Fa-la-la, y’all! The holidays are coming. Mention this factoid in a mixed group right now, and one is liable to elicit reactions ranging from gleeful excitement to naked terror—with an individual’s feelings largely contingent on how much progress they’ve made on their holiday shopping (online this year because, y’know).
Now’s the time, however, to start at least planning the best green gift ideas for your family and friends—that way you’re ready to make both wallet- and eco-friendly buying decisions as the holidays creep closer.
Green Ideas Gifts for Your Loved Ones
Whether you have an earth-friendly, greenie friend or family member who eschews the normal type of gift one buys at the mall, or you yourself want to lead by example and shower your loved ones with more conscientious presents, this is gift guide meant to help. The imminent holiday season shouldn’t be one filled with stress, nor should you settle for gifts that a) you aren’t comfortable giving, or b) your recipient isn’t going to love. Read on for a complete list of green and eco-friendly gift ideas at every price point, and hopefully your Yuletide will be a little more laid-back!
Eco-Friendly Stocking Stuffers
The obvious choice when it comes gifting ideas for greenies is to choose something that supports your recipient’s eco-friendly lifestyle. Here are a few low-cost and small ideas that still make a bit environmental difference when used every day throughout the years to come:
- Stainless Steel Water Bottle: BPA-free water bottles are a start, but at the end of the day you’re still using plastic. If your eco-friendly loved one is sporting a plastic water bottle, upgrade them this holiday to a Klean Kanteen ($30), which is our favorite brand at GV—all of those colors mean you can truly customize the gift to the recipient! That said, Sigg has more green cred and makes fantastic Aluminum Water Bottles ($25) from lightweight, recycled-aluminum—which makes their bottles an even more eco-friendly gift idea.
- Reusable Drinking Straws: As cities and countries around the world begin to ban single-use plastic straws, give your greenie a gift they can use for years to come. Stainless Steel Straws ($10) are the most sturdy option (ideal for travelers), but the range of Colorful Glass Straws ($9) are beautiful and work well for those using straws at home.
- Bamboo Cutlery Set: The GV team just loves this Bamboo Cutlery Travel Set ($13) from Tiny Panda. It’s ideal for travelers, but also anyone who brings lunch to the office, on picnics, and so much more.
- Reusable Shopping Bags: Eliminating straws isn’t the only way for eco-friendly greenies to eliminate single-use plastic. Gift your loved one these BeeGreen Reusable Grocery Bags ($18), which come in a truly fun range of colors.
Green Gift Ideas for Everyone on Your List
If you’re going completely green this holiday season, that means stocking stuffers alone won’t cut it. Below find a range of green gift ideas for everyone on your list, from mom and dad to your favorite coworker.
For the Health-Conscious
- Yoga Lovers: If your recipient loves yoga, consider gifting them a gorgeous Manduka Yoga Mat ($100), which prioritizes sustainability and transparency in its manufacturing process. Pair it with Natrogix Bliss Essential Oils ($20) in heavenly scents for their savasana cool-down, and you’ll have a winning green gift combo.
- Healthy Eaters: Along with the holidays comes a new year and a new chance to double down on healthy eating goals. For the loved one who’s receptive to the idea of cutting back on meat, but hasn’t a clue what to make for dinner, you have two options. Thug Kitchen: The Official Cookbook: Eat Like You Give a F*ck ($15) takes a playful and wildly helpful approach to eating more veggies. Less in-your-face but equally as useful is the The Easy 5-Ingredient Pescatarian Cookbook ($16). If you’re preaching to the already converted—meaning they already eat a lot of plants and veggies, then True Food: Seasonal, Sustainable, Simple, Pure ($12) is the right gift—it’s the hands-down best option on the market for learning more sustainably cooking and eating practices.
The things we use everyday can make a big impact not only on our own health, but on the health of the planet. These green gift ideas for the home are perfect for greening the home of your mom and dad, pleasing your eco-friendly siblings, or generally wowing anyone on your list.
- Dine in Style: These beautiful Multicolor Eco-Friendly Hand Blown Glass Tumblers ($80) create a wow-worthy statement on any table, and their green cred is strong—Novica’s partnership with National Geographic pays fair wages to artisans all over the world. Pair it with the 16-Piece Bamboo Tableware Set ($65), which is as durable as it is beautiful, for a true statement gift. (For friends with kids, add in an owl-shaped Bamboo Kids Tableware Set ($17) for an extra special touch).
- Cook Up a Storm: Make the kitchen of your loved one greener with Talisman Designs Beechwood Measuring Spoons ($12) and Beechwood Cooking Spoons ($39)—the beechwood is sourced from responsibly-managed forests and the laser-etched designs are truly gift-worthy.
- Add a Touch of Lux: While it’s never wise to decorate someone else’s home, you can gift thoughtful touches that make a statement. These Christmas Star Ceramic Ornaments ($40) are a perfect green gift during Secret Santa exchanges, or a loved one who just moved into a new home this holiday season. The House of Marley Wireless Bluetooth Speaker ($44) is perfect for frequent hosts—it’s made of sturdy wood fiber and recycled PP composite construction for the greenest speaker experience around.
For the Fashion Forward
Have a bestie who’s a total fashion plate? Or perhaps a favorite coworker who always comes to work looking Instagram-ready.
- Jewelry Lovers: Consider gifting fun necklaces and jewelry that use the best fair-trade practices. Novica makes a huge range of items in partnership with National Geographic—we love the Multicolored Beaded Wood Layered Torsade Necklace ($30) and Sterling Silver Dangle Earrings, Mexican Fantasy’ ($85)—both are real showstoppers. With each purchase your friend also receives a NOVICA Story Card to learn a bit about the artisan who made their beautiful jewlery. To go even more local, Amsha is a boutique, fair-trade organization providing work to artisans in East Africa—the Jua Earrings ($32) would class up any outfit.
- Handbag Fans: The right handbag can make a strong statement, and that’s even more true when constructed of recycled materials. The Nordica Geometric Beauty Laptop Bag ($164) is a win for those greenies prioritizing fair-trade goods, while the Hand-Woven Crossbody Rattan Bag ($30) uses vegan leather for an animal-free look that doesn’t compromise on style.
- Cruelty-Free Cosmetics: For a gal with sophisticated and a strong focus on the green credentials of every brand they use, look to Inika, which is PETA-certified and completely vegan. GV’s founder uses this makeup brand and gives rave reviews to the smooth finish on the Loose Mineral Foundation Powders ($40) and the lovely effects of the Long Lash Vegan Mascara ($33).
For the Bike Commuter
If your loved one goes green by commuting on their bike to and from work, they’ve made your life a lot easier on the gifting front! Slip a Solar Powered Bike Light ($23) in their stocking and keep them safe next year. Also consider Green Oil Chain Lubricant ($10), which uses biodegradable products sourced from 27 different types of plants. Round out your gift with a Kali Protectives Bike Helmet ($50)—made from 100% recycled cotton materials, this is the pinnacle of eco-friendly chic.
For the Kids on Your List
There are more earth-friendly options for the kiddos on your holiday shopping list, too.
- Get Colorful: I get a kick out of any “typical” play item that’s rendered in a modern, green way. I love these Honeysticks Pure Beeswax Crayons ($23), which are completely allergen-free and nontoxic, and are manufactured in New Zealand, so you know you’re getting a high quality gift! Another win are the Organic Veggie Baby Finger Paints ($25) and Sculpting Dough ($12)—Veggie Baby uses organic vegetables in their products and all are completely edible.
- Get Crafty: The ALEX Toys Eco Crafts Scrapbook Kit ($17) comes with Earth-friendly pages and supplies for the craftiest kid on your gift list. The motto of the green movement is “Reduce, Reuse, Recycle,” and that means empowering the youngest in the world with the right skills. My First Sewing Kit ($15) is a fun, unconventional, and under-the-radar way to teach your kids green skills they can use for the rest of their life.
- Get Curious: Bigger kids can explore the wonders of the world around them with science-y gifts and games. We love the 4M Bubble Science Kit ($10), the Grow ‘N Glow Terrarium Science Kits ($12), and Magic Science for Wizards Only Kit ($15).
- Get Reading: Kids are curious by nature and the time is now to set the stage for life-long greenies. Pick up a copy of What a Waste: Trash, Recycling, and Protecting our Planet ($9), The Adventures of a Plastic Bottle ($5), and Not for Me, Please! I Choose to Act Green ($16) to get the littlest loved one involved.
- Involve Everyone: Go Green Cards ($20) include 52-cards with green living ideas. This is a fun, family-friendly gift that parents and kids can use together to take a more eco-friendly approach to 2020.
As someone who loves to shop—and I mean really loves to shop—I always consider the holidays a fantastic challenge to score something perfect for everyone special in my life. After all, receiving presents is fun, but nothing holds a candle to making someone’s day with a truly thoughtful gift that shows you understand them.
There are a wealth of options out there for this year’s “greenie” holiday shoppers, and plenty to ensure that every eco-friendly good boy and girl out there gets just what they deserve. Happy holidays!
Last Updated on November 27, 2020