The Sustainable Holiday Gift Guide


By Laura Newton

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Inspiration to help you spread the eco-love to everyone on your list this season, whether you buy or DIY.

The natural beauty

Introduce your friends and family to natural makeup that comes in eco-friendly paper tubes, package-free beauty bars, or products that come with reusable packaging and refillable options.

Another option is to curate a box of sustainable beauty tools, such as natural fiber and bamboo brushes, reusable organic cotton rounds, washable swabs, linen face cloths, loofah or konjac sponges, and a stone gua sha or facial roller.

Alternatively, embrace DIY options; for example, a glass jar filled with a customized mixture of dried botanicals—like dried chamomile, rose petals, lavender, marigold, citrus, rosemary, mint, or lemon balm—to create an all-natural facial steam.

The cook

Help the resident cook on your list to limit packaging, reduce plastic use, and avoid food waste with reusable options, such as beeswax wrap, bento boxes for waste-free lunches, reusable water bottles and traveler mugs, mesh produce bags and cloth grocery bags, or organic cotton terry cloth lettuce bags for longer lasting greens.

For something DIY, gift a jar of homemade dry soup mix, granola, or healthy cookies along with any required cooking instructions.

The cleaner

Help friends and family kick toxic cleaning habits to the curb with some sustainable alternatives like a natural dish soap block, natural bristle dish brush, natural cleaning spray,  and washable paper towels.

You can also create your own simple cleaning products. Use baking soda, citric acid, essential oils, a little water, and a mold to create your own toilet cleaning fizz bombs.

The office worker

Bring a little nature and nurture to the desk of someone on your list with eco-friendly options that support ergonomics, organization, and an overall feeling of calm.

To avoid plastic, think wireless keyboards, mice, adjustable laptop stands, and desk trays or organizers made of bamboo or sustainable wood.

A potted plant is a simple yet charming gift that can bring beauty and relaxation to the office and even help support focus. Choose plants with helpful herbaceous scents, like sage, rosemary, or lavender.

The gardener 

Give the gardener on your list eco-friendly tools such as a paper planter maker, plantable seed starting pots, and ceramic or bamboo markers.

Whether bought or made yourself, insect hotels—for butterflies, bees, and other important insects—can help support a healthy garden and are another great gift for any eco-friendly gardener or bug-loving kid.

To have a little fun, make wildflower bombs with one part wildflower seeds to three parts clay and five parts peat-free compost or potting soil to support vital insect and pollinator populations.

The stressed one

Give loved ones the gift of calm: introduce them to local, artisanal, and eco-friendly brands by curating a basket or box of serene reprieve, including items like bath salts, bees wax or soy candles, an essential oil blend for their diffuser or aromatherapy roller, herbal tea, a handmade ceramic mug, and fair trade chocolate.

Essential oils—like lavender, eucalyptus, clary sage, bergamot, vetiver, sandalwood, and cedarwood—can add aromatherapy stress relief power to DIY gifts, such as shower melts, room spray, lotion bars, and candles.

The gracious host 

Show your appreciation for your host and the planet with eco-friendly options like, biodynamic, organic, and sustainable wine, a natural material charcuterie board topped with a plant-based spread, upcycled tableware, natural fiber blanket, or a soy or beeswax candle.

Potted plants grown from clippings of your own houseplants can become the gift that keeps on giving. Some common houseplants that are easy to propagate include pothos, philodendron, snake plant, spider plant, and string of pearls.

Wrap it up

To make the presentation as eco-friendly as the present itself, be sure to use natural, uncoated, and glitter-free paper, or wrap using natural fabrics, such as linen or cotton. Tie using natural ribbon or string and decorate with foraged greenery, flowers, berries, or dried citrus.

Go tape-free

One advantage of using fabric, string, and ribbon to wrap gifts is that you can skip the tape. However, if paper is all you have, creative folding and wrapping techniques can also allow you to go tapeless—and wow your gift’s recipient in the process!

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