During this holiday season, a lot of gifts will be exchanged. While advertisements pressure us to buy material items to give, you also have the option to give gifts with meaning behind them. And what better way to celebrate the present moment than by giving thoughtful gifts that consider the future. This top ten list provides many options to consider giving to your eco-minded friends and family, or to simply give a gift that helps reduce waste and moves material products into a more resourceful and innovative future.
1. Cycle Dog Pet Accessories: My first recommendation is for all pet lovers out there. Cycle dog is an earth-friendly pet company that sells recycled collars, harnesses, leashes, toys, and beds. Collars range from $23-$25, price depending on dog’s size, and their products can be customized to fit your dog perfectly if needed. Based out of Portland, Oregon, all products are hand-made and hand-sewn at their facility. And shipping is a flat rate of $5 or free with orders over $60.
2. Early Learning Children's Nesting Blocks: For my friends with young, toddler-age children and expecting their first child, I’m giving this awesome gift to their children. The Greenstart line by InnovativeKids has a toy kit called the Stacking and Nesting blocks that is made entirely from Earth-friendly, recycled materials. The kit includes ten sturdy boxes to stack, build, and nest featuring beautiful illustrations. These blocks also include different early-learning concepts on each side; numbers, letters, shapes, colors, and baby animals. Every green start product is designed to encourage a love of nature and features simple messages that kids will understand and enjoy.
4. Salt Lamp: For a gift that can easily decorate a house, try a salt lamp.* Not only are they great at cleaning the air and removing dust and toxins from inside, they also give a calming, beautiful glow. In store, I’ve seen small ones for $13 and larger ones for $32. You can easily find them online at Amazon and find a size and price point that best suits your needs. This would be a lovely gift and inexpensive gift for anyone, especially an eco-minded person on your gift list.
6. Rocky Mountain Soap Bath and Body Care: This next gift is for the bathroom and for your body. Rocky Mountain Soap company is a Canadian company that uses all-natural ingredients to create products for both men and women. They have bath and beauty products that range from an entire face care line, bath and shower, body care, candles, chapsticks, to aromatherapy. What really makes their products stand out is the range of scents they carry. Their holiday collection includes scents like Vanilla Ginger and Vanilla Candy Cane, and they even have fun flavors like their kid’s root beer bubble bath.
8. Reusable Bags: In many cities plastic bags are no longer being used which is a good thing for the environment. But to avoid paying for paper bags, the best thing to use are reusable bags/totes. One can never have enough of these bags. You can keep a few stored in your kitchen and another couple in your car. And now that these bags are everywhere, not to mention super affordable, you can find some great styles. Trader Joe’s has a fun selection in their stores. But what really surprised me was to see the Dollar Store collection, which are nice in quality and super cute.
10. Strawesome Glass Straws: For a fun little stocking stuffer, I recommend glass or metal straws. Plastic straws are so environmentally wasteful and nearly impossible to recycle. So, if you know any cooking enthusiasts, iced-coffee or smoothie lovers then these are perfect for them. I found my favorite metal straws online at Amazon but another good option with lots of fun choices is Strawesome Glass Straws. This company is family-owned and operated in Michigan and is committed to health and the environment.
3. Jord Wood Watch: Around this time of year there’s a lot of pressure to focus on jewelry as a gift, especially for women. But what about something a little more unique, like a wood watch? Jord wood watches is a company run by artists, designers, and marketers that offer options for both men and women. And what’s special about this gift is the watches come in beautiful wood gift boxes. If you are looking for something like this but with a little bit of a lower price point, then I recommend WeWood watches. Both companies are completely committed to bettering the environment.
5. Viva Terra Blown Glass Vase: Another unique décor item is the Teak and Blown Glass Tube Vase by Viva Terra. Artisan-made in Indonesia, molten glass is poured over a reclaimed teak wood root to create this breathtaking sculpture. The glass flows over the curves of the wood, looking as if it’s frozen in time. Each vessel is made to fit a specific root, and the pairs will all be one-of-a-kind. For only $59, I think this is such a steal for something so incredibly special.
7. Paper Source Stationery: If you know anyone who loves writing letters or needs stationery for their home office, then I recommend Paper Source. One of my favorite things to gift is a stationary set with paper and envelopes to a friend who lives in a different state than me. Stationery makes a great gift for family and friends who live far away because I see it as a promise to continue communication even though distance may keep you apart. Paper Source is a wonderful choice for stationary due to their commitment to being eco-friendly. They only partner with mills that adhere to environmental and socioeconomic standards, many of which are fueled via wind or hydro power. Their collection of solid color papers, cards, and envelopes are made from at least 30% post-consumer waste. And their printers operate with reduced volatile organic compound (VOC) emissions and recycle their ink waste. Based out of Chicago, this company is on a mission to making stationery paper as stylish ad eco-friendly as possible.
9. Reusable Water Bottles: This next gift is something I love giving and receiving. Every year, millions of water bottles aren’t recycled and instead are thrown away. You can help reduce that waste by giving someone a reusable drink container. I love love love using my Camelbak as my water bottle. They range from $12-$25, but they do come with a warranty in case they are damaged. But if you need something insulated, I recommend Kleen Kanteen. It keeps cold drinks cold for 24 hours and hot drinks warm for 12 hours.