Life·8 min read

12 Foolproof Eco-Friendly Gifts for Any Occasion

Sustainable eco friendly gift ideas
Design: theSkimm | Image: Uncommon Goods, Conscious Step, Uncommon Goods
Apr 18, 2022

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Fact: Finding the perfect thoughtful gift is hard. Finding one that’s also easy on the earth? Not the simplest task either. That’s why we’ve done the work for ya and rounded up no-fail sustainable gift ideas for anyone in your life. Whether you’re looking for something for your sister’s birthday, celebrating your bestie’s promotion, or on a mission for a graduation gift for your cousin, these options are guaranteed crowd-pleasers. And Mother Earth will be pretty happy too.

Oh, and if you’re looking for even more ideas, check out our recs for gifts for your best friend under $75, crowd-pleasing gifts for guys in your life, and housewarming gifts under $50

Olive oil that looks as great as it tastes…

And comes from a family-run farm in California. This duo includes two blend options, both made with heirloom California olives that are handpicked and have been cold-pressed within 90 minutes of harvest to ensure freshness. The Awake blend is perfect for stews, pastas, and pairing with bread, while the lighter Alive works well for dressings, salads, and baking. They both come in UV-coated glass bottles that are so pretty, they’ll probably want to get some use outta them — as a vase or other container — after the last drop. ($74, Brightland)

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Comfy socks by a brand that plants trees for every pair…

This pack comes with three pairs of embroidered organic cotton socks with extra padding. They’re also vegan and fair-trade certified. The best part? The brand partners with Trees for the Future to plant 12 trees in developing countries for each pair made, with the goal of improving the surrounding families’ standard of living. ($39.95, Conscious Step)

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A sustainable gift set full of bath, kitchen, and household essentials…  

Like reusable cotton bags and wool dryer balls. It’s also got shower essentials like an ayate washcloth (made from handwoven agave fibers), a scrubber and sea sponge, and an ayate bathstrip. This eco-friendly gift set has zero trace of single-use plastic and includes products that’ll make it just a wee bit easier to live their everyday more sustainably. Psst…if you’re looking for something more bath-focused, check out this classics set that’s got shampoo, conditioner, body soaps and more. ($86, Public Goods)

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A zero-waste grow kit for a regular supply of green onions… 

Because green onions don’t need much to grow back, so why waste ’em? This regrower comes with 39 holes ready to hold their green onion scraps. All they have to do is slip the ends into the container lined with naturally absorbent coconut fiber and add water. The onions should regrow up to 3 inches a week. Grow get it. ($49, Uncommon Goods)

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Vibrant lounge pants made from repurposed fabrics… 

They’re made from repurposed cotton saris by an artisan collective in India. And they’re handmade, so no two pairs are the same. They’ve all got beautiful patterns and striking colors, and are soft and lightweight, aka ideal for their Netflix nights on the couch. Pro tip: Make sure they wash by hand with cold water to keep ’em in tip-top shape. ($40, Uncommon Goods)

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A showstopping handmade travel mug… 

These ocean- and cloud-inspired travel mugs are slender enough to fit in their car’s cup holder or slip into the mesh sleeve on their backpack. Choose from two color options — though since these are handmade, no two tumblers will be the same — each of which comes with a silicone lid to prevent spills and retain heat. ($40, Uncommon Goods

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An eco-friendly set that’ll make toting their lunch to work easy-breezy… 

It comes with a portable insulated tumbler, seal-tight bowl, and compact utensil set — perfect for the meal-preppers or anyone who commutes with their lunch. The tumbler is designed to keep liquids hot for 12 hours and cold for 24, and the bowl is designed to be durable and leak-proof, ideal for salads or soups. The utensil set comes in a silicone carrying case for keeping things clean. Helping them kick single-use plastics to the curb = the gift that keeps giving. Oh, and for more reusable lunch bags and boxes, check out our recs here. ($68, W&P)

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An indoor garden kit for year-round fresh herbs… 

Whether they’ve got limited outdoor space or just have a black thumb, this self-watering herb garden practically takes care of itself. It’s got over 50 plant refill capsules to choose from and energy-efficient grow lights to speed up the process. The reservoir can hold up to a month's worth of water, and once the herbs have grown, it’ll be easy to transplant ’em to an indoor plant hanger. This one comes with basil pods included, but they can also choose from over 50 other pre-seeded pods, like cilantro, thyme, and chili peppers. ($104.95, Amazon)

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An odor-free food waste holder for easy composting…  

Smells, be gone. This compost bin can dock right on the side of a Simplehuman trash can or just sit on their countertop. It’s got a soft-seal lid that keeps odors in and fruit flies out. ($49.99+, Amazon)   

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A set of reusable cotton makeup pads… 

They’re made from natural bamboo and organic cotton, plus they’re thick enough to get use of both sides. The pads work for makeup removal and skin cleansing, and are easy to travel with. The pack comes with 20 cotton rounds and a laundry bag so they’ll be able to wash them conveniently. ($12.99, Amazon)

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A whiskey chilling coaster set made from granite…

This set comes with two whiskey glasses made from reclaimed glass, and two granite coasters handcrafted from reclaimed granite. They’ll just need to toss ’em in the freezer before use so their drink can stay cool without being diluted. You can also snag this pair of whiskey stones to ensure their drink is always at the right temp. Bottoms up. ($39, Uncommon Goods)

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A water-resistant fanny pack made from recycled materials…

ICYMI, the fanny pack is back. And this one is simple, stylish, and functional — with a large main compartment, a small front pocket, and a hidden back section for their valuables. The body, lining, and strap are all made from 100% recycled plastic bottles, and whenever they’re ready to part with it down the road, it can also be recycled via the ReGirlfriend program. ($48, Girlfriend Collective

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