Sustainability isn’t a difficult concept to grasp. On a basic level, it just means living with as minimal impact on the Earth as possible — whether it’s by eating vegan, carpooling to work or following a plastic-free skin care routine. But when it comes to nailing down the perfect gift for a sustainably-minded person, things can definitely get a little tricky. After all, sustainable living looks different from one person to the next.
So, how do you go about finding a gift that your eco-conscious friends and family are guaranteed to love?
The fact that you’re even trying to choose a gift with the planet in mind is sure to make your loved ones happy. But if you really want to warm their hearts this year, there are a few types of gifts in particular that are bound to be a hit.
Ahead, check out our list of gift ideas for people who love sustainability. Personally, we’d be thrilled to unwrap any of these gifts for the holidays — and we hope your loved ones will feel the same way!
- Gifts That Help Reduce Waste
Landfills are terrible for the environment, so anything we can do to reduce our personal waste is going to be a big win for the planet. With that in mind, try to look for gifts that help the recipient lower their waste. Here are some ideas:
- Shampoo bars. Loaded with nourishing ingredients, these plant-based shampoo bars are great for your tresses and come entirely package-free. Complete your gift with a nourishing conditioner bar.
- Silicone bowl covers. Do your loved ones enjoy whipping up meals in the kitchen? Help them ditch single-use plastic wrap for good with these reusable silicone bowl covers. They stretch to cover the lids of your bowls, which helps keep food fresh for longer. Consider topping your gift off with other sustainable kitchen products, like solid dish soap and a wooden scrub brush.
- Countertop compost bin. Recycling our food into organic waste is one of the single greatest things we can do to lower our individual carbon footprints. If your loved ones don’t already have a countertop compost bin to hold their produce scraps, they’ll love receiving one as a gift!
Shopping for a sustainable minimalist? The last thing they need is an item that will only add clutter to their home. Skip the material gifts this year and splurge on an experience gift instead. Unlike tangible gifts, experience gifts typically require few materials to make, no shipping and no wrapping.
- Painting class. Painting classes make a superb gift! Unleash their inner Picasso with an online painting lesson or tag along for an in-person painting class for double the fun.
- Airbnb getaway. Sometimes, the best gift for an eco-warrior is a break from reality. Help them step away from the depressing 24-hour news cycle with a relaxing getaway at a picturesque Airbnb.
- Massage. Who could possibly say no to a full-body massage? Give your loved ones the gift of relaxation with a gift certificate to a professional masseuse. You can score good deals and coupons on massages at Groupon.
- Homemade Gifts
Nothing warms the heart quite like receiving a homemade gift. Not only are homemade gifts sweeter and more memorable than store-bought items, but they also tend to be easier on Mother Earth. Delight your friends and family with these eco-friendly homemade gift ideas:
- Homemade bread spreads. “Spread” some joy this year with delicious homemade bread spreads. Your options run the gamut from sparkling holiday jams to delicious nut butters.
- DIY peppermint lip balm. Store-bought lip balms often contain harmful ingredients like petroleum jelly, a by-product of the crude oil industry. Why not skip the nasty ingredients and make your own lip balm instead? Fill small metal tins with this easy peppermint lip balm recipe and give your friends the gift of moisturized lips.
- All-natural DIY bath bombs. All-natural bath bombs are ridiculously easy to make and always turn out beautiful when you use floral decorative molds. Check out this bath bomb tutorial from Garden Therapy to get started.
- Virtual and Digital Gifts
With supply chains still being disrupted, many people are turning to virtual and digital gifts this year. Like experience gifts, these types of presents require minimal materials to produce and don’t have the carbon footprint of long-distance traveling. Here are some ideas for sustainable virtual and digital gifts:
- Rosetta Stone membership. Whether your friend is traveling and wants to know some of the local lingo, or they want to reap the cognitive benefits of learning a second language, a Rosetta stone membership is sure to be a huge hit. Memberships come in 3-month, 6-month and 12-month options, so you can choose one that fits your budget.
- Virtual workshops. Did your friend pick up a new hobby recently? Help them explore their hobby on a deeper level with a virtual workshop. From 3D modeling to fiction writing, there’s a workshop out there for everyone.
- Downloadable video games. If you have a gamer friend, they’re bound to love an e-gift card to Steam or the Nintendo eShop.
- Donation to a Cause
We all have causes that are near and dear to our hearts. So if you’re still scratching your head for gift ideas for your sustainable loved ones, consider donating to something they’re passionate about. Just remember to research the organization first to make sure they’re worthy of the donation!
- Animal sponsorship. For animal lovers and wildlife conservationists, sponsoring an animal is a wonderful gift idea. Animal sponsorships typically go towards providing healthcare and food for animals at the organization.
- Rainforest Trust. Is your loved one passionate about saving forests? Consider donating to the Rainforest Trust in their name. One hundred percent of the proceeds from your gift will go towards preserving the vivid beauty and wildlife in the world’s rainforests.
- Oceana membership. If your friend or family member is passionate about our oceans, this gift is for them. Buying them a membership to Oceana will help protect marine life and habitats from threats such as overfishing, fishing gear and more.
There you have it! We hope these eco-conscious gifts will put a smile on the recipient’s face.
P.S. — Don’t forget to wrap your present sustainably!