Something for everybody: 11 niche eco-friendly holiday gift ideas


Giving friends and family eco-conscious gifts doesn’t mean giving them things they don’t want. Manufacturers have incorporated eco-friendly materials into a range of products, while everyone could enjoy some more outside time with an outdoorsy gift of one kind or another. Here are our favorite eco-friendly gifts for every type of person on your gift list.

For the Neat Freak: Reusable Paper Towels

What could make a neat freak happier than cleaning up? Doing so with a smaller carbon footprint. Give a loved one some reusable paper towels to clear their conscious when they soak up that spill. There are multiple reusable paper towel brands that are designed to be reused, unlike standard paper towels whose use throughout the day can add up to a significant amount of waste going to landfills.

Reusable Paper Towel Alternatives

For the Scent Savant: Sustainable, Non-Toxic Perfume or Cologne

Perfume and cologne can be a great way to give yourself a signature scent. But while it is commonly portrayed as luxurious, the fragrance industry can have negative impacts on the environment. Thankfully, there are new budding perfume and cologne companies that aim for sustainability through the use of natural and non-toxic ingredients.

For the Conscientious Cook: Coconut Bowls

Whether you have a family member who loves to cook or a friend who is looking for really cool new plates, Coconut Bowls are a great addition to a conscientious kitchen. Manufactured by Biome, Coconut Bowls are 100% natural, handcrafted and durable. Made from reclaimed shells that are discarded during production in the coconut oil industry, these bowls prevent the release of emissions into the atmosphere that results when these shells are burned.

For Hikers, Athletes, and Travelers: A Collapsible Water Bottle

Photo credit Getty Images

Staying hydrated on the go is important for a range of active people, making a portable water solution an excellent gift idea for multiple people on your list. Outdoor enthusiasts will appreciate this collapsible water bottle just as much as workout fanatics. Even everyday couch potatoes will find this gift incredibly helpful when traveling by plane.

Collapsible Water Bottle

For the Hockey Fan (and Backyard Barbecuer): Hockey Stick BBQ Set

Styled after hockey’s iconic sticks, these bbq tools are guaranteed to go over well with any winter sports fan. Plus they’ll give ice hockey players a chance to practice their puck-handling skills during the long summer months away from the ice. 

Hockey Stick BBQ Set

For the Eco-Conscious Pal: Gift Certificates to Low-Impact Experiences

It’s not always easy to find a physical gift that doesn’t hurt the planet, so skip the traditional boxed gift in favor of a gift certificate. Local vegetarian restaurants would appreciate a little extra business from your planet-loving friends around the holidays, green spas offer restoration at a fraction of the global impact, and eco-hotels make conscientious holiday travel a reality.

For the Green Kid: Outdoor Explorer Kit

One of the greatest reasons to protect the planet is to pass it on intact to future generations, so no one has a greater interest in an eco-friendly gift than the youngest recipients on your gift list. Start building their interest in the great outdoors early with an Outdoor Explorer Kit from Moulin Roty, which includes a compass, binoculars and other handy outdoorsy accoutrements.

Green Gifts for Kids

For the Beer Aficionado: Stainless Steel Tumbler

You could risk buying an esoteric new sour to impress your beer nerd friends or try to track down that out-of-stock brew your dad loved, but those maneuvers could easily end in disappointment. Instead, buy something that will invariably improve the beer drinking experience no matter what the particular beer, like this stainless steel tumbler. It’s bpa-free, non-toxic and reusable, it’ll keep beverages colder longer, and it looks a heck of a lot better than a plastic cup.   

Klean Kanteen Stainless Steel Pint Cup

For the Constant Camper: Aqua Lamp

For any mom whose kids adventure outside of cell service, for any sister who wonders if her brother checked the weather before departing on a week-long excursion in a winter storm, for any lover of the outdoors who has forgotten to pack a flashlight in the past, there is the Aqua Lamp. The super durable LED lantern doesn’t require sunlight, batteries or electricity to brighten a camping tent. All it needs is salt and water, making it extremely useful in an emergency situation or any garden-variety camping experience.

Aqua Lamp Emergency LED Lantern

For Anyone Who Carries Anything: A Sustainable Purse or Carry-All

Bags aren’t just fashion statements. They’re ecological statements, which say a lot about the wearer’s support for the specific materials and construction practices that went into making them. Help your family and friends make the right statement by gifting them a truly eco-friendly bag made from recycled materials, cork or even responsibly sourced leather. 

The Best Sustainable Bags

For the Homebody: Aira Soy Candles

Photo credit Getty Images

After playing outside all spring, summer and fall, everyone deserves to cuddle up at home during winter surrounded by good smells and good vibes. These soy candles, made from pure organic soy and vegetables, bring stress relieving scents to the living room, bedroom or bathroom. While standard commercial candles may use paraffin, petroleum oils, or other toxic bases, Aira candles won’t release anything toxic into the air. 

Aira Soy Candles

For more ideas on how you can save the planet, visit 1Thing.

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