideas to get you started:
4 Ocean – cleaning plastic and trash from our oceans
Heifer International – fighting poverty and hunger around the world
World Wildlife Foundation – endangered wildlife protection
Greenpeace Fund – environmental justice and education
National Geographic Society – education, research, exploration, conservation, cultures and public outreach
National Wildlife Foundation – environmental protection and education
Wrapping your Gift
We talk about this a lot when it comes to gifting, but it is worth repeating. When it comes to wrapping your gift, make sure it is fitting of the eco product inside! Most people think that all wrapping paper is recyclable, but that sadly is not the case. Turns out anything with glitter or shiny metallic bits on it ISN’T recyclable. That’s because those beautiful little bits are actually plastic (which can’t be recycled in the same centers as paper), making it, in its entirety, un-recyclable. Consider the following ideas:
- Use reusable materials, like decorated (or decorate-able) cardboard boxes, cloth sacks, or reusable gift wrap
- Upcycle other household items and make bows from magazines and wrapping paper from wrapping paper from newspaper
- Buy a large recycled paper roll and design your own wrapping paper for any occasion