Shopping·11 min read

17 Foolproof Eco-Friendly Gifts for Any Occasion

Sustainable eco friendly gift ideas
Design: theSkimm | Image: Caraa, Brightland, Amazon
April 11, 2023

This post was originally published in April 2022 and has been updated.

Products you buy through our links may earn us a commission. Oh, and if something's out of stock, oops, it was there (and all prices were accurate) at time of publication.

Finding the perfect thoughtful gift is hard. Finding one that’s also easy on the earth? Not the easiest task either. That’s why we’ve done the work for you 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 $80, crowd-pleasing gifts for guys in your life, and housewarming gifts under $50

Sustainable sneakers

Low-top canvas sneakers that come in a ton of colors…

It’ll be their new go-to summertime sneaker. These have been designed with a 100% vegan outsole, insole, organic cotton upper, and recycled plastic accessories, and have a classic look that’ll pair with any outfit. For a more elevated take, they also come in suede or leather varieties in both men’s and women’s sizes. Bonus: For every pair of sneakers purchased, the brand plants two trees in the Brazilian rainforest. ($79, Cariuma)

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Egg pan
Green Pan

An eco-friendly cookware set that’ll make mornings a breeze…

Have someone on your list whose favorite meal is breakfast? This set comes with a ceramic nonstick pan and tempered glass lid, and two egg molds to make sandwich and omelet prep easy. It’s PFAS- and PFOA-free, dishwasher-safe, and oven- and broiler-safe up to 600ºF (the lid up to 425ºF). Psst…this brand’s collection was a winner in Good Housekeeping’s 2023 Sustainability Innovation Awards for its waste reduction, recycled content, packaging, and more. ($109.99, GreenPan)

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Sustainable bag

An ultra-light baby bag that keeps on giving…

Know someone who’s expecting? This hospital bag has space for all their must-haves with two side pockets big enough to fit their coziest Ugg slippers, travel pillows, or bedside reads, and one large interior pocket for everything else. It has a water-repellant and 100% GOTS-certified cotton lining, is vegan-friendly, and can even collapse into a compact pouch after they get settled in. After the baby comes, they can get continued use out of it  as a weekender bag. ($258, Caraa)

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Bamboo socks
Cozy Earth

HQ’r-favorite socks made from bamboo…

We can’t recommend these incredibly soft lounge socks enough, and soon, they won’t be able to either. They come in bundles of three and in five different color packs to choose from. The combo of polyester, viscose from bamboo, and elastane make for a super-soft and durable sock — one that won’t pill after a couple rounds in the wash. Psst…check out the other Cozy Earth products we can’t seem to live without here. ($44+, Cozy Earth

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clay kit
PottdPeople via Etsy

An air-drying at-home pottery kit…

No kiln or wheel required. This kit is all they’ll need to start on their clay-creation journey. It comes with two bags of eco-friendly air-dry clay, five wooden tools for sculpting, eight premium clay paints, a base coat and varnish for a professional finish, and one quick start guide with step-by-step instructions. All they need to bring are the ideas. ($44.22, PottdPeople via Etsy)

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Mini dress

An ‘80s-inspired minidress to wear on date night…

This’ll become their new favorite statement dress. With a shell made from 100% eco viscose, it has an eye-catching red, pink, and purple floral print, a deep V-neck, ruffled sleeves, and puffed shoulders designed to flatter. Help ’em style it with a shiny clutch, or a pair of sustainably made heels. Jaws = dropped. ($165, Saylor)

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Dries Lipstick
Saks Fifth Avenue

A reusable lipstick from a high-end fashion house…

This one comes in eight matte plum and pink shades and works best when matched with the brand’s own lipstick case. There are four different cases to choose from (we love the bright green and animal print option), and if a matte finish isn’t their favorite, take a look at the sheer and satin options instead. ($40, Saks Fifth Avenue)

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Brightland olive oil eco friendly gifts

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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Public Goods set eco friendly gifts
Public Goods

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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Uncommon goods green onion regrower eco friendly gifts
Uncommon Goods

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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Uncommon Goods sari eco friendly gifts lounge pants
Uncommon Goods

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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Handmade travel mugs uncommon goods eco friendly gifts
Uncommon Goods

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. ($44, Uncommon Goods

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W&P Commuter bundle eco friendly gifts

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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Indoor herb garden eco friendly gifts

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. ($74.95+, Amazon)

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Simplehuman compost bin eco friendly gifts

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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Reusable cotton pads eco friendly gifts

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. ($9.99, Amazon)

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Uncommon goods whiskey coasters eco friendly gifts
Uncommon Goods

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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