Brainstorming gifts for your loved ones is challenging – and doing so with sustainability in mind can make the process even more overwhelming!
Everything included in this 2018 sustainable gift guide was selected either because it is made from sustainably sourced natural materials, renewable or recycled materials, or simply because it promotes less consumption of goods downstream (e.g. reusable coffee mugs).
Before diving into this list, I encourage you to also read my Zero Waste Gift Guide that I put together last year. If your goal is to be as environmentally conscious as possible, then consider experiential gifts or items that are easily found second hand in great condition.
And if you’re interested, here is my 2019 Sustainable Gift Guide for more ideas!
Now, on to the 2018 Sustainable Gift Guide…
SUSTAINABLE GIFTS FOR HIM:
- Cork Card Wallet – This wallet by Ten Tree is made using cork from sustainably grown cork trees. Did you know that stripping the outer bark off of cork trees actually promotes growth and increases the lifespan of the tree? Materials include: Shell: 50% Cork, 40% Cotton, 10% Bonding Agent, Interior: 97% Organic Cotton, 3% Spandex, RFID blocking. BONUS: Ten Tree plants ten trees for every item purchased – pretty awesome!
- Ankole Horn Whiskey Tumblers – My husband loves entertaining – he also loves whiskey. These cow horn whiskey tumblers are individually crafted from start to finish by an artisan in a fair trade environment in Uganda using locally sourced materials.
- Nature Journal Leaf Leather – Is it just us or has journaling had a recent resurgence in popularity (e.g., bullet journals, productivity journals)? Why not support a healthy habit with a durable journal sans the leather or vinyl cover. Tree Tribe’s journal is made of leaf leather – “a durable leather alternative that is made from Teak leaves, cotton, and a thin laminate outer layer to seal and preserve the leaf, while making it waterproof and retaining the natural design.”
- Patagonia Worn Wear – Of course most people know the brand Patagonia and its commitment to sustainable manufacturing practices (if not, I recommend listening to the “How I Built This” podcast episode interviewing Patagonia founder Yvon Chouinard). They were one of the first clothing brands to create a second hand shop (called “Worn Wear”) within their stores and online where they repair and re-sell trade-in clothing items.
- Weekender Bag – British company Elvis & Kresse makes this weekender bag from genuine decommissioned fire-hoses. The lining is made from old auction banners that were used to advertise products for upcoming sales events. Each banner is totally unique so no two interiors are the same.
- Bambaw Safety Razor – Plastic razors are nearly impossible to recycle and therefore end up in landfills or as litter elsewhere. This Bambaw safety razor is long lasting (just replace and recycle the blade), and made from sustainable materials like 100% bamboo and stainless steel.
- Copper Bar Set – If mixed cocktails are more to your guy’s liking, consider this bar set made using solid wood and stainless steel with copper plating.
- Cold Brew Kit – My husband has always been a coffee fanatic but is even more-so now with a 5 month old son! His favorite is cold brew but buying this at Starbucks or an independent coffee house is expensive ($3.50+ / cup) and can be wasteful if he forgets his reusable mug! What’s great about this Klein filter is that it fits into 24 – 64 oz. Mason jars so you can stock up on your cold brew supply at home using the same filter on multiple jars.
- Anti-Aging Restorative Facial Oil – Most men are not great about taking care of their skin (my husband included) but it’s often only because they don’t know where to start. This face oil blend from Jessi + Co is one of my personal favorites – my husband also loves it because it’s a simple, one-step natural skincare solution. He adds a few drops to his sunscreen moisturizer in the morning and then he’s on his way!
SUSTAINABLE GIFTS FOR HER:
- October Jaipur Sandals – Handcrafted using 100% genuine leather under fair trade conditions.
- Soko Choker – Handcrafted in Kenya from upcycled brass and a hand carved horn medallion.
- Antonello Tedde Clutch / Crossbody Bag – This bag was hand-woven using recycled and regenerated cotton yarns dyed with Sardinian plants. These fabrics were produced by hand in ethical, female-managed factories.
- Siizu Turtleneck Sweater – Made from cashmere and cotton blended yarn in Mongolia (see more about Siizu’s sweater production practices).
- Nisolo Mule – Handmade in Leon, Mexico by producers who receive fair trade wages (at minimum), healthcare, and a healthy working environment.
- Nisolo Block Leather Tote – 100% leather bag manufactured by producers who receive fair trade wages (at minimum), healthcare, and a healthy working environment.
- Underprotection Satin PJ Set – Made of 100% bamboo satin eco-friendly fabric, certified by Fair Wear Foundation. Designed in Denmark with fair trade production in India.
- Soko Quill Dangle Earrings – Handcrafted in Kenya made from upcycled dyed bone and finished with handcrafted brass caps and hooks.
- Everlane Silk Cami – Double lined basic cami made from eco-conscious Clean Silk.
SUSTAINABLE GIFTS FOR BABIES AND KIDS:
- Plan Toys Van Walker – Responsibly sourced and ethically produced in Trang, Thailand from rubberwood (Rubberwood is sustainably harvested wood from rubber trees that can no longer produce latex) and PlanWood (PlanWood is an innovative, zero waste material made from grinding and heating surplus rubberwood sawdust and wood chips from previous productions).
- Plan Toys Assorted Fruit Set – Plan Toys rubber wood toys are sustainably made to last.
- Plan Toys Blocks – Made from sustainably harvested rubberwood trees paired with surplus sawdust chips that are thermally re-processed to form a durable wood, finished with E-Zero non-formaldehyde glue and non-toxic water-based dyes.
- Baby Food Book – We have been following “recipes” in this book for Ford’s first foods and it has been so helpful! So far, Ford has been enjoying it too – every time he sees me defrost a jar of puree he starts kicking his legs and opening his mouth like a baby bird excited to eat.
- Tender Leaf Toys Ice Cream Shop – Made from renewable rubber tree wood. Tender Leaf Toys plants a new tree for every toy purchased. Colored with non-toxic, water-based paint.
- Manhattan Toy Wood Teether – Un-dyed and carefully constructed of sustainable wood.
- Margaux & May Swaddles – 100% organic cotton muslin blankets
- Green Toys Cookware and Dining Set – This cute cookware set is made in the U.S.A. from recycled plastic milk containers.
SUSTAINABLE GIFTS FOR THE HOME:
- Plant Therapy Essential Oils – this starter kit of oils from Plant Therapy are produced from organic plants, without chemicals, and by using a large amount of plant material such that the final product is extremely concentrated. I like to diffuse oils to scent my home, I add a few drops to your wool dryer balls to scent your laundry or scent DIY cleaners.
- Alpaca Throw – A gorgeous lightweight, warm throw made from 80% Peruvian Alpaca fur by Ecuadorian artisans.
- Leather lumbar pillow – The 100% leather pillowcase is produced under fair trade conditions by artisans in Kampala, Uganda and comes with a cotton insert.
- Reclaimed Barnwood Planter to grow herbs at home.
- Chia Planter – Remember chia pets? This chic pot is a more attractive way to grow chia plants. Plus, the kiln used for the firing process was fueled by recycled oil from local restaurants.
- Diffuser – This nebulizing diffuser is almost entirely plastic free – to learn more, read about the benefits of nebulizing diffusers.
- Incense holder – I like diffusing oils to scent my home but if you know someone who loves incense, this brass incense holder made in Argentina is gorgeous.
- Plant Pot – I love decorating with plants because they help purify the air inside my home. A pretty house-plant in a pretty pot is one of my favorite things to give and receive!
SUSTAINABLE GIFTS FOR THE KITCHEN:
- Tea Towels – Pretty cotton/linen blend kitchen towels.
- Le Parfait Jars – T and I use these in a variety of shapes and sizes for so many things! We primarily use them to store bulk pantry items but we also take them with us to the grocery store where we ask the butcher to put meat and fish directly into the jars after weighing to eliminate extra packaging waste.
- Bees Wrap – A great alternative to plastic wrap when preserving leftovers. This is a great gift or stocking stuffer for someone who loves to cook.
- Wheat Serving Bowls – These pretty bowls are made of natural wheat straw fiber, starch and food-safe PP material.
- Teak cookware – Such pretty cookware made from 100% teak. I want these for our kitchen!
- Scrubbing brush – A great gift for the “clean person” in your life. This long lasting scrub brush is made from beech wood and is both pretty and practical!
- Water Filter – This filter is great for a few reasons. Not only is the design gorgeous, but I love how you can purchase multiple glass carafes so you can refrigerate one while you filter water into the next. Because the glass carafes are so pretty, they can be used as-is on the table during dinner parties. Plus, the sustainable filtration process uses coconut shells to purify your water and each filter lasts 80 gallons (an average Brita filter by comparison only lasts for 40 gallons).
- Bowls – Handmade in India inspired by Japanese design.
SUSTAINABLE GIFTS FOR THE BATH:
- Reusable Makeup Remover Pads – A great way to start eliminating disposable products in the bathroom – they also make a good stocking stuffer!
- Deodorant Stick – This is the deodorant I use and love everyday. The smell is subtle and nice. I have tried so many other natural deodorants and so far this is my favorite. My husband has also tried it and likes it too!
- Sea Sponge – This is a great alternative to a loofah in the bath or shower as it is made from renewable natural resources.
- Bath Soak – This bath soak of himalayan pink salt and sea salt, lavender and cardamom essential oil, and lemon peel sounds delightful to me. Now if only I could find the time to take a bath…
- Toothbrushes – Doctors recommend that we replace our toothbrushes every 3-4 months to make sure they’re effectively cleaning our teeth… why not make the replacement a sustainable option like these bamboo toothbrushes? Remove the bristles and compost the handle when you’re ready to discard.
- Shampoo Bar – Another good stocking stuffer option is this eco-friendly shampoo bar! I have been told that Lush makes the best shampoo bars (I haven’t had luck with other brands…) and the idea of a plastic-free shampoo that works is great!
- Cozy Robe – I LOVE wearing a big cozy robe in the mornings while I get ready. I like this unisex option from Coyuchi made from 100% organic cotton grown and woven in the Aegean region of Turkey.