10 eco friendly gift ideas starting at just $5
7 Minute Read
Still stumped about what to get your family for the holidays? I get that a zero-waste gift box may not be everyone’s cup of tea (even if it’s totally mine . . . hubs, you reading this? 😉 ). But there are a bunch of other gift ideas that don’t overtly scream, “I’m good for the planet!” Instead, they’re a bit more under-the-radar. So for people who don’t live all that sustainably, these eco friendly gift ideas give you the chance to introduce someone to sustainability in a gentle and non-preachy way.
In an ideal world, we’d get all our gifts from local makers and holiday markets, but not everyone has access to that. And sometimes, you just can’t find what your looking for locally. So I’ve put together a list of 10 gift ideas, all available on Etsy, that are subtly sustainable and totally freakin’ awesome! Some use upcycled materials, some gently encourage low-waste living, and some use fair trade ingredients. I’ve limited this list to small businesses in the US, simply because they have a lower carbon footprint than imported gifts that have travelled across the world. So here goes . . .
The Bad-Ass Beanie That Gives Back
This beanie is handmade using sustainably sourced yarn, and for every hat purchased, they donate one to a person in need. They also have several beanies that are made out of upcycled denim (that would’ve ended up in the trash had it not been salvaged).
Made in Everett, Washington
The Sassy Straw Set
These straw sets are the perfect eco friendly gift for someone who needs that extra nudge to pass on disposable straws. Plus, with the most adorable prints I’ve ever seen, they’ll definitely catch people’s attention when you bust them outta your handbag. Each pouch comes with a removable wet bag inside, which keeps the dirty straws separate from the clean ones.
The Only Baggie You’ll Ever Need
These unapologetically cute snack bags make plastic Ziplocs look trashy AF. And at $5 a pop, how can you go wrong? Use them as stocking stuffers, reusable gift wrap, or even for what they’re intended for: snacks!
Made in Maryville, Tennessee
The Reusable Utensils You’ll Be Dying To Bust Out
I love this utensil set for a crap-load of reasons. The first being that the seller offers the option of getting it with (or without) the chopsticks. The truth is: not everyone’s into chopsticks, but most utensil sets include them by default. So instead of a one-size-fits-all set, you can just get what you need (and what you’ll actually use).
The second reason is the shop owner offers: Zero. Waste. Shipping!!!!! Oh heyyyyyy!!!
And last but not least, a portion of all profits goes to Treepex, a non-profit tree-planting platform that enables people to plant trees for themselves or as an eco friendly gift.
Made in Tampa, Florida (my old stomping grounds)
The Kitchen Essential That’ll Have Everyone Remembering You At The Next Potluck
These bowl covers are a new twist on reusable cling wraps. They come in a bunch of sizes and prints that will definitely turn some heads at your next potluck. People can’t help but ask about them, so they’re the perfect instigator for encouraging people to live a little more sustainably. And to do it with style.
Made in Eugene, Oregon
The Yummiest (And Most Affordable) Shampoo & Conditioner Bars I’ve Honestly Ever Seen
Skip the plastic bottle and wash your hair with these bad boys. Not only are they zero-waste, they’re also vegan, palm oil free, and SLS free (which means no animals are harmed in the harvesting or use of these bars). Plus, they’re super affordable, coming in at about $5 bucks a pop. FYI: most shampoo bars are about $7-15 each!! So this is a total steal if you ask me.
Made in Charlottesville, Virginia
The Organic Facial Kit For Anyone Who . . . Well, Washes Their Face
This all-in-one kit is perfect for any skin type. Still, there’s also an option specifically for oily or acne prone skin if that’s what you need. It’s packed with luxurious organic oils, vitamins, and food-based ingredients, so its about as far as you can get from that toxic stuff you normally slap on your face. If it can’t be eaten, it probably has no business on your skin (a.k.a. your body’s largest organ).
This kit is made by Crunchy Betty, who also happens to be one of my favorite bloggers. She writes in a way that makes you feel like you’re talking to a best friend with a wicked, snarky sense of humor.
Made in Bowling Green, Kentucky
The Completely Customizable Makeup Kit (that’s also vegan and zero waste!)
This plastic-free makeup kit is perfect for the conscious city slicker who’s got everything. Customize it with any selection of blush, bronzer, mascara, eye shadow, etc. And! You can even request zero-waste packaging.
Don’t cha just love it when people actually make it easy to be zero-waste, cruelty-free, and vegan, and when they use only sustainable, organic ingredients? I mean, it’s not like that’s asking a lot. In all seriousness though, I dream of the day when all those things are the norm and we don’t have to spend hours finding products that actually align with our values.
Made in East Grand Rapids, Michigan
The Handmade Accent Your Living Room Has Been Wet-Dreaming About
This tray is made out of reclaimed wood that was salvaged from an old century home. Made to order, each piece is slightly different and unique in its own way, and is the perfect statement piece for that cozy (and tiny) apartment of yours. Plus, instead of rotting in a landfill, the wood is getting a second chance at life.
Made in Wilmington, North Carolina
Only The Best For Your First-Born
This doggie bowl is hand-spun on the potter’s wheel, and customized to fit the swag and style of your fluffy little pup. All of the glazes are lead-free and food safe, and the bowl can be thrown (not literally) in the dishwasher for easy cleaning.
Made in Durham, North Carolina
Get to know your maker.
I’ve included the location of each of these products because I think it’s important to have a tangible connection to the people who make the things we buy. Not only does this connect us to the maker, it also helps us realize that voting with our dollars is important. The people who make each of these items have a passion behind what they do. They work hard and pour themselves into making gems that you’ll love forever, instead of churning out things that’ll barely last you till next season.
These eco friendly gift ideas help us tread a little lighter on the earth by traveling less to get to us, using sustainable materials, and giving us the option for sustainable packaging.
Got some eco friendly gift ideas of your own?
Share them in the comments below.
Photo credit for each of the gift ideas belongs to the featured Etsy seller